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Soundings Part Two

9 July 2023
Soundings Part 2 | An evening of free-form experimental electronics.
About this event

Fourth Portal, along with sound artist in residence, Richard Sanderson, presented an evening of exploration of live contemporary electronic music in the extraordinary and resonant space of St Andrew's Arts Centre in Gravesend - a former seamans' chapel on the waterfront.

Featured set from Kamura Obscura, Plaid Matter and sourmilk

Kamura Obscura
Kamura Obscura explores vocal improvisation with electronics, experimental composition with noise, viola, and lyrical yet surreal singing.  One of Tokyo's most emotive and inventive singers, part of Japan’s 80s women’s liberation movement, Atsuko founded the first Japanese feminist rock band, Mizutama Shobodan, also known as Polkadot Fire Brigade.

As agitprop feminist pioneers. Mizutama Shobodan toured Japan extensively and released two albums, the second of which, Manten ni Akai Hanabira (Red Petals in the Sky) was produced by Fred Frith.

She also performed with Tenko at the International Women's Music Festival in Montreal in 1988 as the female vocal duo Honeymoons, which went on to tour the US. The Honeymoons also performed with seminal New York improvisers, Tom Cora and John Zorn. Their album "Laughing Myth", produced by Kenichi Takeda, was released in 1982.

As a member of the improvisation group, "Uzo Muzo", she performed at Strasbourg's Musica Festival in 1987.  Atsuko joined Kazuko Hohki’s UK-based Japanese pop group Frank Chickens in 1988 and toured Europe, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USSR and Japan.

In 2002 she began working with Robert Storey and a new ensemble called I am A Kamura. Alongside this project, she performed with the Anglo-Japanese jazz progressive rock band, Setsubun Bean Unit at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona in 2007.

Her latest project, Kamura Obscura, released the albums Melt, Socrates' Garden and Speleology. Kamura Obscura's latest album "4 AM Diary" came out in December 2021.

Atsuko performed as a traditional Benshi narrator alongside a live score by Sinestro Home Video at the Flat Pack Film Festival in 2019.
Kamura Obscura also supported the Nightingales' sold-out UK tour in the autumn of 2021.

​Plaid Matter
Gravesend based Plaid Matter is the project of Matt Donald - modular electronics. A wondrous and immersive journey into sound.

A 360 video of Matt Donnell's debut as Plaid Matter, followed by a very brief snippet of Kamura Obscura. "Sorry battery ran out' wrote Matt on YouTube

Ollie - Second of Fourth Reduxx

Medway musician Andrew Kesbey plays modular synths and analogue electronic equipment. He is also a former musician, DJ, promoter and co-owner of the record label, Ombrelle Concrète, which has released music from artists from several countries, including the UK, France, Portugal and Canada.

sourmik was started by Andrew in 2019 as an outlet for the creative possibilities offered by the electronic hardware he was exploring. Initially, the focus of the project was on dark ambient drones, however Andrew has since expanded the melodic and rhythmic palette of sourmilk, particularly in the area of modular synthesis.
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