Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

MYSTIC TENOR: Celebrating Albert Ayler

13/07/2016 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

DIY Space for London & Tome Records host an evening to commemorate what would have been Albert Ayler’s 80th Birthday. Come celebrate the life of this radical pioneer through records, screenings & performances.
Ayler’s sound has been described as akin to “an electric saw buzzing” and “the ugliest sound yet to emerge from the avant garde”. Consistently accused of not being able to play his instrument, he radically reshaped perception of jazz saxophone and jazz improvisation.
This event includes a special screening of Michael Snow’s New York Eye and Ear Control on 16mm, Kasper Collin’s moving documentary portrait My Name is Albert Ayler and a performance of Ayler’s work by Custodians of the Realm (Adrian Northover – saxes/electronics, Adam Bohman -amplified objects + strings & Sue Lynch -tenor sax).

New York Eye and Ear Control (Michael Snow, 1964, Canada, 34mins)

Featuring a legendary free jazz score by Albert Ayler and Don Cherry, this rarely-screened landmark of the North American avant-garde incorporates Michael Snow’s “walking woman” works, in which an instantly recognizable flat sculpture, often seen in silhouette, is placed in a variety of real-world situations. was pivotal in the evolution of free jazz. The soundtrack is a seminal record of the Free Jazz canon conceived by Ayler and realised with an all-star ensemble of improvisers who defined the movement.


My Name is Albert Ayler 

(Kasper Collin, 2006, Sweden, 79mins)

The prophetic free jazz saxophonist, who today is seen as one of the most important innovators in jazz, was obsessed with his radical music and by the thought that people one day would understand it. In 1962 Ayler recorded his first album in Sweden. Eight years later he was found dead in New York’s East River, aged 34.

This documentary follows the trail of Ayler from his native town of Cleveland by way of Sweden to New York, meeting family, friends and close colleagues. Ayler himself guides us with his voice and music. Seven years in the making, the film includes newly discovered footage of Ayler and band.

“By turns illuminating and heartbreaking, Collin’s film documents Ayler’s formative period in Sweden before he returned to the USA to fire up free jazz amid frighteningly impoverished conditions … completely alters the way you hear and feel the music.”  The Wire

Tickets available HERE


DIY Space for London
96-102 Ormside St
London, SE15 1TF United Kingdom
+ Google Map