Wednesday 20 March 2019, 7.30pm
In a lecture about East Coast/West Coast Synthesis, Tony Rolando (boss of Make Noise who make modular synths), discussed Herbie Hancock’s collaboration with synth maestro Dr Patrick Gleeson on the early 1970s albums ‘Crossings’ and ‘Sextant’. He wondered what would have happened if Hancock stuck with a more 'West Coast Buchla' aesthetic - example 'Rain Dance' from Sextant. Rolando said he went away from this style, that uses sequencers and randomisation, to a more 'performative' style that uses keyboards to trigger sounds - example 'Chameleon' on Headhunters.
This concert will reimagine those heady times where electronics and acoustic instruments were being explored in a live improvisation environment for the first time. Apart from a deep exploration of electronics, Crossings and Sextant also show an influence from free jazz and free improvisation and of course rhythmic grooves heavily influenced by African music.
Patrick Gleeson was part of the San Francisco Tape Music Center founded in 1962 by composers Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender. Their use ‘Buchla’ style aesthetics along with that of Barry Schrader will inform electronic sounds created and used in tonight’s concert.
Phil Durrant / modular synth
Pat Thomas / Moog Theremini & iPad electronics, piano
Charlotte Keeffe / trumpet, flugelhorn
Rachel Musson / tenor and soprano saxophones, flute
Sarah Gail Brand / trombone
John Edwards / double bass
Mark Sanders / drums, percussion
Born near London in 1957, Phil Durrant is an improviser/composer/sound artist who has devised his own virtual performance instruments using Reaktor. Recently, he has been performing solo, duo (with Phil Maguire) and trio concerts (with Mark Wastell and Richard Sanderson), using an analogue/digital modular synthesizer system.
As a violinist (and member of the Butcher/Russell/Durrant trio), he was one of the key exponents of the “group voice approach” style of improvised music. In the late 90s, his trio with Radu Malfatti and Thomas Lehn represented a shift to a more “reductionist” approach.
Durrant’s exploration in the use of live electronics to expand the timbre of the violin, evolved into the creation and building of self-made virtual instruments. His live sampling/treatments duo with John Butcher and his work MIMEO, saw Durrant move from the use of hardware to the use of software in live situations. He has always been keen to transfer the flexibility of playing an acoustic instrument, into his laptop performances.
Durrant also performs regularly with the acoustic/electronic group Trio Sowari (with Bertrand Denzler and Burkhard Beins) and Mark Wastell’s The SEEN.
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann
Trumpeter/Flugelhorn player Charlotte Keeffe plays regularly in the London Improvisers Orchestra and and has shared Concert bills/performed alongside the likes of John Edwards, Henry Lowther, Steve Noble, John Butcher, Steve Beresford and Mark Sanders. Charlotte performs as a Soloist and as part of her Trio, Space Painters, with Guitarists - Joe Smith Sands and Diego Sampieri. She has a Duo with Trumpeter Kim Macari Stone-Lonergan and is part of Discus Music’s Martin Archer's Hi-Res Art Quintet and Anthropology Ensemble. eature Martin Archer on sax, Dave Kane on bass, Laura Cole on piano, Graham Clark on violin and Peter Fairclough on drums, Corey Mwamba on vibraphone, Chris Sharkey on guitar and Pat Thomas on keys and electronics. She has assisted Guitarist John Russell with establishing the Mopomoso Workshop Group/MoWo.
Rachel Musson is a saxophonist, improviser and composer living in London, UK. She is involved with a variety of improvisation projects, including a trio with Hannah Marshall and Julie Kjaer, a duo with vibraphonist Corey Mwamba, and a trio with Mark Sanders and John Edwards. She has released two albums under her own name, one featuring Liam Noble and Mark Sanders (Tatterdemalion, Babel Records), and one featuring her ensemble Skein (Flight Line, F-ire Recorded Music). She also plays with the London Improvisers Orchestra and Alex Ward’s Quintet and Sextet, as well as with a variety of other musicians on the fluid European improvising scene.
Described by The Wire magazine as “the most exciting trombone player for years” Sarah Gail Brand has recorded and performed on the international Improvised Music and Jazz scene since the early 1990s with Mark Sanders, John Edwards, Elton Dean, Evan Parker, Phil Minton, Veryan Weston, Lol Coxhill, Maggie Nicols, Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Beresford, Georg Graewe, writer and comedian Stewart Lee and countless others. Sarah fronts her own tunes quartet (Sarah Gail Brand Sextet), has a long standing duo with drummer Mark Sanders, and a trio with John Edwards and Steve Beresford and continues to work as a soloist and in ad hoc ensembles. As well as being a composer, Sarah’s trombone work ranges from playing Improvised Music and Jazz, studio session work to arranging & playing in pop and rock music. Sarah is a music therapist and a professor of Improvisation at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London and leads workshops on improvisation around the world. Recordings of Sarah Gail’s work can be found on the Emanem and regardless record labels.
John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.
"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment
Mark has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Evan Parker, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.
In situations using composition Mark works in a number of projects including Christian Marclay’s Everyday for film and live music and John Butcher’s Tarab Cuts - both projects have performed major festivals throughout Europe and Brazil. He has performed works by guitarist John Coxon in Glasgow and Sydney playing with the Scottish and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. With New York’s ICE Ensemble he has performed John Zorn’s The Tempest in London and at Huddersfield New Music Festival.
Mark also works in the groups of Paul Dunmall including Deep Whole Trio with Paul Rogers, and the ensembles of Sarah Gail Brand, including a long-standing duo. He has a lengthy discography including a solo album, has performed internationally and played at major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Womad and notably at Glastonbury with legendary saxophonist John Tchicai.
"ubiquitous, diverse and constantly creative, drummer Mark Sanders always outdoes himself, whether playing with restraint or erupting like a dynamo." Bruce L Gallenter, Downtown Music Gallery. NY