This interview with David Toop was done in the Tokyo office of the British Council. Toop was in Japan for some lectures and a conference. I was an English teacher in Tokyo at the time, and I did this interview on my way to work.
This is one of the last interviews I did during the era in which I published Space Age Bachelor magazine. As it was, I never ended up printing another issue of Space Age Bachelor. The transcript for this interview ended up being published in another music zine called Sound Collector.
'Unpredictable: Conversations with Improvisers’ is a collection of videos that have grown out of a deep research into the nature of Free Improvisation, its history in the UK and its international connections. The collection responds to the urgent need to investigate the genre and its rich legacy. Research and filming began in 2011. It was directed and produced by artist, curator and educator Blanca Regina in collaboration with Steve Beresford and Pierre Bouvier Patron. The series was commissioned by Sound and Music for the 50th anniversary of the British Music Collection.
The series focus on twelve active performers, interviewing pioneers like Terry Day and Maggie Nicols and, from the second generation, Steve Beresford, David Toop and Peter Cusack.
Women have always been an important presence in Free Improvisation but this has not always been reflected in how the genre is seen. In ‘Unpredictable Series’ we made a point of including more women than men, particularly women with developing careers in the field.
Many of these videos have been filmed in the context of 'Unpredictable' events, and others have followed the artists into key London venues like Cafe OTO and IKLECTIK. These are two of the most important venues in the UK for freely improvised music – a genre that sprang to life in the mid ‘60s, has always had a strong community in London, but is often not fully acknowledged.
Blanca Regina and Steve Beresford created 'Unpredictable', a series with an emphasis on Free Improvisation that features exhibitions, performances, talks, films and publications. In 2014 they were joined by Pierre Bouvier Patron.
Directed and produced by Blanca Regina
Advisor: Steve Beresford
Camera and editors: Pierre Bouvier Patron & Blanca Regina
Sound: Blanca Regina
Photographies by Tomi Osuna, Nadjib Le Fleurier, Jak Kilby and Pierre Bouvier Patron
The short film documents two dancers as they strive and sometimes struggle to create intimate connection both physically and emotionally. Using the form contact improvisation as their focus. The music, instrumental and skillfully composed, along with serene images of nature, set the stage for the dance to unfold.