hcmf// commission! (…and Double Bass Comments poster!)

Some really excellent news to announce today! I have been selected as one of the artists for the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) COVID-19 Commissions. The commissions are the festival’s response to the pandemic, offering artists some paid work now when things are pretty bleak for live performance. I’ll be writing a new piece for trio, to be performed at hcmf// at a later date. With my 2020 year planner in the recycling bin due to loads of future work being cancelled or postponed indefinitely, this is really brilliant news and I feel very lucky to have been chosen. I’ll be writing about the project on the blog as it develops.

In other news, there’s a new merch item up on the Sloth Racket site for tomorrow’s Bandcamp Friday and it’s something quite special. For many years, our bass player Seth has been collecting people’s verbal reactions to his double bass (usually when they see him on public transport or walking down the street) using the hashtag #doublebasscomments. Sloths guitarist Anton recently decided that this needed to be taken to a whole different level, and asked the brilliant artist and friend of Sloth Racket Angela Guyton to make a cartoon of some of the comments. The resulting A2 POSTER is now on sale!! Edition of 20, so grab one quick for the bassist in your life…

Duo set with Johnny Hunter up on the live recordings site

A new set is now up on the site! Duo with Johnny Hunter from BRÅK last November. Possibly our first duo set? Hopefully not the last anyway. It’s available as a name your price download, with the income split between Johnny and me as per usual. Check it out:

Johnny has also made an extract available in video form:

Vonnegut Collective Mindful Miniature

The lovely Vonnegut Collective have swung into action during the lockdown with their ‘Mindful Miniatures’ project, and I was very happy to be asked to contribute a track. For the project, participants take a guided audio walk and then respond with a piece of text, an image, a video etc. These are then passed on to artists for us to respond in turn with some music and sound. A nice process! I took the opportunity to experiment with multi-tracking the homemade percussion instruments I’ve been making, as well as blowing on a piece of plastic pipe from the beer shop with a sax mouthpiece (of course). I’m pretty happy with the results, and had a joyous morning creating the track. You can listen to it on the Vonneguts’ website. Hats off to VC for providing some work for artists during the pandemic and creating good vibes.

Some percussion bits (taken on a different session – no cymbals were used on the VC track).

Gillian Whiteley Isolation Improv Drawing

The Sheffield artist Gillian Whiteley (aka Bricolage Kitchen) has been doing a lockdown series called ‘Isolation Improv Drawings’. She asks improvisers to send her a recording of them playing a short piece, then listeners to it and produces a charcoal drawing to the music. Gillian approached me a few weeks ago, and the finished collaboration is below. Very happy with this!

Two new live recordings up: trio and duo

I just posted two new set on the live recordings site.

First, a group that only played once! And this is that meeting. A trio with Seth Bennett and Andrew Lisle:


And next, another duo set with Benedict Taylor. The first and only time we played on the same bill as another baritone sax and viola duo (Alan Wilkinson and Ivor Kallin)!

oem release with Alex Bonney

I’m very happy to announce that Martin Clarke will be releasing a duo recording of Alex Bonney and me on his label oem. Out on 8th July, the set was recorded by Martin at Hundred Years Gallery in February this year – not long before the suspension of live performances. Link coming soon…

Duo set with Andrew Cheetham up on the live recordings site

The next installment of my gig recordings Bandcamp site is up: a duo with Andrew Cheetham from last year at BRÅK. I think it was the first time we’d played together! Dirk Serries recorded, mixed and mastered this one.

New Dark Art sax quartet recording surfaces

Corey Mwamba has just released a recording I found in my archives, of his piece New Dark Art played by a special sax quartet forwed for the occasion. We did two performances of the piece in May 2015, one in London and one in Derby. This recording is of the London date, a LUME gig at Long White Cloud on 14th May.

The quartet was all Eb saxophones. I was on baritone along with Colin Webster; Tom Ward and Chris Williams were on altos. A really nice project!

If you head over to Corey’s Bandcamp site you can download the release, and subscribe to the site for access to tons more music.

Duo with Rachel Musson up on the live recordings site!

I’ve just published something new on the live recordings Bandcamp site: a duo with Rachel Musson! We’ve done a couple of gigs together and I love playing with Rachel. This was possibly our first one, in the beer shop in 2018. Hope you enjoy it…

Two more live recordings emerge

My work on the new live recordings Bandcamp site is continuing, and there are now two more sets up there.

First up, a trio set with Corey Mwamba and Olie Brice. This is from a LUME gig at The Vortex in April 2016, when we played opposite Dave Kane’s quartet. Who recorded it is a mystery, but I *think* it was me with my Zoom recorder. Going through these old files is reminding me of the importance of proper labelling…

Also up on the site is a duo set with Benedict Taylor. This is from the Horse Improv Club in 2018, recorded at IKLECTIK by Jeff at Saint Austral Sound. A short set with an abrupt ending!

Hope you enjoy these. Everything I publish on the site is a ‘name your price’ download, and the money will be split equally between me and the other musicians on the tracks. So if you’re in a position to support artists, please consider buying a copy.

More coming soon…follow on Bandcamp or keep an eye on this blog for info.