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  • Emma Williams

Improvising at Cafe Oto - home to creative new music


I don't think I have ever been so close to an audience as I found myself in Apartment House's performances at Cafe Oto. I found the proximity disconcerting but also engaging unlike the formality or distance of a concert hall. So intimate, it was like sitting around a table for dinner.

Photo courtesy of Fabio Lugaro (@fabiolug)

It was fabulous to join contemporary ensemble Apartment House for their residency at London's hip Cafe Oto venue with vocalist Elaine Mitchener, performing music by Julius Eastman. Eastman's music combines minimalist processes with pop influences together with an element of improvisation. In the case of Eastman's piece Femenine, a short refrain of a few bars becomes the basis of a full hour's improvisation.


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