Coming together as a quartet for the first time for OptoPhonic, we are thrilled to have the unpredictable, nerve-wracking improvisational tendencies of these four unique artists colliding within the space of the Montgomery studio. Mick Beck (bassoon, sax, whistles) is a living legend of the Sheffield free jazz/improv scene, having collaborated with Derek Bailey, Steve Noble, Tony Buck, Hugh Metcalfe, John Zorn, Pat Thomas, Ken Vandermark, Paal Nilssen-Love and many more. His infamous home-based venue ‘Over The Top’ was featured on Jazz on 3 recently.
Sarah McWatt‘s (flute, sheng, vocals, accordion) creative exploits span from the Satie/Mingus-inspired McWatt to the sludge metal of Like A Kind of Matador. Core member of Roman Nose, with Jon Marshall (Singing Knives) and Charlie Collins (Clock DVA).
Stephen Chase composes, improvises, sometimes writes, walks quite a lot. His work veers erratically between conceptual strategies and following-his-nose, and is drawn to such things as the relationship between physical action and sound production, the influence of group interactions upon the shape of a work, and the acoustic characteristics of a space. He co-edited a book of essays with Philip Thomas on the music of Christian Wolff.
Nathan Bettany (oboe, dictaphones, voice, standup) is a free improvising artist who has collaborated with Beck and Chase frequently, and is obsessed with darts, wrestling, and Eugene Robinson. With Chase, he most recently played a car park, to the acclaim of the crowds gathered on the street opposite, and the consternation of passers by.