‘Boundaries’ released today!

Out today is something I’m really happy to be involved with: Boundaries, an LP on the new multi.modal label. Based at SPARC (Sound Practice and Research @ City), a research centre at the Music Department of City, University of London, multi.modal is run by Tullis Rennie and Claudia Molitor. In their own words:

‘multi.modal is a new London based record label that muddies the borders between improvisation, field recording and composition. Each release on the label will triangulate these artistic spaces and reflect contemporary music practices, which tend to be collaborative and multimodal.’

I was lucky enough to be invited to work with City University Experimental Ensemble in April 2017, making a new graphic score, March Of The Egos, for them as well as playing my piece Off-World (as heard on the Favourite Animals album). We performed the two pieces at IKLECTIK, and it’s this recording that you can hear on side B of ‘Boundaries’.

The title of the release refers to side A of the LP: two interpretations of Chieko Shiomi’s Boundary Music. This 1963 text score reads: ‘Make the faintest possible sound to a boundary condition whether the sound is given birth to as a sound or not. At the performance, instruments, human bodies, electronic apparatus or anything else may be used.’

The Boundaries album is distributed by NMC Recordings and can be ordered from their website. I also have a couple of copies that I’ll be selling at gigs, so come and find me on a merch table somewhere soon!

Lastly I should mentioned the beautiful design work by Alexander Rennie. Look at the gorgeous cover!

Update: I’ve been alerted to a lovely review of this record on the Further blog, in which Mat Smith describes CUEE’s performances of my pieces as ‘a vibrant, colourful, euphorically noisy collision between noir jazz and electronics’ (Off-World) and ‘a discordant, joyously sprawling piece wherein each instrument and player seems to be vying for airtime’ (March Of The Egos). Thanks Mat!

Trio resurfaces!

This Wednesday 15th May, I’m playing in a trio with Tullis Rennie and Otto Willberg at SET in Dalston. It’s the second gig for this group, which originally got together last year for a gig at Liz Exell’s Jazz Herstory series at Poplar Union. I’m looking forward to playing together again! Otto and I collaborateid on this nice photo flyer (?!) for the occasion…

Quartet gig at Hundred Years Gallery

A nice gig coming up: on Saturday 11th May I’m playing in a quartet with Charlotte Keeffe, Benedict Taylor and Alex Ward at Hundred Years Gallery. This group will be a visiting ensemble at City University the week before, playing for a workshop with the composition students, so this concert will be a nice opportunity to make music together in a live setting. Timings and more about the musicians are on the Hundred Years Gallery website. Quite pleased with my flyer for this one!

MoonMot Switzerland tour

At the end of the month I’m heading to Switzerland on tour with the newly-named MoonMot sextet. This group originally came out of a LUME collaboration with Jazzwerkstatt Bern in 2017, featuring UK and Swiss musicians and playing the music of our LUME quartet project Word Of Moth. The UK/CH ensemble has now taken on its own identity and has a recording session and tour lined up, all masterminded by trombone player Simon Petermann. The dates:

27 March – Lucerne: Neustahl
28 March – Shaffhausen: Haberhaus
29 March – Solothurn: Kreuz Kultur
30 March – Bern: BeJazz
1 April – Lugano: Studio Foce
2 April – Zurich: Falcone Sounds

And the personnel:

Simon Petermann – trombone
Dee Byrne – alto saxophone
Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Oli Kuster – piano/keyboards
Seth Bennett – double bass
Johnny Hunter – drums

Sloth Racket and Entropi at Kings Place

Sloth Racket is sharing the bill with Dee Byrne’s excellent band Entropi for the first time on Wednesday 13th March, for a special LUME double bill concert at Kings Place. LUME has been taking some time off since our second festival in summer 2017, so it will be great to host our first event in a while at a totally new venue for us.



Trio date at Hundred Years Gallery

On Sunday 24th February the trio of Olie Brice, Corey Mwamba and me will play at Hundred Years Gallery. This will be either its second or third gig, and the first one after a long break. With Corey retiring from live performance in March, we thought we should get a date in the diary. Come along for an afternoon of improvised music and a rare last chance to hear this combination of people.

And here’s the poster…

Madwort’s Menagerie album launch concert

Madwort’s Menagerie is Tom Ward’s chamber-ish sextet project, which I became a member of relatively recently. We recorded a set of Tom’s music in 2017 and the album is coming out this Spring on his new label Madwort Records. To celebrate the release, we’ll be playing at Hundred Years Gallery in Hoxton on Saturday 9th February. For this date the lineup will be:

Tom Ward – flute
Alex Bonney – cornet
Adam Spiers – cello
Andrew Woolf – bass clarinet
Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Tim Fairhall – double bass