Steve Noble / Farida Amadou with Alex Ward – Space 11

Back in May 2018, percussionist Steve Noble met bassist Farida Amadou, and have since developed their own high-energy and exploratory music together as a duo. Steve's rolling, detailed and pointillistic playing melds in symbiosis with Farida's smudged, deep, funked-up lyricism, creating a physical sound that tosses and tumbles across lightning-speed interplay.

As a unit they've welcomed into the fray ex-Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore and recently free jazz pioneer Peter Brötzmann, but for this set of trio releases they invite saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos, clarinetist Alex Ward and bass clarnitest Yoni Silver for a series cooked up in our OTO Project Space. 

Alex has played closely with Steve over the years, but nestles himself perfectly in Steve and Farida's world here, zig-zagging, dipping and diving with a set of complex melodic, harmonic and tonal gestures.


Steve Noble - percussion

Farida Amadou - electric bass

Alex Ward - clarinet


Cover artwork & mastering by Oliver Barrett
Cover photo by Laurent Orseau

1 - Set 1 [21:28]
2 - Set 2 [23: 42]
3 - Set 3 [13:06]

Steve Noble

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). 

Farida Amadou

As autodidact, Farida Amadou draws the most exciting sounds out of her bass without losing sight of the musicality. In her, to date, short musical career, she makes her mark (inter)nationally in challenging collaborations with people such as Peter Brötzmann, Thurston Moore, Mette Rasmussen and Julien Desprez.

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