Monday 5 August 2019, 7.30pm
The Jadid Series ("new" in Arabic) is a new series of concerts curated by Pat Thomas featuring groups that have never played together or very rarely play together. Tonight's edition features Valid Tractor, the collaboration between Pat Thomas, Dominic Lash and Lawrence Casserley, and Philipp Wachsmann, Trevor Taylor and Lawrence Casserley's Electro-Phonic Art Trio. Tonight we celebrate the recent release of both CDs on FMR Records.
“Classy, angular, dense, powerful, intense piano – vibrant, subtle, assiduous, lively double bass – polymorphic, metamorphosing, consistent, ethereal, unpredictable live signal processing… A great many mutating forms are imagined and set in motion, with great success as far as the listener's interest is concerned… Barely stable equilibria sit among forces of attraction and repulsion that continuously readjust themselves, gradually validating the choices of each musician as the music proceeds. It is a series of digressions which resolve themselves in and by dialogue, listening, and unexpected convergences that die away at any time, generally unexpectedly. … Inspiring one another in their quests, the musicians satisfy the listener with stellar improvisations on a fiercely bowed double bass accompanied by extra-terrestrial activity on the piano and live-signal-processing that gives >the body of one instrument to the other. … A strong incursion of the real avant-garde sublimating the practice and the risks of – and after – (more than) forty years of free improvisation. Really convincing.” – Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg - Orynx-improv’andsounds.
Valid Tractor is the collaboration between Pat Thomas, Dominic Lash and Lawrence Casserley, who first played together as a trio in 2010. While their busy schedules make more than sporadic meetings unlikely, they continue to develop a radical relationship each time they meet. One of those occasions was the recording session that led to their recently released CD on FMR, “On the Validity of Tractors”.
Electro-Phonic Art Trio is the collaboration between Philipp Wachsmann, Trevor Taylor and Lawrence Casserley. Philipp and Trevor have worked together many times, as have Philipp and Lawrence - Trevor and Lawrence less frequently. They first came together as a trio in 2017, when Trevor suggested they try recording together. Later that year they played a concert at Iklectik. They established an immediate rapport that is amply illustrated in their debut CD, “Through the Rings of Saturn”, which includes material from both the original recording session and the concert; the release of this CD on FMR marks the establishment of a new trio. This outcome produced a remarkable time base, a sound environment analogous to the elements, behaviour, roles, densities, gravities of the components embodied in the rings of Saturn.
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
Dominic Lash is an improviser and composer. A partial list of musicians he has worked with includes Antoine Beuger, Tony Conrad, Angharad Davies, Jürg Frey, Elizabeth Harnik, James Ilgenfritz, Charlotte Keeffe, Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Evan Parker, Éliane Radigue, Mark Sanders, Roger Turner, Fay Victor, and Philipp Wachsmann. Best known as a double bass player, he's emerged as a guitarist since the 2020 lockdown, during which he "spent his time developing a very interesting and personal approach to electric guitar... Lash uses the Telecaster's basic yet unique design super-effectively; the biting, percussive nature of the instrument highlighted by the sheer power in his contrabass-trained hands" (Paul Khimasia Morgan).
Lawrence Casserley (born Essex, England, 1941) is celebrating fifty years of making electronic music. He has devoted his career to the creation and promotion of live performance electronic music in a wide variety of ways. He has worked with many of the leading improvisers, particularly Evan Parker and his Electracoustic Ensemble. Casserley’s instrumental approach to live computer sound processing is the hallmark of his work, which is documented on many CDs, and he has performed and given workshops throughout Europe and in North and South America, Asia and Japan.
Philipp Wachsmann, who came from a classical background in violin and in contemporary composition, has been occupied with the development of music and improvisation since 1970. For many years he ran workshops at the West Square Music studio that impacted on many young musicians.
He worked with others including significant groups of the time, Chamberpot, Balance and String Thing (with Ian Brighton and also with Marcio Mattos and Trevor Taylor in the latter), and Company. He was asked to join the Musician’s Co-operative (then in its last years), and was in the London Musicians Collective from its start.
He is an active participant in the Bead Record Label (started by Peter Cusack and Simon Mayo), which is still producing new music over 40 years later, managed by him and Mathew Hutchinson.
Regarded by many as an outstanding improviser of great invention, he has always been able to create new approaches within improvised music utilising acoustic and electronic sources. He considers himself to be “fortunate to have toured with Derek Bailey, Christine Jeffries, and Frank Perry in the 70’s, and more recently with Evan Parker’s Electro-acoustic Ensemble”. He can be heard on over 100 LP’s & CD’s - groups including, King Ubu, the LJCO, Iskra 1903, Stellari String Quartet, Duos with Paul Lytton (ECM and Bead), Lawrence Casserley, Matthew Hutchinson and Roger Turner. Most recently he has been working in the group RSIK with Michael Bunce (electronics and sound taken from painting by artist, Catherine Hope-Jones).
Currently he states that:-
“I am concerned with innovation, the violin and what it might do, with intent, perception and memory, with construction defining space, issues of continuity, whether communication needs to be prescriptive, the potential for the roles of listeners to be more active and nonetheless the multitudinal ways individuals hear and listen including the spontaneous non-intellectual.”
Trevor Taylor has been involved in contemporary and improvised music for over 50 years. As a drummer, he studied under Reg Williams, John Thomson, Frank King and Alan Jackson before embracing the wider aspects of percussion at the London Guildhall under Gilbert Webster, the then principle percussionist with the LSO. He set up his own studio in Southend, creating opportunities for playing and recording with many other improvisers, including Ian Brighton, Frank Perry, Philipp Wachsmann et al. In 1973 he was requested to produce the album Balance for Incus. Following further involvement with, and support from people such as Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, Taylor organised and promoted a series of Music in Our Time concerts, creating a platform for those people and many other local and established improvisors, and contemporary musicians. He has been able to do this for over 40 years from commercial activities in retail music enabling him to found the record company ‘FMR’ (Future Music Records) in 1988. This label is entirely devoted to, and supporting, non-mainstream contemporary and improvised music, producing over 400 different albums, books, DVDS and the AVANT magazine. As a percussionist he is featured on many of the FMR albums, as is Trevor Watts, Veryan Weston, Gary Smith, Paul Dunmall and many other outstanding improvising musicians. In his own right he is an outstanding soloist, using a varied range of acoustic instrumentation obtained from all over the world, as well as specially developed electronic sources. Within an improvised environment he has developed a unique ability to play with precision and sensitivity creating sound sheets of percussive colours, while retaining empathy for the group and individuals within it. Currently he performs with contemporary jazz groups iZephyr, the Power Trio, ‘Chenenko’, ‘Cyborg’, ‘Aero’, ‘Unlimited’, ‘Torus’ and ‘Avanti’ and, in the improvisation groups, ‘Circuit and String Thing. Circuit, formed in 2005, for exploratory electronic and electro acoustic music includes artists such as Paul Dunmall, Pat Thomas, Paul Rogers et al, while with String Thing, formed in 1975,has always been a meeting ground of old friends. The last FMR recording “Eleven Years from Yesterday” was in 1989 and the next is due out later this year.