Mon 22 Jun – Oxford Improvisers ‘Invented Freedoms’

Oxford Improvisers ‘Invented Freedoms’

Not the kind of people to let a global pandemic get in the way of making music together the Oxford Improvisers have been meeting weekly throughout the lock-down via the wonder that is video-conferencing. It’s taken some getting used to but we’re now feeling pretty at home in our new venue which has allowed us to come together not only from the Oxford area but also with members from afar as Brasília, Dubai, Zurich, Radnorshire and even Chipping Norton!

If you’re missing your fix of live improvised music join us for our very first live online broadcast on Monday 22 June, 8.30pm – 9pm (British Summer Time) free via our Youtube Channel

Live Youtube Broadcast 8:30pm BST

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LawrenceCasserleyAssorted sounders
ChrisDammersKeyboards & more
KésiaDecotéPiano & toy piano
JillElliottViolin / viola
DanGorenTrumpet / flugelhorn
MartinHackettKorg MS10
SuzanneHealeyPercussion & toys
GeroKempfDouble Bass
NiniSakhriPercussion & vocals
ChrisStubbsTreated esoteric percussion
ClareWoodhamBass clarinet and voice

Sun 22 December – ‘Light, leve, luz’. Concert at The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

photo: Tiago Zortea

In Portuguese (my mother tongue), there are two different words for light; Leve meaning weightlessness and Luz meaning luminosity. In this programme, I am looking into exploring light in musical terms, referring to aspects of touch, state of being and luminosity .

The initial spark for this idea came when I was practicing Ruth Crawford’s Prelude n. 8 – Leggiero, and Schoenberg’s Little Piece Op. 19 n. 1 – Leicht, zart (Light, delicate), which are fast pieces exploring lightness of touch, and will integrate the first section of the concert.

In another section of the programme, I would like to reflect about lightness as an emotional state, as in John Palmer’s Shambhala, which refers to ‘an imaginary place of peace and happiness dwelt by enlightened people’.

Michael Taplin’s Wax Candles opens a new section in the programme connecting the theme of Leve/Luz both in regards to lightness of touch and light as a sonic colour, bringing these elements together in one piece.

The final part of the concert reflects on light as the luminous phenomenon, with Thomas Adès’ Darknesse Visible integrating this section with references to darkness, or an absence of light.

This concert is to honour the Winter Solstice, a time to renew hope with the return of light in longer days in the North Hemisphere.

This concert will be at the Great Hall at the beautiful Abbey Sutton Courtenay. Attendance is by donation at the concert. We suggest £15 for a concert of this quality but all are welcome and proceeds support the Abbey Sutton Courtenay, a registered charity. 8 – 25 years old attend free.

The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

The Green
OX14 4AF
tel: 01235 847401
Directions here

light, leve, luz

Késia Decoté – piano & toy piano


[lightness of touch]

– Arnold Schoenberg  Leicht, zart (Light, delicate) – from Six Little Piano Pieces Op. 19 (1911)
– Ben Gaunt – Light Spellsphere, for toy piano (2019)
– Ruth Crawford-Seeger –  Preludes 8 (Leggiero), for piano (1924)

[lightness of being]

– Yfat Soul Zisso – Para a frente, for toy piano (2018) 
– John Palmer – Shambhala, for piano (1990)
– Silvia Berg – El sueño… el vuelo, for piano (2010)

[light – luz]

– Michael Taplin – Wax Candles, for piano (2018)
– Yfat Soul Zisso – Full Moon, for toy piano (2019)
– Max Gibson – Night over Berstane, for toy piano & piano (2017)
– Thomas Adès – Darknesse Visible, for piano(1992)
– Marisa Rezende – Miragem, for piano (2009)

Many special thanks to Charlotte Lepport, Dylan Thomas, Michael Taplin, Yfat Soul Zisso, Graham Stabler, Bruno Guastalla and Benoît Mangili.

QUA 11 Setembro – Música de Compositoras para Piano & Piano de Brinquedo, CCBB Rio

É com imensa alegria que apresento nessa quarta-feira um recital solo, com um programa que apresenta várias facetas da expressão musical, e do piano em si, em obras escritas por compositoras atuais.

Interpretação de elementos do universo através da música, expressão de reflexões sobre memórias, sentimentos de desespero e também esperança, diálogos poéticos com nossas experiências da natureza indo ainda mais além na exploração do universo sonoro do piano.

CCBB Rio de Janeiro, 11 de setembro de 2019. Entrada Franca

Wednesday 11th September I am playing solo, a recital with works by amazing women composers Kaija Saariaho, Yfat Soul Zisso, Emily Doolittle, Angela Elisabeth Slater, Tatiana Catanzaro, Silvia Berg, Sara Carvalho, Maria Kaoutzani e Marisa Rezende. This is a concert which brings different ways to express impressions from the universe, our thoughts, and nature itself, through music. It will be at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


– Kaija Saariaho (Finlândia/França): Ballade, para piano (2009)
– Yfat Soul Zisso (Israel/Reino Unido): Para a frente, para piano de brinquedo (2018)

– Emily Doolittle (Canadá/Reino Unido): Gliese 581c, para piano (2008) *estreia no Brasil
– Angela Elisabeth Slater (Reino Unido): Night Mirrors, para piano (2017)

– Yfat Soul Zisso: Recollection, para piano de brinquedo (2015)
– Tatiana Catanzaro (Brasil): kristallklavierexplosionsschattensplitter, para piano (2006)
– Silvia Berg (Brasil): El Sueño… el vuelo, para piano (2010)

– Sara Carvalho (Portugal): inside silence, para piano preparado e piano de brinquedo (2012)
– Maria Kaoutzani (Chipre/EUA): Lilies, para piano e pianista cantante (2017)
– Marisa Rezende (Brasil): Miragem, para piano (2009)

Music by my friends

‘The best thing of music is the people it brings to our lives’ (Egberto Gismonti, in a conversation).

Over the years I have been having the pleasure to have piano and toy piano works composed for me. Some times, we were friends then the composer decided to write a piece for me, some times, the composer first wrote the music, then the friendship followed the work…

In this series of concerts I will be playing a programme all made of these pieces written for me. They are going to be intimate concerts, a celebration of these encounters and friendships that music brings to us.

The first concert of the series happened in Birmingham on Saturday 23rd March.

Next dates are:

Thursday 16th May, 7:30pm at the Gamelan Room LSO St Luke’s, London (161 Old St, London EC1V 9NG. Entrance via the Artist’s door). Free, but booking is required. Tickets bookings here or through email Facebook event here.
Friday 24th May, 7:30pm at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford OX1 3SD. £8 on the door. Facebook event here

More dates to follow later in the year in Rio de Janeiro.

Hope seeing you soon!


Programme includes

– ‘Light Spellsphere’, by Ben Gaunt (world premiere)
– ‘Night Mirrors’, by Angela Elizabeth Slater Composer
– ‘Para a frente’ for toy piano, by Yfat Soul Zisso – Composer and Singer
– ‘Wax Candles’, by Michael Taplin – Composer
– ‘Peça para piano, by Paulo Dantas
– ‘Colour Etude II’ for toy piano and electronics, by Omar Peracha
– ‘Night over Berstane’ for toy piano and piano, by Max Gibson
– ‘Bonsho’ by James Albany Hoyle
– ‘Piano piece for Késia’ for piano and recorded sounds, by Austin Sherlaw-Johnson
– ‘Three pages for a pianist (for KD)’, by Martin Hackett
– (title tbc), by Daniel Puig
– ‘… times when… all there is…’ by Max Gibson

Many thanks to composers: Angela Elizabeth Slater, Austin Sherlaw-Johnson, Ben Gaunt, Daniel Puig, James Albany Hoyle, Martin Hackett, Max Gibson, Michael Taplin, Omar Peracha, Paulo Dantas, Yfat Soul Zisso

Sunday 17 Feb – Hivernales. piano, flute + cello concert



I am joining my dear friends Gemma McGregor (flute) and Bruno Guastalla (cello) in this Winter Sunday concert, surrounded by the beautiful gardens of the Maison Française d’Oxford.

The programme is framed by French music and its influences, and interweaved with works by UK-based composers (including premieres by two Oxford composers, and Gemma’s own beautiful music), as well as improvisations.

Sunday 17th February 2019, 3pm

Késia Decoté, piano
Gemma McGregor, flute
Bruno Guastalla Cello

Maison Française d’Oxford
2-10 Norham Rd, Oxford OX2 6SE


Lili Boulanger
Jill Elliott
Olivier Messiaen
Toru Takemitsu
Gemma McGregor
Sarah Westwood
Martin Hackett
John Lely

Quinta-feira 31 Agosto: palestra ‘Música Contemporânea para Piano’


Com grande alegria vou estar de volta no meu primeiro conservatório de música: FAMES – Faculdade de Música do Espírito Santo, conversando sobre o repertório de música contemporânea para piano que venho explorando nos últimos anos, exemplificando ao piano e também com videos de concertos passados.

No Auditório Alceu Camargo, às 14h45, e o evento é grátis!

Endereço: Praça Américo Poli Monjardim, 60, Centro, 29010-640, Vitória, ES.


Agradecimentos especiais: Cláudio Thompson


19, 20 Sept/ 02, 05 Oct – ‘Candles’, piano music by 20th & 21st century composers

* London – 19 Sept * Oxford – 20 Sept * Cardiff – 02 Oct * London – 05 Oct *

In this series of concerts, I am very delighted to present a programme pairing music by masters of the 20th century (Ruth Crawford-Seeger, Arnold Schoenberg) with talents of the 21st century based in the UK (Michael Taplin, Yfat Soul Zisso, James Albany Hoyle, Nathan Dearden, Maja Palser and Omar Peracha) and linking those worlds with the distinctive music of Kaija Saariaho and Jocy de Oliveira.

I have been curating this programme in collaboration with composers Michael Taplin and Yfat Soul Zisso, and we have been specially caring to shed a light on unfairly underperformed female composers such as Ruth Crawford-Seeger and Jocy de Oliveira. And, supporting the work of such talented emerging composers, I am very happy to have the honour to premiere the works that Michael Taplin, Yfat Soul Zisso and James Hoyle have written especially for me in this series.

The title of the recital borrows from Michael’s piece, and communicates the essence of the works of this repertoire – little brief sparkles, ethereal, very delicate, volatile, yet exquisite and vital.

We are very grateful to the RVW Trust and Hinrichsen Foundation for the support to this series. Also very special thanks to Prof. Eric Clarke (Wadham College, Oxford) and Bruno Guastalla.

Details of dates are below. I hope to see you in one or more of these dates!

Candles – piano music by 20th and 21st century composers

Wednesday 19 September, 1:05pm: St. Dunstan-in-the West Church, 186a Fleet Street, London EC4A 2HR (Free)

Thursday 20 September, 7:30pm: Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street, Oxford OX1 3SB (£8 on the door)

Tuesday 02 October, 7pm: Cardiff University Concert Hall, 31 Corbett Road, Cardiff, CF10 3EB (£5/ free for students & under 18)

Friday 05 October, 1:05pm: St. John’s Waterloo, Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TY (Free)

K2 b

Photo: Stu Allsopp

Poster: Bruno Guastalla

Fri 10 Aug – Késia Decoté + Dog Days of Summer (Allison Cameron/Kurt Newman) at Array Music, Toronto, Canadá

I couldn’t be happier in my first time in Canadá, by culminating it with my Toronto debut!

For some years I have been enjoying immensely to play works by Canadian composers, including Linda Catlin-Smith and Nick Storring. Then, it is very special for me to have the opportunity now to play those works in Canadá itself! I will be also playing piano and toy piano evocative works by Marisa Rezende (Brazil), Yfat Soul Zisso (Israel/UK), Maria Kaoutzani (Cyprus/USA), and more.

This concert is promoted by Riparian Acoustics in partnership with Arraymusic, and this is how they describe the event:

Késia Decoté – piano
Dog Days of Summer (Allison Cameron and Kurt Newman)

Friday August 10th, 2018
Doors 8PM – Music at 8:30PM
Arraymusic Space — 155 Walnut Ave., Toronto
$10 at the door

UK-based pianist Késia Decoté has been making waves overseas as an skilled interpreter and improviser. She gravitates toward patient, introspective repertoire and colourful sonic exploration in equal measure making her an exciting and versatile soloist. Join us for her Toronto debut as she performs a mix of English, Canadian and Brazilian repertoire featuring work by Nick Storring, Linda Catlin Smith and Marisa Rezende.

Allison Cameron and Kurt Newman are two of Toronto’s most intriguing and unique voices in improvisation. Each working within in their own form of befuddling virtuosity and peculiar abstraction, as a pair they promise to immersive perplexity of the highest order.



Sun 17 June – Resonant Bodies (‘Loci’ and ‘myths & visions’)

I will be joined by dear friends dancer and choreographer Joëlle Pappas and musician and composer Bruno Guastalla in a dance and music evening at beautiful The Abbey Sutton Courtenay.

We will be performing our newly devised trio – Loci, Joëlle and Bruno will be performing their beautiful duo Traits, and I will be performing my beloved myths & visions (this may be the last performance of myths & visions in the UK, a project that is so special to me!).

This will also be my last performance as an Oxford resident, as I am moving out now with the end of my PhD. It feels so special, the end of an era, a incredible time in my life.

Come, if you can, to celebrate with us, also to support the Refugee week – donations will go towards charities which give assistance to refugees in Oxfordshire.


The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

The Abbey Sutton Courtenay
The Green
Sutton Courtenay
OX14 4AF

Suggested donation: £15


‘Tout organisme est une mélodie qui se chante elle-même.’ (Maurice Merleau-Ponty)
Working together on this piece, the ‘places’ of the title are not set positions: we inhabit the same space for a while, a space which is resonant and elastic.

Dancer and Choreographer: Joëlle Pappas
Piano: Késia Decoté, Cello/Bandoneon: Bruno Guastalla


Dancer and Choreographer: Joëlle Pappas
Music and Soundscape: Bruno Guastalla
Dramaturgy adviser: Miranda Laurence

Traits explores the attitudes and behaviour of a complex character fervently looking for a sense of coherent identity. It draws inspiration from puppetry traditions from around the world. This piece was commissioned by Dancin’Oxford and the Pegasus Theatre for Moving With The Times, 2018.

Myths and Visions

Part I
Henry Cowell – The voice of Lir, for piano [tone clusters] (1920)
                             Aeolian Harp, for piano strings (1923)
The Banshee, for piano strings (1925)
John Cage – Bacchanale, for prepared piano (1940)
Part II
Sara Carvalho – inside silence, for prepared piano and toy piano (2012)
Marisa Rezende – Miragem [Mirage], for piano and mallets (2009)
John Cage – A flower, for voice and closed piano (1950)

Performer: Késia Decoté
Movement director: Joëlle Pappas

Myths and Visions was originally conceived as part of Késia Decoté’s doctoral research at Oxford Brookes University. It combines piano performance with dance, offering an alternate experience of a classical music recital.

‘Késia Decoté takes bold risks both with her choice of repertoire and by challenging the conventions of piano performance, and she emerges triumphant.’
– Colin May, music writer (Nightshift, Oxford Times)



image and poster by Bruno Guastalla


Fri 15 June – Vexations, in Orkney


Making the most of my visit to Orkney, I will be joining an epic performance of Satie’s Vexations, organised by my dear friend Gemma McGregor.

The performance will be at the second floor of Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, starting at 10:30am and lasting all day long. Audience is welcome to come and go as they wish.

Can’t be more thrilled to be part of this!


work by Barbara Hepworth at Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney.