24th April: Ti/om & Molino de Otoño

This week, we have a double bill of acoustic improvising groups incorporating sounds, influences and instruments from around the world.


Through free improvisation, Ti/om investigates the resonances and contrasts between the two players: Tom Ward on bass clarinet or flute, and Tim Fairhall on acoustic bass. The interplay between the two improvisers is considered from different angles, the result of which can be sprawling melodies, spontaneous grooves, brooding intensities, or more gestural, percussive playing. A cornerstone of Ti/om’s development as a unit has been the use of non-musical sources as starting points, in particular Japanese haiku written by zen monks on their deathbeds. The short-form poetry with its dense, distilled emotion and sense of place functions as an inspiration for improvised music with economy: an idea that has become almost a philosophy for Fairhall and Ward. Both the haikus and the two musicians share a love of the natural world, too, with the poets drawing metaphors from nature to convey the frailty of the human condition and the duo finding a connection in their fondness for ‘solitude in the wilderness’. A keen climber and mountain biker respectively, Tim and Tom would be planning a series of mountainside gigs were it not for the various logistical and acoustic challenges involved…

Tom Ward – bass clarinet, flute

Tim Fairhall – double bass


 Molino de Otoño

Molino de Otoño is a wildly diverse new improvisation group, formed in London by the young Colombian musician John García Rueda. Spanning the worlds of improv, composition, cutting-edge electronics and field recording, the group places the familiar cello (Gabriella Swallow) alongside the traditional tiple Colombiano guitar (García), and Japanese shakuhachi flute (Clive Bell). Aiming to fuse all these elements into a beguiling, sensuous music, the group offers a colourful palette of sound like no other. The collaborative experience of Molino de Otoño’s members includes Nigel Kennedy, Gwilym Simcock, David Sylvian, David Toop, Jah Wobble, Karl Jenkins, and Complicite Theatre.

John García Rueda is a composer, sound designer and performer on the tiplé Colombiano – Colombia’s national instrument, a guitar with twelve strings arranged in four groups of three. His array of influences includes ethnological research, which he fuses with a passion for new sounds. He has studied in Bogota, Banff (Canada), Havana and London’s Guildhall, and is now pursuing musical research at Goldsmiths University.

Gabriella Swallow is a hugely celebrated, diverse and eclectic cellist. She made her London South Bank debut as a soloist with the London Sinfonietta. A passionate advocate for blurring boundaries between genres, Gabriella is just as comfortable on stage at the Wigmore Hall as she is performing at Ronnie Scotts, on tour with the Gwilym Simcock Quartet or with Nigel Kennedy’s band.

Clive Bell is a musician and composer specialising in East Asian musics. He studied the shakuhachi (Japanese flute) in Tokyo, and the khène (Lao mouthorgan) in Laos and Thailand. Recently he has worked with Jah Wobble, David Sylvian, Kazuko Hohki, Complicite Theatre, the BBC Singers, Sylvia Hallett, Karl Jenkins, Okeanos and Jochen Irmler of Faust. He writes for The Wire magazine.

Molino De Otono_2013-01-14_John Garcia-Gabriella Swallow_Clive Bell_by Bradley Farmer

As usual it’s doors 8pm – with the music starting at 8.30pm – at Long White Cloud, 151 Hackney Road, E2 8JL. This promises to be a very special gig. See you there…