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Friday 7 July 2017, 6.45pm, OTO Project Space

Photo by Dawid Laskowski


No Longer Available

An early evening solo clarinet performance by Alex Ward to mark the release of his new CD "Proprioception", out June 30th on the Weekertoft label. The recordings which comprise "Proprioception" are the culmination of a 3-year period during which Ward strove to radically overhaul his approach to solo playing. Known for his work with a wide range of improvising musicians including Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne, Lol Coxhill, Thurston Moore, Joe Morris and Steve Noble, Ward's solo work encompasses all he has learned from such a variety of collaborations, whilst also addressing the very specific challenges of the solo situation. As with the album itself, this performance will feature both acoustic and amplified clarinet - Ward's amplified clarinet playing, heard previously in his own groups Forebrace and the Alex Ward Quintet, has also recently been featured to notable effect in Charles Hayward and Charles Bullen's This Is Not This Heat ensemble, and the use of distortion, feedback and reverberation to transform, submerge and disfigure the clarinet's voice pushes Ward's already disorienting deployment of multiphonics and unconventional articulation into even more unexpected sonic realms.



Alex Ward

Alex Ward is a composer, improviser, and performing musician, working primarily with clarinet and guitar. His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. He subsequently took part regularly in Bailey's Company events, and has gone on to become a major figure in British improvised music. 
His current work includes the avant-rock duo Dead Days Beyond Help in which he plays guitar, sings and co-writes the material; various groups which perform his compositions-for-improvisers including Forebrace, the Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet, and the Item series of ensembles (the first of which, Item 10, debuted at Cafe Oto in September 2017); and improvising collaborations both regular and ad-hoc with musicians including Steve Noble, Dominic Lash, Kay Grant, Joe Morris and Weasel Walter. Besides his own groups and improvisational work, he also performs in ensembles including the Duck Baker Trio/Quartet, Thurston Moore’s recent multi-guitar projects Galaxies and New Noise Guitar Explorations, and Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward’s This Is Not This Heat. He brings a unique energy and inventiveness to all these projects, elevating them far above the ordinary and injecting them with a thrilling sense of danger and possibility. Much of his work is documented on the label Copepod, which he co-runs with Luke Barlow.
"...guitarist Alex Ward [is] a compulsively creative polymath... a reliably unpredictable axe-hero for collaborators of all backgrounds." Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times Review