Sunday 21 April 2019

‘The Afternoon Sessions’

Sunday April 21st Doors open 2.00 pm

The Vortex
11 Gillett Square
London, N16 8AZ
tel: 020 7254 4097

Admission £8 / £6 concessions

Four world class duos showcasing the diversity and excellence found in free improvisation

Yoni Silver / Joshua Weitzel duo

Mixing music and action, sound and silence two performers who share an interest in the construction of music in real time.

Martin Speake / Alyson Cawley duo

A duo versed in jazz but who also take their music into to the exploration of world rhythms, they here bring these shared experiences to bear on free improvisation.

Steve Beresford / Pascal Marzan duo

A fine pairing of two Mopomoso favourites, they have worked together over a number of years and show a keen understanding of each other’s musicality enabling them to allow each other the opportunity to give full expression to the unfolding music.

Phil Minton / John Russell duo

This duo have been performing for many years and have appeared around the world presenting their dynamic and engaging music on a variety of platforms to much acclaim. A clip of a previous Vortex performance went viral reaching over 370,000 views on Facebook alone. Don’t miss them while you have the chance!


Sunday 17 March 2019

‘The Afternoon Sessions’
A continuing series presenting some of the best from the world of free improvisation
Doors open 2.00 pm Admission £8 / £6 concessions

The Vortex
11 Gillett Square?London, N16 8AZ?T: 020 7254 4097 (Mon-Fri 12-6pm)


Bertrand Denzler (tenor saxophone) / Phil Durrant (octave mandola) duo

Bertrand Denzler is a Swiss musician active in the fields of contemporary improvised music, new music and free jazz. He is based in France and Switzerland. As a tenor saxophonist, he has toured extensively in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East and the Far East with regular ensembles, dozens of ad-hoc groups, artists from other disciplines (dance, performance,  theatre, sculpture, poetry, video), as well as solo. He is or was a member of ensembles like Trio Sowari, Hubbub, Denzler-Gerbal-Dörner, The Seen, Onceim, Denzler-Grip-Johansson.
He has composed pieces for new music ensembles and musicians including Ensemble ReRe, CoÔ (Cordes de l’Onceim), Bondi-Denzler-D’Incise, Šalter Ensemble, CCP3, Félicie Bazelaire, Ensemble Hodos, Onceim and Horns, as well as for jazz groups like the Umlaut Big Band. He has also worked as a composer for Swiss filmmaker Christoph Kühn.
As an improviser, performer and/or composer, he has participated in over 70 published recordings, released by labels like Potlatch, Umlaut, Confront, Aussenraum, Remote Resonator, Mikroton, Trestle, DDS, Matchless, Creative Sources, Ambiances Magnétiques, Leo, For4Ears, Label Bleu or Unit.
He has published texts about improvisation and experimental music in collaboration with Jean-Luc Guionnet, as well as with Burkhard Beins and Phil Durrant. He also gives improvisation workshops.
Phil Durrant is a multi-instrumentalist improviser/composer/sound artist who currently performs solo and group concerts.
As a violinist (and member of the Butcher/Russell/Durrant trio), he was one of the key exponents of the “group voice approach” style of improvised music. In the late 90s, his trio with Radu Malfatti and Thomas Lehn represented a shift to a more “reductionist” approach.
Recently, he has been performing solo and duo concerts with Phil Maguire, Bill Thompson, Mark Sanders, Lee Patterson and drone concerts with Mark Wastell, Phi Julian, Rhrodri Davies, Bill Thompson, using an analogue/digital modular synthesizer system. As a mandolinist, he has been performing with guitarist Martin Vishnick and a quartet with Sue Lynch, Hutch Demouilpied and Dave Fowler.
Durrant still performs regularly with the acoustic/electronic group Trio Sowari (with Bertrand Denzler and Burkhard Beins) and Mark Wastell’s The SEEN.

Sylvia and I – Chris Dowding – trumpet, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn & electronics / Sylvia Hallett – violin, voice, bicycle wheel, saw & electronics duo

The duo Sylvia & I use overlapping loops and other effects to create a sonic dream-world, both haunting and beautiful, with excursions into the dark side. The music unfurls slowly, drawing the listener into an immersive sea of melodic fragments and dreamy soundscapes.
Over the last three years Sylvia & I have performed at improvised music nights and venues around the UK, such as Hundred Years Gallery, The Klinker, Flimflam, and in Norwich. They launched the album with a performance at Wymondham Music Festival, in South Norfolk, and
are touring Britain in 2019.
Chris Dowding is a moving force on the Norwich experimental music scene, and co-founded the Norfolk and Norwich Sonic Arts Collective. He performs regularly in the bands Natural Causes (recently reviewed by the Wire), Rude 2.0 (with the trombonist Annie Whitehead), and leads the Moonrise Trio. He has toured the UK with these bands, performing at Union Chapel, Dartington, and regularly at The Vortex Jazz Club. In 2010, he performed on flugelhorn for ‘Songs at a Year’s End’ – an Opera North production about the miner’s strike, composed by Hugh Nankivell, with words by Ian McMillan. Since moving back to Norfolk (where he grew up) in 2014, he has explored a wide range of projects, often with brass, including performing with The Brass Monkeys, the “arresting trumpet duo” some things, and was featured at BBC Radio 3’s Exposure event in Norwich with the “immersive textures” of hymn.
Sylvia Hallett is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. Her work grew out of the London Musicians Collective, where she played in a trio with Lol Coxhill and Susannah Ferrar, and was a regular contributor on NATO records with British Summer Time Ends. Recently she has collaborated with Evan Parker, David Toop, Anna Homler (The Many Moods of Bread and Shed CD), Clive Bell (The Geographers CD) Mike Adcock (Reduced CD), and regularly plays with the London Improvisers Orchestra. She also performs solo and has released 3 solo CDs on MASH and EMANEM. Site specific commissions include a semi-composed work which she performed for the Livio Felluga Wine Company on a hillside vineyard in Italy.
As a composer she has worked extensively with the choreographers Miranda Tufnell, Jacky Lansley, h2dance, Wonderful Beast Theatre Company, and has composed music for many BBC Radio dramas.

John Russell (guitar) / Roger Turner (drums, percussion) duo

A classic pairing of free improvised music the duo of Russell and Turner really should not be missed. Two musicians of the highest calibre who have played together for many years and have a remarkable empathy, playing an agile, lively music that engages at every twist and turn. A rare chance to hear them live in the UK.


Sunday 17 February 2019

‘The Afternoon Sessions’
a continuing series featuring some of the finest in free improvisation
Viv Corringham / Mia Zabelka
Lawrence Casserley / Alison Blunt / Hannah Marshall
Maggie Nicols / John Black
Emmanuelle Pellegrini / John Russell

The Vortex
11 Gillett Square,
London N16 8AZ tel:  020 7254 4097

Doors open 2.00 pm
Admission £8 / £6 concessions

Viv Corringham / Mia Zabelka duo

Viv Corringham (vocals) makes a welcome return to the Mopomoso stage, this time in the company of another of our ‘out of town regulars’ Austrian violinist / vocalist Mia Zabelka. Delighted to have them back in what will be their debut performance as a duo.

Alison Blunt / Lawrence Casserley / Hannah Marshall trio

A fine trio put together by leading electronic music practitioner Casserley and featuring two of the UK’s leading string players in Blunt on violin and Marshall on cello. A sonic bath for the ears!

Maggie Nicols / John Black duo

Vocalist Maggie Nicols needs no introduction. She has been at the heart of free-improvisation since the 1960s and is as vital today as ever. Many performers cite her as a nurturing influence on their art.

John Black (guitar) is an arch-improviser and musical journeyman who has been active in free-improvisation for many years, alongside his work in sacred and Spanish music traditions

Emmanmuelle Pellegrini / John Russell duo

E. Pellegrini (poetry, action, improvisation)
Emmanuelle Pellegrini’s performances are more or less poetic but for sure quite loud. She crosses the road of many improvisers, dancers, video artists or poets as well as visual artists. Her poetic work is mainly influenced by the sound poet Bernard Heidsieck. On stage she practices a form of improvised poetry, guided by listening and memories. Performed body is also important in her work focused on orality. She has made two crucial encounters : one with the french choreographer Emilie Borgo and the other with the italian percussionist Elisabeth Flunger with whom she has developed a number of different projects. More recently she has worked with Lee Patterson, Xavier Saïki or Fred Marty and has also played with Jean-Philippe Gross, Xavier Charles, Thomas Charmetant, Isabelle Duthoit…
In the East of France she curates Densités, International Festival of improvised music and performing arts.

Guitarist John Russell has been organising and playing concerts of freely improvised music since the early 1970s. He founded Mopomoso in 1991 and co-directs the Weekertoft label with Dublin based pianist Paul G Smyth. As well as being a member of a number of established groups he runs a developmental project Quaqua and this June will be visiting professor at The Musashino Art University in Tokyo, where he will lecture and run workshops on the subject of free improvisation.


Sunday 20 January 2019


The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ Phone: 020 7254 4097

Admission £8/£6 concs


Electric, acoustic, micro-tonal, plectrum, prepared, finger style, steel, nylon, hollow and solid body. Showcasing a number of approaches to the instrument Mopomoso starts the New Year with an all guitar special featuring Matthew Grigg, Mark Hewins, Ross Lambert, Pascal Marzan, John Russell, Dave Tucker, Alex Ward and Joshua Weitzel. ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got a string!’


Sunday 16 December 2018

The Vortex
11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
tel 020 7254 4097

Doors open 2.00 pm Admission £8 / £6
Mopomoso presents our end of year
Christmas Party

Every year Mopomoso hosts a variety of musicians from across the free improvised music scene to come and play in a series of five to ten minute cameo sets. It is a wonderful way to catch up with old favourites and to check out new players in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. As well as the music there will be refreshments and a raffle. You too are welcome to bring some food to share.
Let’s celebrate another good year of making great music together.

Of course there will be some silly stuff as well!
Here’s Steve Beresford, Kay Grant, John Russell and Roger Turner playing toy laptops at our party in 2007


Sunday 18 November 2018

DOORS OPEN 2. 00 pm
Admission £8 / £6 concessions
Mopomoso presents
The Afternoon Sessions
The Vortex
11 Gillett Square?London, N16 8AZ?
T: 020 7254 4097
Some of the finest from the world of free improvisation

November’s concert in the Mopomoso Afternoon Sessions series highlights the music of the duo with five contrasting sets from ten musicians who have each developed their own personal approach to playing. An engaging mixture of the electric and the acoustic, music doesn’t get ‘liver’ or more lively than this!

Tom Jackson (clarinet) Martin Hackett (synthesiser) duo

Blanca Regina (voice and electronics) Dave Tucker (piano and devices) duo

Matt Hutchinson (piano) Chris Burn (trumpet) duo

Kay Grant (voice) Alex Ward (clarinet) duo

Niklas Fite (guitar) John Russell (guitar) duo

Niklas photo Christina Marx John by Peter Gannushkin


Sunday 21 October 2018

Sunday October 21st Doors 2.00 pm
Admission £8 / £6 concessions
The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
tel: 020 7254 4097

Welcoming in the Winter season with a stunning international line up of four sets, featuring some of the finest music from the world of free improvisation from around the world.

Alex Maguire (piano) / Simon Picard (sax) duo

A deeply rooted sense of harmony and melody are tightly locked into the improvisations from this respected and much loved duo. Delighted to have them on a return visit to Mopomoso.

Yoko Miura (piano) / Stefan Keune (sax) / Mia Zabelka (violin) trio

We play host to a first time meeting for this international trio coming here from Germany, Japan and Austria.The music promises to move between the delicate use of space and a dense, visceral expressionism

Axel Dörner (trumpet) / Sture Erikson (sax) / John Edwrads (bass) / Raymond Strid (drums) quartet

“Should be recognized without qualifictions as an identifying archetype of top- flight improvisation”, “A true Northern European super group” – Ken Waxman, Jazz Weekly on The Electrics Jazz, free jazz, improv and contemporary music in a melting pot, a highly original musical profile created by four internationally acknowledged improvisers regular bassist Joe Williamson is replaced for this gig only by John Edwards.

Isadora Edwards (cello) / John Russell (guitar) duo

Fiery and spirited cellist arrives from Chile to play with renowned guitarist Russell. We gratefully acknowledge help and support from the Chilean Ministry of Culture for this concert.


Sunday 16 September 2018

presenting ‘The Afternoon Sessions’

a continuing series featuring some of the finest from the world of free improvisation

Sunday September 16th Doors open 2.00 pm
The Vortex
11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
020 7254 4097
Admission £8 / £6 concessions


PHIL DURRANT (mandolin) / MARTIN VISHNICK (guitar) duo

Mandolin and guitar are a traditional pairing in other musical fields but virtually unknown in the world of free improvisation so this pairing is quite a treat. The duo first met at the Skronk April event in 2017 and it became rapidly apparent that they shared common interests in extended techniques and were influenced by electronic music. They have have since become a fixture, performing at Flim Flam, Hundred Years Gallery, The Horse @Iklectik, SkronkFest and as part of larger groups at Mopomoso and Arch1. Poised and intricate playing from two dedicated and talented musicians.

CATH ROBERTS (sax) / ALEX WARD (clarinet-guitar) duo

World class clarinet player Alex Ward is joined by Sloth Racket and Lume luminary Cath Roberts on baritone saxophone for a set that should be full of fireworks. Alex will also be playing electric guitar so we can expect a broad sonic canvas with many twists and turns.


‘LUST ROLLERS’ – MARK BROWNE (sax and collected objects) / Dan Gregory (junk- guitar remnants) plus special guest IAN MCGOWAN (trumpet-guitar) trio

Priding themselves on once being described as a meeting between the dead Franz Liszt and the Dadaists, Lust Rollers look to provide a head on collision between the virtuosic and the openly inept. Improvised Music utilising elements of absurd theatre, this is a visual group whose instrumentation encompasses large gongs, glass, bones and homemade instruments exemplifying an overtly domestic nature. For this concert they are joined by the extraordinary talent of Ian MacGowan on trumpet and guitar

Three very different sets illustrating some of the constant delights to be found in free improvisation. Do come and give your ears a treat!


Sunday Monday Tuesday 19 20 21 August 2018

Fête Quaqua 2018
19th – 20th – 21st August

an annual gathering of free improvising musicians
this year featuring

Mark Browne (sax / percussion)
Phil Durrant (mandolin / electronics)
Max Eastley (self made instruments)
Sylvia Hallett (violin / electronics)
Matt Hutchinson (piano / electronics)
Paul Jolly (sax / clarinet)
Dominic Lash (bass)
Martin Mayes (french horn)
Phil Minton (voice)
Rachel Musson (sax)
Steve Noble (drums)
John Russell (guitar)
Chun-Ting Wang (bass)
Alex Ward (clarinet / guitar)
Stephen Ying (turntables)

Three concerts at The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ tel:020 7254 4097
Sunday 19th 2.00 pm Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st 8.00 pm Admission £8 / £6 concessions
Three day pass £20 / £15 concession

NB Phil Minton will not be appearing in the Sunday concert and Martin Mayes will not be appearing in the Tuesday concert. All the other performers will be taking part in all three performances.

Put together each year by guitarist John Russell Fête Quaqua aims for old friends to get together and meet new ones in an atmosphere of in the moment, never to be repeated, musical invention. Free improvisation is unique in that the audience and musicians discover the music at the same time and this makes for a genuine engagement with the creative process.
The musicians taking part this year come from a mix of backgrounds and experiences which should lead to some very exciting exchanges. Each concert starts and finishes with a short piece by the full ensemble and the interim programme comprises changing combinations of musicians that are different for each event.
No two concerts will be the same in this never to be repeated event. Miss it and you have missed it!



Sunday 15 July 2018

As part of its ‘Afternoon Sessions’ Mopomoso presents three contrasting duos of freely improvised music.

Sunday July 15 Doors open 2.00 pm
Admission £8 / £6 concessions

The Vortex,
11 Gillett Square,
London N16 8AZ
020 7254 4097

Paul Pignon (clarinet, bass clarinet) / Richard Sanderson (amplified melodeon) duo

Based in Sweden, Paul Pignon has been involved with improvised music since the 1960s. He is joined by Linear Obsessional founder and head man Richard Sanderson.

Noel Meek (electronics) / Alan Wilkinson (sax) duo

New Zealander Noel Meek brings his special blend of electronics to bear on the colossal saxophone of Flim Flam boss Alan Wilkinson.

Johnny Lapio (trumpet) / John Russell guitar) duo

Italian trumpeter Johnny Lapio arrives for a debut duo with Mopomoso founder John Russell

Come and sample the delights of a music unlike any other in that the audience share the discovery of the music at the same time as the musicians themselves. A truly direct listening experience!

Paul Pignon has received travel support from  The Swedish Arts Grants Committee