Adventurous music and things

1/04/2023 – 19:30
Districtshuis Harmonie




Doors: 19:30
Concert: 20:00


Districtshuis Harmonie
Route directions

Oorstof and Klankhaven, in collaboration with the District of Antwerp and Cultuur 2018, are presenting a special evening of concerts featuring local and international musicians from the improvised music scene. The concerts will be held at the majestic house of district Harmonie. The event will feature two concerts, a rare duo performance by saxophonist John Butcher and trumpet player Liz Allbee, followed by Sheldon Siegel, a cult band from Antwerp consisting of Gerard Herman, Gino Coomans, and Erik Heestermans. The evening is likely to include interactions between these experienced improvisers …


After a first duo concert in San Francisco in 2009 and several collaborations in small ensembles, the notable improvisors Liz Allbee and John Butcher are performing as a duo in Antwerp for the second time ever. Reviews of their first duo performance noted: ‘enchanting interplay’ and a ‘fantastic auditory game of cat and mouse’. We therefore expect nothing less from this impressive duo.

The English reed player John Butcher is known for the integration of time and space in his performance. His music is a cross between improvisation, own compositions, multitracking, experiments with feedback and extreme acoustics. Since the early 1980s he has collaborated with hundreds of artists including Derek Bailey, Eddie Prévost, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Okkyung Lee, Matthew Shipp, Keiji Haino and Joe McPhee.

The American Liz Allbee is a prominent player in the thriving improv scene of Berlin where she lives. She has played with renowned artists such as Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, Rova Saxophone Quartet, members of Sun City Girls and Caroliner and alternately uses a self-designed quadraphonic trumpet, electronics, trumpet and voice in her performances. 


Since 2008 Gerard Herman, Gino Coomans and Erik Heestermans have been roaming on the path of improvised music under the name of Sheldon Siegel. As a trio they maintain a strict ‘no rehearsal regime’, and they remain faithful to the trio line-up of wind instruments, cello and drums. Both their instrumentation and their sound have expanded and evolved over the years: from deconstructed pseudo-free jazz to the more delicate, ephemeral and abstract. They performed in many different contexts, including a memorable concert in Brussels in collaboration with the legendary reed player Roscoe Mitchell (The Art Ensemble of Chicago). Since 2021, they only play one concert a year, which results in the musical equivalent of a chance meeting – with only one shared ambition: to dress up silence, by inviting sound in.

Gerard Herman plays various wind instruments, is a graphic artist, draftsman, publisher, reader, singer, cyclist, filmmaker or poet. His radically enigmatic work is bold and elegant, childish and clever. He has collaborated with artists such as Limpe Fuchs and Joachim Badenhorst and released the LP ‘Trommels’ in duo with Kris Vanderstraeten for the Dropa Disc label in 2016 – a live recording in the Oorstof series.

Cellist Gino Coomans is an improvisor who’s shared the stage with Dave Rempis, Kaja Draksler and Seppe Gebruers, among others. He is also part of the extraordinary electro-acoustic trio Grid Ravage – with drummer Louis Evrard (Ottla, Pruillip) and electronic manipulator Yves De Mey – which debuted in 2022 with a noted album for Dropa Disc.

Drummer Erik Heestermans worked as an improvisor with bands as the Rova Saxophone Quartet or in duo with drummer Jakob Warmenbol (Don Kapot) and reed player Martin Küchen (Angles). He recently released a superb solo album for the Brussels based HUIS label and records and tours with renowned bands and artists such as Steve Gunn, Aksak Maboul and Ignatz & De Stervende Honden.


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