Preview: London Musicians' Collective 15th Annual Festival, ICA London

Expect the unexpected at the ICA
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The Independent Culture

This is the second year that Benedict Drew, producer for the London Musicians' Collective (LMC) - an educational music charity that promotes experimental music - is programming the annual festival, now in its 15th year.

How difficult is it for experimental music to find a place in the mainstream? "Although there's an incredible groundswell of activity internationally - including Japanese turntablist Otomo Yoshihide and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore - our organisation is one of the few in London that has been promoting new music for such a long time, since 1976, so these musicians can perform at venues such as the ICA, rather than small-door money gigs. We raise the game a bit," says Drew.

Highlights this year include Yoshihide's UK premiere of his ensemble piece Anode, scored for four drummers and electronics. In addition, the sound artist Roel Meelkop will perform on his laptop; the British saxophonist Tom Chant will jam with the Lebanese guitarist Sharif Sehnaoui; and the French master Bernard Parmegiani - "he has been making electronic music since the Fifties" will showcase a new multi-channel composition.

The composer of Fluxus, Ben Patterson, is also to collaborate with tabletop guitarist Keith Rowe. Elsewhere, the US percussionist Tim Barnes and the Japanese wooden flute player Ishikawa Ko will improvise together. Instrument-maker Andrea Neumann will give a rare live performance, playing the strings inside a piano; and the Greek duo Texturizer will perform an audio-visual show.

Also appearing are the sound artist Olivia Block and Tomas Korber, the US drummer Chris Corsano and the British double bassist John Edwards.

So what does Drew classify as experimental music? "It can include improvised and electronic music, with a sense of discovery, that falls outside mainstream definitions," says Drew. "There is enough variation in the music at this festival for all sorts of people to find something they like."

15 to 17 December (020-7930 3647; www.ica.org.uk)

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