This week The Noise Upstairs are screening the latest edition of their lockdown video series ‘The Noise Indoors’ – curated by me! I invited four really great artists to record a set for it: Tullis Rennie, Rachel Musson, Sophie Cooper and Sam Andreae. The episode premieres at 8pm on Thursday 17th September from the link below….join us! And it will be available to watch again, along with the rest of the series, after the screening.
Dirk Serries has published an excerpt of an upcoming release that I’m a part of: a quartet recording with Dirk, Martina Verhoeven and Tom Ward. We recorded this in July from our homes, over the internet using JackTrip; Dirk and Martina near Antwerp in Belgium, Tom and I in London. Everyone was so happy with the results that Dirk suggested releasing it on his label! The album is out in October as part of a set of four new CDs on A New Wave Of Jazz. Have a listen…
It’s worth noting that Dirk’s label has left social media and launched a fresh news page on its website. So check back in with the site to keep up with new releases. You can also sign up to the label mailing list to get the lowdown sent straight to your inbox.
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…
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:
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.
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!
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)!
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.
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.