LUME back on the Barbican freestage

This Sunday 23rd November sees the return of LUME to the Barbican Centre! As part of London Jazz Festival 2019 we’re presenting two trio sets starting at 5pm:

Rachel Musson, Andrew Lisle and Cath Roberts: the second outing of our new double-sax trio.

Deemer + 1: Dee Byrne’s long-running duo with sound artist Merijn Royaards is joined by special guest Johnny Hunter.

It will be great to play there again: we had such a great day doing the LUME Freestage in 2015 (which you can read about in the archives).  Join us in the foyer for some fresh improvised music!

Afterwards I’ll be heading straight down to Brockley for the November BRÅK, where I’m playing duo with Johnny Hunter. The full lineup is on our website…why not round off your day with some beer shop-based improv?

IMPETUS GROUP

At Hundred Years Gallery on Sunday 17th November: the first meeting of Dirk Serries’ new ensemble IMPETUS GROUP. Dirk has been inspired to put this group together by Derek Bailey’s Company group, Iskra 1903 and John Stevens’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble. It’s a great lineup that I’m happy to be a part of:

Saxophones : Alan Wilkinson, Cath Roberts, Martin Clarke
Bass Clarinet/Flute : Tom Ward
Trumpet : Charlotte Keeffe
Acoustic Guitars : Daniel Thompson, Dirk Serries
Double Bass : Otto Willberg
Cello : Hannah Marshall
Viola : Benedict Taylor

It’s an afternoon gig, with doors at 3.30pm. More info about the concert is on the HYG site, and you can read more about Dirk’s projects on the website of his label A New Wave Of Jazz.

FREENESS

Tonight on BCC Radio 3 at midnight, the first episode of a brand new improvised music programme called ‘Freeness’ will be broadcast. It’s presented by my good friend and formidable improviser, writer (of music and text) and organiser Corey Mwamba. This is pretty exciting!

Sloth Racket’s ‘We Decide What’s Next’ will be played on the show, along with me talking about the track. Constructing coherent sentences about my own work was harder than I expected, but I’m sure whatever I said has been edited into something that makes sense and it’s an honour to be part of the first episode.

With the axing and reducing of various programmes over the past few years, this feels like a really positive step by the BBC and I hope it’s the beginning of a new era of improvised music on the radio.

There’s an open call for submissions too: Corey and the Reduced Listening team who make the show have created an email address where artists can send in their music, so if you have some tracks you reckon would fit and you’d like played, send them over to freeness @ reducedlistening.co.uk.

I’m looking forward to tuning in and discovering some new music!

Two nice gigs this week

Quick post about two nice gigs coming up this week, both of which have lovely flyers.

On Tuesday 1st October I’m playing a trio set with Steve Noble and Otto Willberg at SET, Dalston. Otto has organised this gig and there’s a duo of Yoni Silver and Sharon Gal on the other side of the bill…should be an excellent evening.

Then on Saturday 5th October I’m playing at another SET space, this time their project space in Lewisham. I’ll be in duo with Charlotte Keeffe, as part of the first ever edition of the s10c series, organised by Sam Andreae and Mio Ebisu. Two other sets full of lovely people at this gig, plus an exhibition of Mio’s paintings, and food!

Release day!

The new Sloth Racket album is released today! You can now stream the whole album on Bandcamp, and order CDs and zines to be shipped straight away. Check it out!

Excellent times in Antwerp

Quick post to say that I had a great weekend at Summer Bummer Festival in Antwerp! The organisers Sound In Motion had put together a trio of Tullis Rennie, Dirk Serries and me, so it was a first meeting; although I knew both of them and had played with them separately before, the two hadn’t met! We all felt the set went well, and plans are afoot to do more with the group. Summer Bummer is a fantastic festival that I’d really recommend going to next year, and we were incredibly well looked after too. The set was recorded, so I’m looking forward to hearing it back – meanwhile here’s a nice photo by Geert Vandepoele…

Dismantle Yourself: new Sloth Racket album available to pre-order

You can pre-order your copy of the fourth Sloth Racket album ‘Dismantle Yourself’ today from Luminous! I’m so happy with how this album album sounds and it’s great to get it out there…


As well as the CD edition with hand-printed sleeve, for this release I’ve created a companion zine to go with the album. The 20-page, A6 zines were printed by Footprint Workers Co-operative in Leeds with bright blue ink on recycled paper. The words and graphics inside came out of my process of going through the studio sessions to pick the final album tracks and give them titles: my listening notes always include these things, and this time I decided to work on them a bit to make finished pieces of writing. When laying out the text for the zine pages I incorporated graphics similar to the ones in my scores for Sloth Racket and Favourite Animals compositions.

The CD sleeves come in five different colour inks – randomly selected when I ship albums, or you can take your pick when buying from the merch table.

It’s in the album thanks list, but I should say here once again how grateful I am for the support of the Fenton Arts Trust and the Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust. I was able to get grants from them to support the album recording: a two-day session in February at The Chairworks studio in Yorkshire. After three albums made in single day sessions, the aim was to have more time to work on the music in the relaxed setting of a residential studio. With more time for experimentation, the focus of the recording was the exploration and development of the new material, collectively improvising the composed starting points into finished pieces. Of course, all that will be straight out of the window as soon as we set off on tour in September and get our teeth into the music on the road!

Sloth Racket DISMANTLE YOURSELF September tour and album

Sloth Racket is hitting the road this Autumn and releasing a new album! After a huge amount of work and multiple grant applications, I’m incredibly happy to announce this run of nine live dates around the UK. Touring is where we can really get into the music, and I can’t wait to get stuck in. I love playing with this band! Check the flyer below for all the dates, and you can find all the info about venues, who will be sharing the bill with us, how you can buy tickets and everything else tour-related at slothracket.co.uk/tour.

The new album ‘Dismantle Yourself’ will be available to pre-order from Luminous on 12th August, and is released on 2nd September. I’ll post here when pre-orders are up too.

See you somewhere out there in September!The tour is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.