Hello! My name’s Anton (that’s my grinning face in front of a wall up there). For the past few years I’ve been trying to focus my own composing on larger groups, which started with my 11-piece band Article XI, the goal being to get some of the feel and spontaneity of small groups to work on a bigger scale. Having the power and energy of a larger group but still allowing the individual musicians’ voice and personality to come through. That’s the plan anyway. Here’s a video of an Article XI piece if you’d like something to listen to while you read…
For my LUME Lab project, I’m debuting new music for a new ensemble, and I’ve purposefully chosen some people I’ve not worked with much before, but have been wanting to for a while. Namely:
Kim Macari Stone-Lonergan – trumpet
Dee Byrne – alto sax
Rachel Musson – tenor sax
Tullis Rennie – trombone
Cath Roberts – baritone sax
Andrew Lisle – drums
Tim Fairhall – double bass
and me – guitar
Over the past few months I’ve been meeting up with the musicians to improvise together in duos and trios. Initially we played completely freely to get a feel for how everyone fits together, and I recorded the sessions. I then went back and listened to it all and picked a few moments out, a melody or two, or some chords, or a riff. See exhibit A:
Then we all met up again, in different duos and trios and played the ideas I had transcribed, with a lot more improvising around them. Since then I’ve been hard at work, listening to these sessions and drawing elements in, expanding on some of the written passages, discounting others that didn’t work. This time the recorded material hasn’t been as much a source for me to transcribe, but a way to instantly get into the soundworld of a composition, and I’ve done a lot of improvising melodies whilst listening, or just after listening and so on.
I’m really looking forward to the gig: there’s going to be a whole load of space for these incredible improvisers to express themselves, and if you’ve seen or heard any of them before you’ll know not to miss the chance to see them again. We’re also going to play some hits from my back-catalogue. Or, rather, three or four tunes that I’ve written for different ensembles, so if the Article XI video above has finished playing, try clicking go on this one, with the LUMEkestra last year. We’ll be doing our own octet version of it.
Thanks for reading! Please buy a ticket or two in advance; your support is really vital for nights like LUME to survive, and Cath and Dee work incredibly hard to create a supportive space for new music like this. See you on the 24th!
P.S. Here’s a photo of me not in front of a wall, for balance.