O Yama O, Mariam Rezaei, Usurper // 25.01.19 19:30 // 21 Market Place, Huddersfield
Friday 25th January
DAY2 By the book, letter for letter – ame book launch with
O Yama O (objects & voice)
Mariam Rezaei (turntables and voice)
Doors open at 19:30 / Concerts start at 20:00
21 Market Place, Huddersfield HD1 2AA
O YAMA Oexplores a certain domestic and democratic quality of everyday life, born through associations to folk music of Japan and a folding of myth, tradition, and routine; the non-spectacular and the sublime.
Formed of musician and artist Rie Nakajima and Cafe OTO co-founder Keiko Yamamoto, the group has performed since 2014 at venues and festivals such as noshowspace, Ikon Gallery, Wysing Arts Centre, Supernormal, Borealis Festival, Mayhem, and allEars Festival.
Nakajima’s performance often focuses on the use of found and kinetic objects, using modest items such as rice bowls, toys, clockwork, balloons and small motors as instruments to create a “micro orchestra”. Elements are layered into impressive and immersive atmospheres. Yamamoto alternatively floats and charges through this with body and voice; chanting, incanting, thundering, whispering, stamping on the floor.
Their debut album consolidates their musical conversations into keenly paced studio music, the duo working with additional instrumentation and a resolved focus on melody to provide vivid portraits of folkloric Japan in song.
They move between pop and the philosophical, defined by the overall space afforded to texture and movement. In small, delicate sound an intimate musical climate is established that reflects on life, telling stories of improvised clockwork, whispered dreams, small movements of the hand and the rhythm to be found in the shuffle of a deck of cards.
Grandly theatric and dramatic flourishes add solidity to these illustrations, operas driven by the swooping energy and power of Yamamoto’s voice can be playful or emotionally charged, particularly when the duo arrange themselves in ensemble with violinist Billy Steiger and percussionist Marie Roux. Production by David Cunningham creates the shadowy presence of a leftfield Flying Lizards dubwise depth that adds subtle strangeness to the atmosphere. The result is something raw, full-bodied; full of energy, grace and mystery.
Mariamgrew up in Gateshead, England, playing the classical piano. She first developed an interest in DJing at the age of fifteen and began writing music at this time. Her interest in writing with turntables developed a little while later, as she was competing in local and national DJ competitions.
Mariam Rezaei is the Musical Director of NOISESTRA, a turntable ensemble of young people who are residents at the Old Police House in Gateshead. She is also the musical director of Northern Proud Voices, an LBGT choir based in Newcastle. She is currently researching the poetry of the Persian poet, Rumi, and the aesthetic of the Lion as Ego, the dichotomy between Intellect and Love and its relationship with Art.
Usurperis the Edinburgh-based duo of Malcy Duff and Ali Robertson… Traversing the worlds of British improvisation, post-fluxus performance art, absurdist comic book fiction and Scottish luddite humour, they create a world that exists “through” music, where the mundane is illuminated and notions of “talent” and “expertise” are de-mystified.
We have a punchline at the end of each set which equals one joke every three weeks: “I’m not laughing at him. I’m laughing with him. No, i’m not laughing at him. I’m laughing with him.”
Combined comprehensive educations of Fife and Edinburgh failed to curb luddite tendencies or discourage low forms of wit: Ali Robertson got remedial as Giant Tank head-honker. Malcy Duff draw.
Meanwhile: A lack of understanding proved that if you leave something broken long enough it’ll start working again and Usurper got born.
Minusculist practical pranks and barely there puns for sound keep us chortling like never since John Candy jammed with his dashboard.”