Wednesday 20 October 2021, 7.30pm
Dominic Lash celebrates the launch of the first three CDs on his own Spoonhunt label: Limulus by the Dominc Lash Quartet; Discernment by the quartet of John Butcher, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders, and the much-missed John Russell; and Distinctions by the 20-strong Consorts ensemble, recorded in Cafe OTO at the start of last year. Tonight will feature Consorts as well as the first performance by the quartet of Butcher, Lash, Steve Noble, and pianist Pat Thomas.
"Lash's orchestral approach is inspired, with a focus on particular combinations of voices - bowed strings, bass clarinet, mysterious amplified scritches at one point, fluttering electronics and braying baritone saxophones at another - while the combined mass of the full ensemble looms in and out of view." – Stewart Smith, The Wire
Douglas Benford - harmonium and percussion
Steve Beresford - electronics
Marjolaine Charbin - piano
Chris Cundy - bass clarinet
Seth Cooke - steel sink and metal detector
Angharad Davies - viola
Phil Durrant - modular synth
Matthew Grigg - guitar/amplifier
Bruno Guastalla - cello
Martin Hackett - Korg MS10
Tim Hill - baritone saxophone
Tina Hitchens - flute
Sarah Hughes - zither
Mark Langford - bass clarinet
Dominic Lash - double bass
Yvonna Magda - violin
Hannah Marshall - cello
Helen Papaioannou - baritone saxophone
Yoni Silver - bass clarinet
Alex Ward - clarinet/amplifier
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).
Butcher is well known as a saxophonist who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of time and place. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and unusual acoustics. Since the early 80s he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, Rhodri Davies, Andy Moor (EX), Phil Minton, Christian Marclay, Eddie Prevost, John Stevens’ SME, Gino Robair, Polwechsel, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury, and Okkyung Lee.
Alongside long term projects he values occasional encounters; from large groups such as the EX Orkestra & Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper”, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, Paal Nilssen-Love, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Otomo Yoshihide, Sophie Agnel and Matthew Shipp.
Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions for his own groups, “Good Liquor Caused my Heart for to Sing” for the London Sinfonietta and “Tarab Cuts”, a response to recordings of early Arabic classical music which was shortlisted for a 2014 British Composer’s Award.
“English saxophonist John Butcher may be among the world’s most influential musicians, operating at the cutting-edge of improvisatory practice since the ‘80s. Whenever an acoustic musician starts to sound like a bank of oscillators, a tropical forest, a brook or an insect factory, Butcher’s influence is likely nearby.” – New York City Jazz Record.
Steve Noble is London's leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Stephen O'Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more.
In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including Company Weeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey's excellent TV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book ‘Improvisation; its nature and practise’. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and currently leads the groups N.E.W (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins).
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