Bokkusu is an improvising sound/performance ensemble, based in Sheffield, UK, brought together in 2018 by percussionist Charlie Collins.
CHARLIE COLLINS waterphone & percussion
HELEN PAPPIOANOU baritone saxophone
LYN HODNETT voice & objects
BEATRIX WARD-FERNANDEZ violin
DEREK SAW trumpets & flugelhorn
CHARLIE COLLINS is a creative percussionist, free polyrhythmic drummer, and sound artist, based in Sheffield, UK. His work continues to explore the boundaries between pure sound and rhythm, frequently incorporating metal percussion and free improvisation. During the 1970s he was involved in the nascent “Industrial” scene, recording for cult labels Industrial, Fetish, and Doublevision, a period soon followed by collaboration with many of the pioneers of free improvisation.
He has received a number of awards for live performance and composition, worked in dance and theatre, taught improvisation at Nottingham Trent University, and toured a live soundtrack to Teinosuke Kinugasa’s silent 1920s masterpiece “A Page Of Madness”.
His lifelong interest in East Asian percussion and rhythm technique is displayed in current work with komungo player Eun-Jung Kim, pianist Yoko Miura, visual artist Bongsu Park, composer Ryoko Akama, vocalist Ami Yamasaki, and Butoh dancers Tsukasa Kamidate and Mushimaru Fujieda.
He is one of a handful of musicians to have played both Derek Bailey’s Company Week and Top Of The Pops.
HELEN PAPIOANNOUis a baritone/alto saxophonist and composer based in Sheffield, UK, who also improvises. She has a fascination with games and strategies for group interaction, and her current solo work intertwines baritone sax, analogue synthesisers and sequenced beats in tides of pulses, drones, and hockets. Her compositions have been performed by Workers Union Ensemble, Ensemble neoN, Nieuw Ensemble, Galvanize Ensemble, Cobalt Duo, Michael Speers/Renzo Spiteri, LSO and Northern Sinfonia, while she has also collaborated with KURO, Valentina Magaletti, Damo Suzuki, Eugene Chadbourne and Hannabiell Sanders. Garlic Hug, her duo with Alesandro Altavilla, combines found tapes and field recordings, skronky sax/synth duets, splintered beats, and interrupted drones.
LYN HODNETT is a visual artist working in the fields of painting and printmaking, where story, myth, and female iconography are important influences in her work.She approaches sound performance and visual composition with the same enthusiasm, regarding painting as a combination of mark-making, a personal and universal symbol, and ‘music’ as a vast landscape of sound textures and aural suggestions. There is a strong suggestion of narrative but the ‘story’ and ‘place’ are shadowy and uncertain, open to interpretation.
‘’I work with the image or sound until I feel a balance between the considered and the chaotic.”
An associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University and teacher at Thomas Rotherham College, she also works freelance delivering visual art workshops in galleries and art institutions.
BEATRIX WARD-FERNANDEZ was born in London, raised in Cadiz, and began classical violin training upon her relocation to Sheffield, UK. A lasting interest in experimental and improvised music led to her adoption of the theremin, while the development of new techniques to meet with the demands of these musics remains her abiding interest. Her trio has performed at the international theremin symposium "Hands Off", while her 2009 audio installation, “Castillo de Luna “ (for theremin & waterphone) was exhibited at the AC Institute in New York.
She has performed with a number of internationally recognised artists, including Gino Robair, Okkyung Lee, Simon H. Fell, Jez riley French, Ryoko Akama, Mick Beck, Jim Denley, Pat Thomas, and Chris Corsano. Her acclaimed album “Trio” was released in 2008, and “View From The East”, a duet composition performed alongside percussionist Charlie Collins, in 2010. Her music has been released on Discus, Found Property, Singing Knives, and Classwar Karaoke.
DEREK SAW has worked in free improvisation and at the cutting edges of jazz since his move to Sheffield, UK. He was a member of legendary electric free/jazz group Bass Tone Trap, and in the mid eighties co-founded the respected Hornweb quartet, while also organising his own Rhythm Division, which included drummer Paul Hession. More recently he has worked with thereminist Beatrix Ward-Fernandez on her Trio project, and collaborated with internationally acclaimed artists Sonny Simmons, Gino Robair, Linda Sharrock, Anton Mobin, Yoko Miura, and Eun-Jung Kim.