Friday, 12 October 2012

Cafe Oto

I have to confess to not having heard of Cafe Oto, and then it cropped up twice. First as a venue for a recent performance of the Cage Song Books and now as a result of them getting the inaugural Genesis prize. The cafe is based in Dalston and acts as a cafe during the day, then in the evenings host an eclectic programme of adventurous live music. Their website says that they were created in 2008 with the aim of providing a home for creative music that lives outside the mainstream. Their programme for the next month is eclectic and well worth exploring.

Hamish Dunbar, Cafe Oto's founder, has introduced an Associated Artists Programme, and it is this venture which has won the Genesis Prize, which recognises outstanding mentors of young artistic talent. The idea of the programme is that Dunbar and colleagues at Cafe Oto will work with the musicians to provide a platform do present new work, develop ideas and initiate collaborations.

Dunbar said that of Cafe Oto and their Associated Artists Programme that 'We wanted to create a home for a community of musicians to meet; collaborate, talk, listen and play in. In doing so we hoped to sustain an important culture and discourse around music'.

The 2012-13 Associated Artists are quite a varied group. Violinist Angharad Davies extends the sound possibilities of the instrument; Rie Nakajima, a sound artist working in installation and performance; Tom James Scott, composer, instrumentalist and improviser; Guillaume Viltard, a double bassist from London's improvised music scene and Alex Ward, composer/improviser and described as one of the UK's most unpredictable players!

The Genesis Prize is awarded by the Genesis Foundation which is a UK based charity established by John Studzinski in 2001; the prize is biennial and was initiated to mark the Charity's first ten years.

For more information about Cafe Oto, visit their website or even better visit the Cafe in person.


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