The early part of this year so far has brought a few new things for me, and one of them is an exciting new role as leader of City University Experimental Ensemble (CUEE). I’m running the student group for this Spring term, exploring group improvisation alongside Sharon Gal’s Études. This deck of cards is a ‘set of scores and propositions’ for performance, and is full of provocations, instructions, statements and suggestions (not to mention beautiful colours) that are forming a basis for us to create some new music together.
The first time I worked with CUEE was as a guest artist in 2016, shortly after it was set up by my long-time collaborator Tullis Rennie. The ensemble performed my pieces Off-World and March Of The Egos (I can’t remember who that title refers to…) at IKLECTIK, and the recording was released on vinyl by multi.modal. CUEE have returned to the venue many times since then, and this year’s end of term concert is happening there, at IKLECTIK, on Wednesday 12th April. It should be a great evening of brand new improvised music, alongside the City University Field Recording Ensemble – and you can now reserve a free place at the concert.
cr-ow-tr-io will be out and about late this month, with dates in Manchester and London. In Manchester we’re playing at the fantastic Curious Ear series on Saturday 21st May. The workshop and gig are happening at the Ascension Church, Hulme: you can find all the details on the Curious Ear site, and on their gorgeous poster below…
Then on Thursday 26th May the trio will play at City, University of London, for an exciting occasion: the first London performance of my piece And then the next thing you know. We will be hanging my giant, fragmented graphic score in the performance space at City and responding to it in this new setting. Tickets are free for this, but you need to reserve a place as there are limited spots available. It will be great to take this project out for a second performance: I’m expecting the shape of the score, the atmosphere and the music to all be totally different to the original hcmf// gig (photo below). I’m looking forward to revisiting it all with Tullis and Otto.
I have also printed up a new batch of our trio release ‘Hold Music’ for these gigs, so it’s a good chance to grab a copy in the neon paint colour of your choice!
Between those two gigs I’m playing a trio set with Chris Corsano and Alan Wilkinson at Cafe Oto! Our set on Monday 23rd May is part of Chris’ four-day residency, which I was super happy to be invited to be a part of.
I just got back from a great week at Snape Maltings in Suffolk, running a five day music course for Aldeburgh Young Musicians called Sound Explorations! I put together a team of amazing artists – Sam Andreae, Dee Byrne, Graham Dunning and Nathan Gregory – and we collectively devised the week-long course taking in improvisation, experimental scores, composition, sound art and foley theatre.
The Aldeburgh Young Musicians programme invites guest artists to work with their cohort of young people, using the amazing facilities at Snape (see above – the main room we were working in!). As well as sharing our practice with the AYMs and making new music with them, it was also really nice to spend a week hearing about and experiencing each others’ work, plus collaborating together.
The setting was beautiful too: I got to see the sea for the first time since before the pandemic! Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings is an inspiring place to work, and I was so lucky to work with such a badass team of artists.