6 Dec 2016 20:00
Iva Bittova & Abraham Brody @ Vortex
Musicians Iva Bittová and Abraham Brody come from different traditions but with the same feeling and raw energy for performance. Improvisation and spontaneity play a large part in their solo work, as well as their collaborations, and together at Vortex in addition to their solo sets, they will perform a set of live duo improvisations in the spur of the moment, exploring all the possibilities and dimensions of the violin and voice.
Iva Bittová is a Czech avant-garde violinist, singer, and composer. She began her career as an actress in the mid-1970s, appearing in several Czech feature films, but switched to playing violin and singing in the early 1980s. She started recording in 1986 and by 1990 her unique vocal and instrumental technique gained her international recognition. Since then, she has performed regularly throughout Europe, the United States and Japan, and has released over eight solo albums.
Bittová's music is a blend of rock and East European music which she describes as "my own personal folk music". Her violin playing mixes different techniques, including playing the strings with various objects and plucking them like a banjo. Her vocal utterances range from traditional singing to chirping, cackling and deep throat noises. She puts her whole body into her performances, drawing on her theatrical skills.
„What’s important is total silence and an absolutely positive atmosphere. The violin accompanies me all my life, difficult technical pieces enable to gaining discipline, confidence, self–control, and a healthy measure of doubt. The violin is a mirror reflecting my dreams and imagination.“
London based classically trained american violinist Abraham Brody explores in depth the participation of the audience in live performance by bringing the violin into the genre of performance art. Most recently he was invited by Marina Abramović to Switzerland to perform a 6-hour version of his piece ‘The Violinist is Present’. His innovative compositions deriving from Lithuanian and Ukrainian family background reinvent and rework rye-reaping chants, midsummer songs, and rain invocations. Combining violin, loop pedals, traditional instruments his powerful voice draws us to his enticing sound world.
„..a fine musician […] vibrant colours with plenty of virtuosity […] An unexpected and arresting experience.“ - Michael Church, Review, the Independent, February 2015
Booking: 020 7254 4097
Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
6 Dec 2016 20:00
Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event