Cath Roberts is a musician, artist and organiser whose work explores free improvisation, composition and the music at their meeting point. The primary outlet for this is the band Sloth Racket, formed in 2015 by Cath on baritone saxophone and compositions, which has toured widely and released several albums. More recently, improvisation using live electronics and objects has led to a solo release plus the beginning of several new collaborations.
In 2022 Cath was commissioned, with Mandhira De Saram, to co-devise a new work as a guest artist with Australian Art Orchestra. Developed collectively on residency in Melbourne, Fresh Water – Salt Water was a co-commission by AAO and hcmf//, with performances in Melbourne and Huddersfield in November 2022. Earlier that year Cath was invited to work with Chris Corsano as part of his three day residency at Cafe Oto, London. In 2021 Cath was commissioned to create a giant, fragmented graphic score for hcmf//, And then the next thing you know, improvising a piece from the score with Tullis Rennie and Otto Willberg. Notable earlier work includes an Artist In Residence and Headline Artist commission for Lancaster Jazz Festival 2016, and a Jazz North East commission for Gateshead International Jazz Festival in 2015, which led to the formation of Sloth Racket.
Cath has a long-standing duo with guitarist Anton Hunter (Ripsaw Catfish), as well as regular collaborations with Tullis Rennie, Benedict Taylor, Graham Dunning, Bill Thompson, Kate Carr and others, and performs bandmate duties in several groups including Alex Ward’s Items 10 and 7, Madwort Sax Quartet and Article XI.
As an organiser, Cath has co-run LUME with Dee Byrne since 2013, producing concerts, tours and festivals and releasing music on their offshoot label Luminous. Tom Ward, Colin Webster and Cath organise BRÅK, an improvised music series taking place in Brockley, South East London. Cath’s visual work can be seen on many Luminous releases, Sloth Racket tour flyers and LUME publicity materials. In 2023 Cath began the SETLIST series of mini-zines for improvisers, compiling, designing and publishing A7 20-page zines featuring the work of artists from the improvised/experimental music scenes and beyond.
Cath has led workshops, devised courses and delivered guest lectures on improvisation and/or composition, including for London College of Communication (UAL), Aldeburgh Young Musicians (Britten Pears Arts), Eastern Ear, Trinity Laban, and for various festivals. Cath currently leads the Experimental Ensemble at City, University of London.
– December 2023.
The best way to contact me is email: contact [at] cathrobots.co.uk
You can also sign up to my (roughly) quarterly email newsletter.
My social media use is patchy at the moment (late 2023), but…
- Follow my Instagram account for occasional updates: @cathrobots
- Find me on Mastodon: @cathrobots.
- My Twitter account is no more!