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Date(s) - 13/06/2016 - 19/06/2016
5:00 pm - 11:30 pm

Cafe Oto Project Space


ALTERATIONS FESTIVAL (London 13th to 19th of June, 2016) presents activities around the subject of the group

Alterations and explores the related fields of Sound Art and Free Improvisation.

Alterations – David Toop, Peter Cusack, Terry Day and Steve Beresford – is a quartet of key thinkers and pioneers in music and visual arts.

They played many concerts in the years 1977 to 1986 and came back together last year for one very successful concert. In the festival they will come together to collaborate in new contexts.

Supported by Arts Council England and Sound and Music and curated by Blanca Regina and Beresford, the project engages artists and audiences in new ways of making and understanding music and art.


The group existed from 1977 to 1986 and played often in festivals and clubs throughout the UK and Europe.

The great discovery of Alterations was that musical styles and idioms are there to be played with.

                                                                                             (Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen)

They made three LPs in that time:

Alterations on Bead in 1978

Up Your Sleeve on !Quartz in 1980

My Favourite Animals on nato (France) in 1984

Their work presented new ways of making and understanding music and art.

In addition there were CDs of various live performances – in 2000, Intuitive Records in Denmark issued Alterations

Live and in 2002 Atavistic in the US published Voila Enough!

In 2015, Alterations was put back together for London performances at Cafe Oto (with Max Eastley) and Iklectik.

These events were very succesfull and attracted new audiences.

Alterations Festival is unique opportunity to further enjoy this infuential and highly experienced group.

Alterations @ Iklectik Art Lab, London, 10th June 2015                                                                                                                       Photo: Fabio Lugaro


DAVID TOOP b. 1949 London

David is a musician, author, professor and Chair of Audio Culture and Improvisation at

London College of Communication. He has published five books including Ocean

of Sound, Rap Attack and Sinister Resonance. His first album, ‘New and Rediscovered

Musical Instruments’, was released on Brian Eno’s Obscure label in 1975 and he has

collaborated with artists ranging from John Latham, Bob Cobbing, Carlyle Reedy and Ivor Cutler to Rie Nakajima, Evan Parker, Max Eastley and Akio Suzuki. He has recently completed part one of Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom, a two-volume work on free improvisation. Exhibitions and events he has curated include Music/Context Festival of Environmental Music for the LMC (1978), Sonic Boom for the Hayward Gallery (2000), sound curation for Radical Fashion at the V&A (2000-2001), Playing John Cage at the Arnolfini (2005) and Blow Up at Flat Time House (2010).



PETER CUSACK b. 1948 London

Peter is a field recordist, musician and sound artist with a long interest in the sound

environment. He is currently based in Berlin. He initiated the ‘Favourite Sounds Project’ to discover what people find positive about their everyday sound environment and ‘Sounds From Dangerous Places’ (sonic journalism) that investigates sites of major environmental damage such as the Caspian Sea oil fields and the Chernobyl exclusion zone. He produced ‘Vermilion Sounds’ – the environmental sound program – for ResonanceFM Radio and is a research fellow at the London College of Communication. As DAAD artist-in-residence in Berlin 2011/12, he intiated ‘Berlin Sonic Places’, examining relationships between soundscapes and urban development. Musical collaborators include Kahondo Style, Clive Bell, Nic Collins and Viv Corringham.



STEVE BERESFORD b. Wellington 1950

Steve has been a central figure in the British improvising scene for over thirty years, working with the likes of Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, Christian Marclay and, of course, Alterations. His work with Marclay has included mixed media pieces like ‘Screen Play’, ‘Ephemera’, ‘Graffiti Composition’, ‘Shuffle’, ‘Pianorama’ and ‘Everyday’. He has also written songs, scored feature films, TV shows and commercials. Steve has worked with hundreds of people, including The Slits, Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Ray Davies, Ilan Volkov, The Flying Lizards, Otomo Yoshihide, The Portsmouth Sinfonia and John Zorn. He has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, composer and producer, and was was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012.


TERRY DAY b. 1940 London

Terry is an improviser, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, song writer, visual artist and poet. He is a ‘first generation’ pioneer improviser from the 1960s. A self-taught musician in a family of musicians, he began improvising on the drums with his brother in 1955. In the early 1960s he formed the Hardy Holman Day trio focusing on free improvisation. Later he became part of Kilburn & the Highroads, a band led by Ian Dury. Sharing their interest in visual art and painting, Terry and Ian both studied at Walthamstow School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art, London. As an art student in the 1960s he was a pioneer of improvisation, free jazz & experimental music. Day also formed a duo with Derek Bailey in the late 1960s and was a regular member of The Continuous Music Ensemble, later known as The People Band. Since then he has collaborated with many musical luminaries, groups, dancers, painters, poets and performed in theatre, events, and rock & roll.



ALTERATIONS members have been incredibly prolific in groups like General Strike, The Promenaders, The Flying Lizards, Frank Chickens, People Band, Foxes Fox, The Melody Four, The 49 Americans, and London Improvisers Orchestra… They have also played with countless sound pioneers including Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Derek Bailey, John Zorn, Max Eastley, Hugh Davies, Dave Douglas, Han Bennink, and Christian Marclay.


ALTERATIONS were never shy about instrumentation:alto saxophone, animal horn, balloons, bass guitar, bird decoys, bicycle bell, cello, Chinese reeds, crackle box, cymbals,

drums, electric guitar, electronic bird, euphonium, feedback, fiddle, flute, foot clickers, grand piano, harmonica, laughter, laptop, lo-grade electronics, mandolin, maracas, melodica, nylon, string guitar, percussion, piano, pipes, prepared nylon string guitar, ratchet, reeds, scraping, siren, snap-its, speech, squeakers, swizzle stick, toothbrush, toys, trumpet, upright piano, violin, wah wah guitar, water flute, whirled reeds, and whistles are just some of the improvising devices employed by the quartet.


Monday 13th June

‘Alterations and Free improvisation’. Talk and short performance by Toop, Day, Cusack and Beresford.

Venue: Portland Hall, University of Westminster. Time: 6 to 8 pm. Free entry.


4-12 Little Titchfield Street.

London W1W 7BY Overground:Oxford Circus

Booking is essential.

Wednesday 15th June

Opening of the Alterations Series at OTO Projects. Time: from 6 to 8pm. Free entry.

OTO Projects Space

1-7 Ashwin Street London E8 3DL

Overground: Dalston Kinsgland or Dalston Junction

Thursday 16th June

OTO Projects, opening times 1 to 7 pm. Free entry,

Film: ‘Unpredictable: The Art of Terry Day‘- 4 to 5 pm. Free entry.

Booking is essential.

Friday 17th June

OTO Projects, opening times 1 to 7 pm. Free entry

Workshop at OTO Projects ‘Making bamboo flutes’ with Terry Day – 5.30 to 7.00 pm. Ticketed (£10 per participant)

Booking is essential.

Limited to 10 participants.

Saturday 18th June

OTO Projects, opening times 1 to 7 pm. Free entry

Workshop at OTO Projects ‘Field recording’ with Peter Cusack. Ticketed- 1 to 5 pm, (£10 per participant) Limited to 10 participants.

Booking is essential.

Supported by Crisap, UAL.

Concerts at Cafe Oto – Doors open 8 – Concerts start 8.30 to 11 pm

Ticketed (£10 at the door, £8 advanced, £6 members)

Alterations (Toop, Day, Beresford and Cusack), Elaine Mitchener, Satoko Fukuda, Max Eastley, John Butcher, Lee Patterson and Blanca Regina.


18-22 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL

Overground: Dalston Kinsgland or Dalston Junction

Sunday 19th June

OTO Projects, opening times 1 to 7 pm

Presentation of the reprint of Musics magazine published by Ecstatic Peace Library – 3 to 5 pm. Free event

Concerts at Cafe Oto – Doors open 8 pm – Concerts start 8.30 to 11 pm

Ticketed (£10 at the door, £8 advanced, £6 members)

Alterations, Rie Nakajima, Evan Parker, Thurston Moore, Rhodri Davies, Hannah Marshall. Gina Southgate and Blanca Regina.


For any queries and registration at the workshops please mail to:


Supported by