Professor David Toop


Professor David Toop is a composer/musician, author and curator active in many fields of music, writing and listening practice, particularly improvisation. Currently co-curator of Sculpture events with artist Rie Nakajima, he has appeared on Top of the Pops, exhibited sound installations internationally, and worked with artists including John Latham, John Zorn, Evan Parker, Bob Cobbing, Derek Bailey, Ivor Cutler, Akio Suzuki, Elaine Mitchener, Lore Lixenberg, Alasdair Roberts, Luke Fowler, Henry Grimes, Max Eastley and Camille Norment. He has published five books - Rap Attack, Ocean of Sound, Exotica, Haunted Weather and Sinister Resonance - released nine solo albums, including Screen Ceremonies, Black Chamber and Sound Body, and written essays for many books, journals, newspapers and magazines. Exhibitions he has curated include Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery, London, Playing John Cage at Arnolfini, Bristol, Blow Up at Flat-Time House, London, and sound curation for Radical Fashion at the V&A. His opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed in Aldeburgh in 2012. Having completed the first volume of his sixth book - Into the Maelstrom: Improvisation, Music and the Dream of Freedom (publication by Bloomsbury in 2016) - he is now working on the second. His most recent record release is Lost Shadows: In Defence of the Soul, recordings of Yanomami shamanism, songs and ritual made in 1978. Since 2013 he has lectured and performed in Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Okinawa, Shanghai, Moscow, Brisbane, Perth, Oslo, Bergen, Porto, Athens, Singapore and Venice. He is UAL Chair of Audio Culture and Improvisation.