The Twentieth Anniversary London Improvisers Orchestra
The London Improvisers Orchestra started playing monthly gigs in the latter part of 1998, at the Red Rose Club in Finsbury Park. In December 2018, after twenty years of monthly performances of large-group free and conducted/devised improvisation, the LIO celebrated its anniversary with three days of workshops, open rehearsals and concerts at Dalston’s Cafe Oto, inviting back some of the remarkable performers who have contributed so much to the group’s sound and ideas over the years. See below for details of those performances; watch this space for information about a live CD release; upcoming concerts by the LIO (first Sunday of each month) here.

Gig review here

The 20th Anniversary LIO is supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

           Improvisation permeates our existence, surfacing in most of our behaviour and interactions: conversation, relationships, work and the market place; in art, in spirituality … and in conflicts, with their unpredictability and IEDs.
Even thinking – taking into account our inner world and our surroundings, both ever-changing, and then trying to reconcile these in a way that creates some meaning and does violence to neither – contains a large serving of improvisation.
       There are different degrees of improvisation. It can be a means to an end, one instrument or tactic among many, used to attain a goal that is NOT improvised, but pre-planned (in politics or business, for example). Or, as often in music or social interaction, it can unspool according to explicit or tacit rules and traditions – indeed, the tendency of improvisation is always to slide from novel responses towards the customary. The process that is improvisation can also be an end in itself.
It is probably the case that the larger the group involved, the more difficult it is to create a collective improvisation that is effective and allows space for everyone. The London Improvisers Orchestra has been tackling this challenge by rehearsing and performing in London once a month for the past twenty years, exploring free, conducted and devised large-group improvisations. For these anniversary events we have brought together a stellar line-up of local and international musicians and composer/conductors who have played with the LIO at different times over the past twenty years.

Susan Alcorn (USA, pedal steel guitar) 
Knut Aufermann (Germany, electronics; composer)
Steve Beresford (piano; composer)
Alison Blunt (violin; composer)
Adam Bohman (objects)
Sarah Gail Brand (trombone)
John Butcher (saxophones)
Paloma Carrasco-López (cello)
John Edwards (double bass)
Susanna Ferrar (violin)
Jaques Foschia (clarinets)
Sylvia Hallett (violin)
Charlotte Hug (Switzerland, viola/voice; composer)
Charlotte Keeffe (trumpet)
Hyelim Kim (S. Korea/UK, taegum)
Julie Kjaer  (Denmark, saxophone/clarinet/flute)
Caroline Kraabel (alto sax/voice; composer)
Hannah Marshall (cello)
Neil Metcalfe (flute)
Louis Moholo (South Africa, percussion)
Maggie Nicols (voice; composer)
Adrian Northover (soprano sax)
Sonia Paço-Rocchia (Canada, bassoon; composer)
Orphy Robinson (percussion; composer)
Rowland Sutherland (flutes)
Pat Thomas (keyboards; composer) MONDAY ONLY
Dave Tucker (electric bass or guitar; composer)
Phil Wachsmann (violin/viola; composer)
Jackie Walduck (vibes)
Sarah Washington (Germany, electronics)
Annie Whitehead (trombone)
Jason Yarde (saxophones; composer)