Author Archives: cath


Out today is Setlist 4! The final installment in my Setlist series of mini-zines as tools for improvisation. For this zine we return to the visual realm, with a theme of (miniature) maps. Once again a great bunch of artists said yes to this and have risen to the challenge, so in Setlist 4 you’ll find work by:

Khabat Abas
Sophie Cooper
Hannah McCann
Livia Garcia
Tullis Rennie
Benedict Taylor

All the zines have been printed by the excellent Footprint Workers’ Co-op in Leeds, and this one is no exception. This time I went with a super nice teal ink, and the A7 mini-zines are riso-printed on recycled paper as usual. I’m really pleased with how they came out; the dark teal colour brings a nice high-constrast quality that works great for images – whereas with text-based zines like Setlist 1 and 3 I was able to get away with some light/bright colour inks.

Setlist 4 is available now from my web shop, which I’ve finally given a name: Ink-Paper-Sound. This was the name of the launch event I put together at Cafe Oto for Setlist 3, and I liked it so much I wanted it to stick around.

Although this is the last Setlist zine (probably), Ink-Paper-Sound is just getting started as a project. With that in mind, also out today is ‘A skeleton/some bones’, a double-sided graphic score zine by me! Fold it yourself, or get me to do it, and play the two structures either in booklet form or flat. Here’s my attempt to photograph it, which was actually quite tricky…

SPARC Symposium quartet performance

This Friday 24th May at City, University of London, a special quartet performance with Tullis Rennie, Charlotte Keeffe and Claudia Molitor! We will be taking on the stunning graphic scores that make up Wadada Leo Smith’s Four Symphonies, focussing on Spring and Summer. The material is really fascinating, and it will be a first meeting for this lovely combination of some of my favourite people. Can’t wait!

The concert is part of SPARC Symposium 2024: [Im]probable Networks. All week until Sunday, there’s an array of talks, installations and peformances happening at City and free to attend. You can register your attendance for all or some of it over on the university website

CUEE 2024 concert

It’s that time of again…the City University Experimental Ensemble end of year concert is upon us! I’ve been leading the ensemble again this year and their final concert will take place next Wednesday 10th April in the Performance Space at City, University of London. It’s a public event, so all are welcome and tickets are free! Come along and hear the students present a programme of improvisation, conduction, a piece by guest artist Sam Andreae – plus there will be a film screening from the Field Recording Ensemble. Register your place on the City events page.

(I’m also pretty happy with my photo collage for this, above, using parts of Sam’s score and some photos of rehearsals/recordings…)

Sloth Racket + Anthropods double bill tour!

Announcing an exciting project for next month: Sloth Racket will be going on tour with Vienna-based band Anthropods! I’ve been working with Mark Holub for several months behind the scenes on this, first trying to persuade UK promoters that they want to book a double bill (harder than you might think), then writing and submitting an ultimately-unsuccessful funding application to Arts Council England.

Despite the lack of UK funding support, the tour is able to go ahead thanks to Anthropods getting a grant from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport. Without that we wouldn’t be able to bring the band over and make this cross-border European collaboration happen, so we’re very grateful. It’s a tough landscape out there at the moment in terms of making projects happen in the UK, and even with the Austrian support the tour as a whole is on an incredibly tight budget. But! It’s happening and we’re super stoked about that.

The bands will visit four cities:

17th April: Sheffield! Hosted by long-time Sloth Racket supporters Jazz At The Lescar.

18th April: Canterbury! Hosted by the awesome long-running series Free Range.

19th April: London! Hosted by essential improv scene haunt Hundred Years Gallery.

20th April: Norwich! Hosted by fresh new artist-run DIY space Ambition’s Graveyard.

If you’re local to London or Norwich, you can support the tour by buying tickets in advance. Obviously we love people showing up and paying on the door – don’t let me stop you! – but getting your tickets in advance helps ease our budget-frazzled minds and gives us an idea of how the tour finances might end up when it’s all done. This makes us happy. Plus, they’re a little bit cheaper than on the door. So if you plan on coming out to see us in those cities, head over to our London tickets page or the Norwich tickets page!

For Sheffield, you can contact Jazz At The Lescar to buy tickets by following the link on their site, and in Canterbury it’s free entry (because it’s Free Range!).

Finance realness aside, I really am excited to take the band out for a run of consecutive dates again. It’s going to be great to share the bill with Anthropods and hear how the two bands’ music evolves as we move through the tour. Hope to see you out there. Plus, I’m pretty pleased with the wonky 3-D text I drew for the tour poster.

Ending this post with a nice new photo of Sloth Racket by Jonathan Crabb, taken at my Ink-Paper-Sound night at Cafe Oto last week. Thanks to everyone who came out to that; I had a fantastic time. It was brilliant to celebrate the zine project with a packed house!

Out today: Setlist 3!

The third installment of my Setlist zine project is out today! For Setlist 3 I asked four of my favourite artists from the improvised/experimental music world to send me a question. As before, the texts are intended as starting points for improvisation, and I love what people came up with! The zine features work from:

honor ash
Laura Cole
Caroline Kraabel
Han-earl Park

As per the others, these zines are A7 riso-printed booklets on recycled paper, printed and assembled by the amazing Footprint Workers Co-op in Leeds. This time I went for neon pink ink – a decision I’m very happy with!

Copies are available from my webshop – or you could wait until the launch event next Tuesday 19th March at Cafe Oto! Either way, hope you enjoy it, and if you use it for a performance I’d love to hear about it.

Ink-Paper-Sound: Setlist 3 zine launch at Cafe Oto

I’ve put together a special night at Cafe Oto next month, to celebrate the third edition of the Setlist zine series! On Tuesday 19th March a great bunch of improvisers – all of whom are involved in the project as contributors – will play sets using material from the zines. We will have two new trios assembled especially for the event, a set from Sloth Racket, and projections of some of the zine artwork. There will be copies of the brand new hot-off-the-press Setlist volume three, which features another super nice lineup of contributors to be announced shortly. The trios on the night will be:

Khabat Abas / Dee Byrne / Bell Lungs

David Birchall / Kate Carr / Tullis Rennie

Sloth Racket will play a set using zine material mashed through some of my compositions from the band’s repertoire so far!

Most likely the night will focus on the first two zines, meaning that the music will take as its starting points text and visual contributions by some of the following: Kim Macari, Bell Lungs, Anton Hunter, Angela Guyton, Graham Dunning, Kate Carr, Dee Byrne, Old Bort, David Birchall and Sam Andreae.

Tickets are on sale from the Cafe Oto website now!

And you can grab your copies of the first two zines from my webshop

Sloth Racket March dates

Two dates coming up for Sloth Racket next month! We’re heading to Manchester on 2nd March to play at David Birchall’s great Curious Ear series, part of a cluster of relaxed afternoon shows he’s putting on at St Margaret’s Church. Then on 19th March we’re in London for a set at a special evening I’m putting together at Cafe Oto, about which there will be more information very soon…