Mike Cooper – John Cabot University

On Thursday 19 March at 5-7pm, Mike Cooper, an internationally renowned experimental musician, will give a presentation at John Cabot University about his long career as an artistic explorer. The event What Am I Doing Hear? is curated by Professor William Pettit with an introduction by Professor Peter Sarram and will take place at the Fiorentini art studio.

For the past 45 years, Mike Cooper has been an international artistic explorer constantly pushing the boundaries. He plays lap steel guitar and sings, he is an improviser and composer, song-maker, a visual and installation artist; film and video maker and radio arts producer. Initially a folk-blues guitarist he is as responsible as anyone else–and more so than many–for ushering in the acoustic blues boom in the U.K. in the mid ’60s. He is also a film and video maker. For the past 20 years he has composed and performed Live Music For Classic and Contemporary Silent Film screenings worldwide and has given workshops at universities and colleges on scoring music for film and video, as well as improvisation and songwriting.

“There are islands that have been believed to exist, islands which have appeared on maps and have even had expeditions mounted to locate or conquer them, yet they have still evaded our observation. Some are eventually established as imaginary; daemonic. Others are seen only on old maps and charts, disappearing in more modern depictions, dismissed as mistakes. Others still are unsuccessfully sought for decades, and dismissed as fanciful or mythic, and then embarrassingly found in plain view, under another, more familiar name. Mike Cooper is perhaps one of these islands. Born in England in 1942, his 40-plus years of constant re-invention, experimentation and quiet genius in a myriad of musical styles has evaded categorization, perhaps as a side-effect of having been almost completely ignored by history. Encompassing Blues, Folk, Roots music, Electronica, Jazz, Exotica / Lounge, Dance, Noise, Modern Composition or Improvisation (amongst others), Cooper’s expansive remit blasts orthodox categorization into the befuddled librarian’s realm where it belongs.”

Phantom Islands by Tam Patton

Fiorentini Art Studio – Largo dei Fiorentini 1, Rome
19 March 2015 at 5-7pm