Category Archives: electronics

23 November 2019: LUME Barbican Free Stage slots at EFG London Jazz Festival

At this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival, LUME will showcase two new projects that reflect the adventurous spirit of our music-making. Come down to the Barbican foyer (free entry!) on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd November to hear sets from:

5pm: Rachel Musson / Cath Roberts / Andrew Lisle

All active as collaborator, bandleaders and composers in their own right, Musson, Lisle and Roberts have joined forces in this new trio. Rachel Musson is a distinctive voice on the European scene, regularly collaborating with artists including Julie Kjær, Hannah Marshall, Olie Brice, Pat Thomas, Louis Moholo-Moholo and many more. Andrew Lisle is in demand as an improvising drummer in London and further afield, with ongoing projects including Kodian Trio, Alex Ward’s Item ensembles and his own trio with Charlotte Keeffe and Otto Willberg. LUME’s own Cath Roberts primarily plays baritone saxophone and can be found leading her ensembles Sloth Racket and Favourite Animals, in established duos with Anton Hunter and Benedict Taylor, and as bandmate in groups including Article XI, Vole and Madwort Saxophone Quartet.

Rachel Musson – tenor saxophone
Cath Roberts – alto saxophone
Andrew Lisle – drums

6pm: Deemer + 1

The brain-child of sound artist Merijn Royaards and saxophonist/composer/LUME co-conspirator Dee Byrne, Deemer started life in 2006 as a weekly improvisation/electronics session in a warehouse in Hackney Wick. Over the years the project has evolved into a continuing conversation that is always inquisitive, searching and fresh. The duo released their debut album ‘Interference Patterns’ on Luminous Label in 2015. Their second release ‘Live At The Vortex’ was released on cassette in 2016. They are currently working on their next release on Luminous, which will feature guest artists involved in their new Deemer + 1 project. For this special London Jazz Festival performance Deemer invites Manchester-based drummer, composer and bandleader Johnny Hunter as special guest for a heavy dose of sonic cookery.

Dee Byrne – alto saxophone
Merijn Royaards – electronics
Johnny Hunter – drums

LUME FESTIVAL 2017 is almost upon us…

The second LUME Festival is taking place at IKLECTIK on the weekend of 24th/25th June. This year’s event will be a two-dayer, with a host of LUME’s favourite artists on the bill. Join us for two days of spontaneous musical explorations, collaborations old and new, live painting from Gina Southgate and all round good times!

Saturday: The Hat Speaks // Alex Bonney solo // Ma/ti/om // Archipelago // Sloth Racket // Corey Mwamba (LUME Lab Festival Special) // Gina Southgate

Sunday: The Hat Speaks // Tullis Rennie solo // Birchall/Cheetham/Webster/Willberg // Entropi // Metamorphic // LUMEkestra //Gina Southgate

Food // drinks // merch
2pm – midnight (live sets 3pm – 10.30pm)

Buy your tickets now from the Luminous Bandcamp site.

Praise for last year’s inaugural festival:

‘A glimpse of the kind of self-generated, mutually supportive communities we’re going to need if we’re to survive the years ahead.’ – Daniel Spicer, The Wire

‘Like all the best family get togethers LUME Festival should be an annual event. This debut was outstanding.’ – Thomas Rees, Jazzwise

LUME Lab Project Blog #3: Craig Scott

The next LUME Lab is almost upon us, and this month’s artist is Leeds-based experimental guitarist Craig Scott of the excellent Wasp Millionaire Records. You can reserve your place at his performance on 19th April at IKLECTIK, by purchasing an advance ticket from the Luminous Bandcamp site. Craig has been away working on his music at a retreat in the Yorkshire Dales, and writes:

First of all I would like to say thank you to LUME for this opportunity; having the funding to take the time out to write music for a specific purpose is not something I get to do very often.

I chose to write this new set of material for the Gastric Band, which is the same group of musicians that have been performing my Lobotomy material live. The band also consists of the entirety of Shatner’s Bassoon – a band that I have been making music with for a long time now- with the addition of ‘psychedelic father of two’ Sam Bell on percussion.

Oliver Dover clarinets / saxophones
Michael Bardon standing upright on electric bass
Johnny Richards keyboards
Joost Hendrickx drums
Sam Bell percussion
Myself guitar and electronics.

I spent the majority of January writing for this commission. I started off with making a list of considerations as to what I consider the strengths/possibilities/identifying characteristics of both my recorded/studio work under the Lobotomy name and of this band (as a unit and individuals). I tried to keep all the individual parts as simple as possible and always trying to make the sum of the parts to something more complex for the purposes of both ease of rehearsal and to make all the material as malleable as possible for elaboration through improvisation.

Some of the aspects of the music that I wanted to exploit included:

  • Simplicity in individual parts.
  • Large scale forms developing very slowly, material being slowly revealed and re-contextualised. (It was a blues all along!)
  • Space/lack of markers and its ambiguity to create false assumptions for the listener.
  • Microtonal melodic material and its relationship to tempered contexts.
  • Balance of duality and unity in time feel and weighting
  • For the mind and the booty.
  • An awareness and consideration of the different performers unique interpretation/ individual rationalisations of the material based on their different musical backgrounds.
  • Emphasis of the importance/impact of relative silence
  • Exploiting the joys of functional harmony!
  • Tri/bitonality.
  • Enducing trance like states.
  • The line between symmetrical melodic structures and diatonic structures in a tempered context.
  • Extended palette using live processing/ sampling, pre recorded samples and custom made Nord sample patches.

A disparate collection of subliminal musical influences probably include Joseph Shillinger, Sanjo, Gagaku, The Melvins, Thelonious Monk, Maurice Ravel, Captain Beefheart, Trevor Wishart, Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman, Bela Bartok, Gnawa, Shellac, Seben, Lazaro Ros, Maquam, Blues for dads. (Make of that what you will, but it probably gives a clearer picture of what the music actually sounds like than all the pomp above.)

I spent a lot of time thinking about how to transfer some of the aesthetic and functions of the post production techniques that have become part of my palette working on the recorded Lobotomy material to a live setting. This manifested itself both in how I wrote for the band and in the development of a new live sampling and processing setup.

I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now. A while ago my dear friend and long term partner in crimes against music Oliver Dover found a broken mixing desk in a skip outside a school he was working at. I managed to get it working again: recycling/making/repurposing/bending old audio gear has become quite a large part of the Lobotomy aesthetic. So, paired with some of my home-made microphones, circuit bent cassette and reel to reel delays and some samplers I had a setup that I could use live which greatly extending the palette of the band and gave me some sort of illusion of control over the band in more macro sense.

Alongside the four new pieces I wrote specifically for this, I also decided to include one of the pieces I had written and recorded for the new Lobotomy EP that I’m currently working on. (Coming soon!)

Between conceiving the pieces throughout January and rehearsing them in late March they started to feel more and more like a fictitious fairytale I had told myself about possible musical situations. So, it was very satisfying to finally actually hear the pieces vibrating the air molecules around me when the rehearsal residency rolled round!

We spent the first week of March together in relative isolation in a farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales, rehearsing and recording this new material. It is becoming rarer and rarer nowadays to have the luxury of this amount of  dedicated time to rehearse new material with a group. For this opportunity I am most grateful. It really gave us time to work into the material and explore the different ideas and ways of  implementing the pre conceived material.

Having the ability to record the whole residency (the first time I’ve had the chance to hear my home-made microphone setup in action!) and the distance this provides – being able to listen from an outside view – has also been very useful in determining changes that need to be made to the pieces especially when it comes to decisions being made regarding form on a macro scale.

I am very much looking forward to performing this new material for the first on the 19th of April at IKLECTIK, I hope you can join us! (Tickets here)

I’d also like to say thank you once again to Cath and Dee at LUME for giving me this opportunity!

New for 2017: LUME Lab

LUME is back with something new for 2017: LUME Lab. Making a space for artists to create new work, four evenings of brand new composition and improvised music will be accompanied by the LUME Lab project blog, letting the audience in on the creative process. LUME Lab marks a change of direction for us: we’re moving away from being a platform for guest artists, rolling up our sleeves and getting involved in creating new music with the community of musicians who have gathered around LUME over the past three and a half years.

LUME Lab gigs will take place at IKLECTIK, the South London arts space that played host to our inaugural festival last summer and the LUMEkestra’s debut in November. The series opens in February with a new incarnation of our quartet Word Of Moth, then we settle down for the ride and get ready to enjoy new music from three of the most exciting artists on the UK scene right now. We invite you to join us.

Tickets are available for individual gigs, and for slightly less you can purchase a season ticket for all four, or a ticket to use at two dates of your choice. Buy tickets now from our Luminous Bandcamp page.

8th February: Word Of Moth
Word of Moth’s ‘spontaneous group explorations and tightly-scored, big-booted riffs’ were praised by Daniel Spicer in the Wire magazine after their appearance at LUME Festival. The collaborative quartet explores the intersection of freedom and structure, with LUME founders Dee Byrne (alto sax) and Cath Roberts (baritone sax) joined by Seth Bennett on bass and Johnny Hunter on drums. wordofmoth.co.uk


Photo: Tom Ward

16th March: Julie Kjær
Saxophonist Julie Kjær is firmly established on the European stage. Her acclaimed trio with Steve Noble and John Edwards released its debut recording ‘Doppeltganger’ on the Clean Feed label in 2016, and she tours with Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love’s Large Unit as well as being involved in many other projects in the UK and beyond. juliekjaer.com


Photo: Dawid Laskowski

19th April: Craig Scott
Craig Scott’s music is ‘part human, part machine and revelling the glory and error of both.’ His studio project Craig Scott’s Lobotomy transforms recordings of improvisations by Craig and others using homemade equipment, re-constructing them with digital audio software. He is a member of formidable Leeds quintet Shatner’s Bassoon. craigscottslobotomy.bandcamp.com


Photo: Josh Crocker

24th May: Anton Hunter
Improvisation is at the core of Anton Hunter’s work. His Article XI project incorporates the personalities of eleven improvising musicians into the compositional process, exploring the relationship between composer and large ensemble. He leads his own trio with Seth Bennett and Johnny Hunter, and co-founded the long-running Manchester free improvisation night The Noise Upstairs. antonhunter.com


Photo: Mark Whitaker

LUME Lab is supported by Arts Council England.

LUMEkestra successfully unleashed!

Quick post to share Dan Paton’s photo of the LUMEkestra in action last night at IKLECTIK. It was a fantastic night: the venue was packed out, good times were had and new music was made. There will be more…..see you next time!

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26th June @ IKLECTIK: LUME Festival

We’re extremely happy to be able to type this: LUME Festival is going ahead! With the support of our awesome 131 Kickstarter backers, Arts Council England and the Austrian Cultural Forum, we’ll be hosting an all-dayer on Sunday 26th June at IKLECTIK.

A lot of tickets were sold through the Kickstarter campaign, but there are a limited number available from our Luminous Bandcamp site. Grab yours now and we’ll see you there for a great day of music!

The line-up, in reverse order of appearance, is:

Article XI (Manchester)
Freewheeling large ensemble led by guitarist Anton Hunter, with: Oliver Dover (alto sax), Tom Ward (tenor sax), Cath Roberts (baritone sax), Johnny Hunter (drums), Seth Bennett (bass), Graham South, Nick Walters (trumpet), Tullis Rennie, Richard Foote (trombone)

Blueblut (Austria)
Coming over from Austria! With Led Bib’s Mark Holub (drums), Pamela Stickney (theremin) and Chris Janka (guitar)

Kjær/Musson/Marshall (London)
Fantastic trio of Julie Kjær (alto sax), Rachel Musson (tenor sax) and Hannah Marshall (cello)

Little Church (Birmingham)
Quintet led by David Austin Grey (nord/synth/FX) playing compositions inspired by Miles Davis electric period featuring Rachael Cohen (alto sax), Chris Mapp (bass/electronics) and Tymek Joswiak (drums).

Hot Beef Three (Leeds)
Trio with some of Leeds’ finest improvisers: Oliver Dover (saxes), Andrew Lisle (drums), Craig Scott (guitar)

Ant Traditions (Manchester)
Top notch Manchester improv from Adam Fairhall (toy pianos) and Dave Birchall (electric guitar)

Word Of Moth (London)
Collaborative quartet from the founders of LUME: Dee Byrne (alto sax), Cath Roberts (baritone sax), Seth Bennett (bass), Tom Greenhalgh (drums)

We’ll also have artist Gina Southgate capturing the day on canvas!

Doors 1pm, music 1.30pm-10.30pm, with late bar afterwards.

IKLECTIK, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, SE1 7LG.

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The festival is generously supported by Arts Council England, the Austrian Cultural Forum and 131 Kickstarter backers.

20th May @ Hundred Years Gallery: Richard Scott’s Lightning Ensemble & Sam Andreae solo

This month we return to Hundred Year’s Gallery to host a fantastic touring double bill of improvised music. It’s great to have Sam Andreae back at LUME after his appearance last year with Rodrigo Constanzo, and more recently of course as part of Sloth Racket. Doors are 8pm, music 8.30pm, and tickets are available in advance from the Luminous Bandcamp site.

Hundred Years Gallery, 13 Pearson Street, E2 8JD. Nearest station: Hoxton overground.

Richard Scott’s Lightning Ensemble

The Lighting Ensemble is Richard Scott’s UK-based hyper-interactive free improvising group with longtime collaborators Phillip Marks and David Birchall. Intricate, intimate, dynamic, molecular and often explosive music.

The ensemble focuses on a highly interactive, conversational post-free jazz form of free music that Scott calls ‘molecular improvisation’, influenced by disciplines originally pioneered by John Stevens and the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. Scott’s approach to electronics is fast and visceral and the group’s sound reflects his interest in speed, intensity and collective musical communication.

The Lightning Ensemble itself has been in existence for five years but the individual players in the group have a much longer history of playing together. Scott and Marks have been working together for over two decades in groups such as Grew Trio and Bark! Marks and Birchall, separated in age by 30 years, nonetheless discovered their absolutely compatible natural musical affinity over the past five years via the improvising scene in the north of England. In 2016 there are 3 new albums prepared for release: one is the trio alone, one featuring Sam Andreae on saxophone and one with Jon Rose on violin.

lightning

Sam Andreae

Sam’s music explores ideas of stasis through chaos, concrete gestures vs abstraction, subversion of learned behaviours/actions, extremes of attack or sustain and spontaneity. All the audible possibilities of the saxophone are approached with a concept of sound equality – one language formed from many contrasting parts – informed by playing with many percussion and electronic musicians and driven by a desire to blend with these instruments in order to form a cohesive ensemble sound. His composition work focuses on exploiting behavioural/interaction based elements through sound and gesture, these ideas also mix into his improvised performances. However deeply thought out a concert or work might be, Sam believes keeping a lightness and fragility in any performance situation is essential in order to achieve an engaging and truly spontaneous musical experience.

“Andreae delves into an impressive vocabulary of skilfully controlled overtones, rapid keypad flutters and fragile harmonics, glistening like filaments held up to the light” 

– Daniel Spicer, The Wire (2015)

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8th May @ The Vortex: Sloth Racket (album launch) & ELDA

A double bill of touring bands this month, as Cath Roberts launches her Sloth Racket album ‘Triptych’ and Andrew Woodhead brings his improvising trio ELDA from Birmingham.

Sloth Racket

Sloth Racket is a quintet of UK improvisers led by baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts, with Anton Hunter (Beats & Pieces Big Band, Article XI) on guitar, Sam Andreae (Trio Riot, Silence Blossoms) on tenor saxophone, Seth Bennett (Metamorphic, En Bas Quartet) on bass and Johnny Hunter (Nat Birchall, Johnny Hunter Quartet) on drums. The group play Cath’s compositions, in the form of frameworks for improvisation: combining composed fragments with graphic notation to explore the balance between freedom and structure. In November 2015 they gathered to record at Limefield Studio in Manchester with John Ellis (Cinematic Orchestra) engineering. The resulting session, on a cold and rainy evening fuelled by coffee and pizza, produced three substantial tracks that range across musical territories from fiery free jazz, to minimal improv textures, to deep grooves. The album ‘Triptych’ is released in May 2016 on the Luminous label.

Cath Roberts baritone saxophone
Sam Andreae tenor saxophone
Anton Hunter guitar
Seth Bennett bass
Johnny Hunter drums

sloths-by-peter-woodman-b&w

ELDA

Andrew Woodhead’s latest project ELDA is a collaboration with Norwegian vocalist Kari Eskild Havenstrøm (Trondheim Voices, Kristoffer Lo) and trumpeter Aaron Diaz (The Destroyers, Sid Peacock), mixing acoustic sounds with live electronics and soundscapes. Andrew and Kari met on a musical exchange between Trondheim and Birmingham at the 2013 Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and formed this trio with Aaron to continue their collaboration and explore their shared musical interests.

Andrew Woodhead keyboard/electronics
Aaron Diaz trumpet/electronics
Kari Eskild Havenstrøm vocals/FX

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16th January, 2pm @ Electric Knife: Hannah Marshall & Kordik Lucas

We’re back! Happy New Year everyone. To kick things off for 2016, we’re taking LUME to a new space: the excellent Electric Knife record shop in Kentish Town. Electric Knife specialises in avant garde, noise, and experimental music and its owner Thanasis stocks a fantastic range of CDs, vinyl, cassettes, books and more. The shop occasionally turns into an intimate venue for in-store gigs, and we’re really exciting to be hosting one this January. Be warned: this gig is in the afternoon! The music will start at 2pm, so make sure you leave yourself some time to browse the shelves before we welcome:

Hannah Marshall
Improvising cellist Hannah Marshall is a formidable force on the UK scene and beyond. She regularly collaborates with such (fellow) luminaries of improvised music as Veryan Weston, Alison Blunt, Terry Day, Alex Ward, Rachel Musson and Dominic Lash, and has also played with Evan Parker, Luc Ex and Fred Frith. Hannah has appeared at LUME before in various different groups, but for today’s gig we’re excited to say that she will be performing a solo set.

hannah

Kordik Lucas
Last year we were lucky enough to host a set by trombone and analogue synthesiser duo Kordik Lucas, and we couldn’t wait to ask them back. They have been playing together for several years, as well as running Earshots Recordings together, a label releasing improvised music and field recordings. ‘The juicy sounds of the Vostok synth wiggle with squelchy non- classical balls of trombone fluff,’ said the Next Festival in Bratislava, and we have to agree…

Ed Lucas trombone

Daniel Kordik Vostok synthesiser

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Please join us for this special afternoon of improvised music in London’s finest tiny record shop! Suggested donation: one Bank of England note of your choice.

Electric Knife Records, 16b Fortress Road, Kentish Town, NW5 2EU.

17th December @ Hundred Years Gallery: The Hat Speaks!

For our last gig of 2015 we return to Hundred Years Gallery in Hoxton, for the second edition of our dice-and-hat improvised music night. We held the first one in July to celebrate our second birthday, and it was so much fun we decided to do it again. As before, a nebulous ensemble of UK improvisers will gather to make spontaneous music together. This time the list looks like this:

Alison Blunt
Alex Bonney
Dee Byrne
Tim Fairhall
Tom Greenhalgh
Anton Hunter
Andrew Lisle
Percy Pursglove
Martin Pyne
Tullis Rennie
Ed Riches
Cath Roberts
Tom Ward
Colin Webster

….plus new additions Seth Bennett and Tori Handsley!

Taking inspiration from long-running Manchester night The Noise Upstairs (founded by Anton Hunter and Tullis Rennie no less), we will put all the players’ names into a hat, throw the dice to determine how many musicians will play, and then draw out the names. The result is lots of mini- sets from often completely new combinations of people! Some groups from last time have decided to carry on playing together too: Tom Ward and Adam Fairhall are now collaborating on a new quartet for 2016 after their hat encounter in the Summer!

Do join us for this last gig of the year – it’s been a blast, so let’s see it off in style! Entry, as usual, is one Bank of England note of your choice. Doors 7.30pm, first roll of the dice 8pm.

Hundred Years Gallery, 13 Pearson Street, London E2 8JD.

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