Audrey Chen and Phil Minton: Voices

Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

Audrey Chen – Voice
Phil Minton – Voice

Berlin-based vocalist + cellist Audrey Chen and her collaborator Phil Minton plumb the depths of the most inherent and bodily instrument — the voice — producing improvisations are fearless, fragile, hungry, passionate, riotous, ululating and animalistic, yet ultimately human. Focusing primarily on the interplay between the uttered sounds of the mouth and vocal chords, the duo will express, pronounce, and intensely articulate (in their fashion) the many nuanced shades of their individual and collaborative conditions. Audrey Chen and Phil Minton have been performing as a duo for more than a decade with concerts and tours across Europe, China, Argentina and Brazil. Their duo album, By the Stream, was released by SUBROSA in 2013.

Over the past 15 years, Audrey Chen has focused predominantly on her solo work, joining together the extended and inherent vocabularies of the cello, voice, and analog electronics. In the last few years, she has shifted back towards the exploration of the voice as a primary instrument, delving even more deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. She derives her sound material in continuous process, championing the “in-between” and over looked. Regardless of instrument, her mode of experimentation touches both the abstractly beautiful and the aggressively unsettling, creating a kind of curiously imagined architecture, non-prosaic song or ritual that reaches beyond gravity or language.

Aside from her solo work, Chen’s recent projects include her long-running voices duo with London-based artist Phil Minton and duos with NYC abstract turntablist Maria Chavez, BEAM SPLITTER, Norwegian trombonist Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø, the “romantic noise duo” AFTERBURNER with Doron Sadja (electronics / light projections), modular synth player, Richard Scott, and a collaborative project with German conceptual artist John Bock. Her most recent album releases include a quartet LP with Nate Wooley, C. Spencer Yeh, and Todd Carter on Monotype (Warsaw), and a duo record with Phil Minton on Subrosa (Brussels). In 2017, she released albums with Richard Scott on Sound Anatomy (Berlin) and Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø on Corvo Records (Berlin). Her upcoming new solo LP will be released on Karl Records (Berlin) in 2018. Chen has performed across Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and the United States. She relocated from Baltimore to Berlin in 2011 and maintains an active international touring schedule. David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet has described her work as “fascinating and gripping” and “possessing something extremely vital and vivid.” 

Phil Minton comes from Torquay in the UK. He played trumpet and sang with the Mike Westbrook Band in the early 1960s, then in dance and rock bands in Europe for the latter part of the decade. He returned to England in 1971, rejoining Westbrook, and was involved in many of his projects until the mid 1980s. For most of the past forty years, Minton has been working as a improvising singer in groups, orchestras and situations.  He has a quartet with Veryan Weston, Roger Turner, and John Butcher, and ongoing duos with all the above. Recently, after a long break, he has been involved in several of American composer Bob Ostertag’s projects. Since the eighties, his Feral Choir, where he voice-conducts workshops and concerts for Anyone Who Wants to Sing, has performed in over twenty countries.