A second incarnation of the LUMEkestra will emerge to play the closing set of LUME Festival 2017. This behemoth of a band will debut new compositions by Sam Andreae, Adam Fairhall, Dee Byrne and more to be announced. Check out the line-up below!
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
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.
For the second project in our LUME Lab series, we’re excited to welcome acclaimed saxophonist/woodwind player Julie Kjær. Her performance is on 16th March at IKLECTIK, and you can buy tickets in advance from the Luminous Bandcamp site. In this blog post, Julie gives us an insight into what she’s working on…
Jule Kjær: A study of the double bass (and a bit of the bass clarinet too)
What a great challenge and lovely opportunity to be asked to write some new music for LUME’s new constellation the ‘LUME Lab’. I’ve chosen to write for a quintet comprising 4 double basses and a bass clarinet. (and possible a bit of alto flute + sax)
For a long time now I’ve been wanting to get closer to the double bass, to dig into its lovely woody and stringy deep and to get a better understanding of the instrument. Such a lovely instrument with so many possibilities. Creaking woody sounds, screeching strings, low frequencies and humming sounds of the bow on strings.
During the last 3 weeks I’ve been investigating the world of the double bass. I’ve been listening to lots of music, reading wise words and meeting up with one of my double bass heroes, John Edwards, to watch him do his wizardry on the bass and take as many notes as possible. I’ve also been lucky to be able to borrow a double bass myself and get some hands-on experience to get a physical feeling of how it is to play – checking out the different sounds myself.
The next 3 – 4 weeks I will be processing all this collected material and info and use it as inspiration for the piece I will be writing. The compositing work will be based on the way I’ve been working with composing for the last 5 years, mainly with my trio, Julie Kjær 3, which is combining written material with improvised sections, experimenting with rhythm, sound and extended techniques.
After this I will be meeting up with the group for rehearsals leading up to the concert on the 16th March. The rehearsals are also an important part of the process, where the material is tried out, molded and shaped by the whole group.
The 4 double bass players I’ve asked to play are great players and improvisers. They are all busy on the London experimental and improv scene, but can also be heard in other parts of the music scene playing a.o. folk music and Jazz. I will be playing the bass clarinet part.
Dee Byrne (alto sax), Cath Roberts (baritone sax), Seth Bennett (bass), Johnny Hunter (drums)
Word Of Moth is a collaborative quartet set up by LUME founders Dee and Cath: we needed something musical to offset all the admin work we do together! The band has just got a new drummer, Johnny Hunter, and so we’ve used our LUME Lab slot to develop the new lineup, taking existing material in new directions as well as working on some brand new music together. The band is recording its debut album this month, and heading to Switzerland to play at the Jazzwerkstatt collective’s tenth anniversary festival, so this LUME Lab date is the start of some exciting moth times. A few words about what we’ve been doing before you join us on 8th February…
We had a good rehearsal yesterday [25th January], working on some new material, which we’ll perform at IKLECTIK on 8th February and will also be recording on 16th February. The line-up in Word of Moth (drums, double bass, baritone sax and alto sax) is a new challenge for me to compose for; the absence of a chordal instrument encourages me to take a new approach and look more creatively at the specific roles of each instrument. The horns can comp a bass or drum solo as well as play melodies and improvise, which is a fun extra element.
The new compositions I brought to the rehearsal were not polished arrangements, but instead took the form of a few distinct sections, which we then workshopped and arranged as a group. It’s a fun and collaborative way to work and led to some cool results! Some of the things we looked at were transitions between different sections such as introducing a riff/theme during a solo or half the group moving to the next section resulting in two sections overlapping (that sounded great!)
For Word Of Moth I’ve found myself taking a different approach to composing than I usually might. My current concerns with my regular band Sloth Racket are about using a combination of graphics and conventional notation to create structures for us to improvise our way through. This involves lots of cutting, sticking and photocopying to create scores as if the computer had never been invented.
For some reason though, for WoM I’ve found myself writing pieces that are more like short rock/pop songs! For the LUME Lab rehearsals I’ve been bringing in simple riffs or hooks, sometimes with an attached melody, but not much in the way of fully developed structures. This has led to some pretty stripped-down sounding music, with a lot of space for us to improvise and develop the tunes together. Plus I get to rock out playing some heavy riffs on bari, or rock out while listening to Seth playing them on bass, which is extremely satisfying.
It will be good to pull the pieces together and try them out at our LUME Lab gig – by which time we should be a step closer to being ready to go into the studio too….
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.
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
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!
We have a great double bill for you this month: free improvisation and original music from two fantastic UK bands! As usual at The Vortex it’s doors at 7.30pm, with the music starting around 8pm. Advance tickets are £8 from the Vortex website, or it’s £10 on the door.
Dave Kane Quartet
The quartet will be playing music from their forthcoming album, to be released on Two Rivers Records later this year. Dave says:
‘This music is my own personal reflection and dedication to the jazz lineage, all of the music that I have listened to and the music that has influenced me the most. Each track on the record is a dedication to a composer/person that has influenced me greatly throughout my career. There are tracks dedicated to the following people: Charles Mingus, John Zorn, Hamid Drake, Eric Dolphy and Henry Threadgill. For me “The jazz lineage” means the records that are in my collection… my own personal lineage to the tradition, and my resulting music as a composer influenced and shaped by the music. Most people think of the jazz tradition as jazz standards, etc. This is not what I do, or what I am interested in. I have always listened to more adventurous composers & musicians who always pushed the music forward. This is what I have achieved with my new record. Although this music is still on the contemporary/avant garde side of jazz… I would say it is some of the most accessible music I have ever written.’
Dave Kane double bass
James Allsopp saxophones, clarinet
Alex Bonney cornet/trumpet
Joost Hendrickx drums
Corey Mwamba/Cath Roberts/Olie Brice
An improvising trio of vibraphone, baritone sax and bass, this group first played together in 2014 and brings together three musicians active on the UK jazz and improvised music scene. Olie Brice leads his own quartet as well as playing in numerous other collaborations including a trio with Toby Delius and Mark Sanders; BABs with Alex Bonney and James Allsopp; Nick Malcolm Quartet; Loz Speyer’s Inner Space Music; and Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet. Cath Roberts leads two groups playing her compositions, Sloth Racket and Quadraceratops, as well as writing and improvising new music with guitarist Anton Hunter as Ripsaw Catfish. She is a member of the Madwort Sax Quartet, Anton Hunter’s Article XI, the eight-piece improvising saxophone group Saxoctopus and the collaborative quartet Word Of Moth. Corey Mwamba leads his own trio, Yana, and is involved in a variety of other groups including Sonsale; duos with Rachel Musson, Orphy Robinson and Robert Mitchell; Martin Archer’s large ensemble Engine Room Favourites; and Nat Birchall’s quintet. He is recognised as a highly creative improviser and composer working across a wide range of jazz and contemporary music, as well as a programmer of forward-looking music in his home city of Derby.
For our next gig at the Vortex we are excited to present two new collaborations! Come and hear some fresh new original and improvised music…
Tom Ward/Adam Fairhall/Olie Brice/Andrew Lisle
The debut performance of a new group featuring four highly creative improvisers who have appeared at LUME in other projects, but have never played all together. Tom Ward and Adam Fairhall had their names drawn out of the hat at our randomised free improvisation night last Summer, and following this initial encounter (a toy piano and bass clarinet duo) they decided to get a band together. The quartet will play new music by the bandmembers, starting from a few common reference points. The band will employ a flexible approach to harmony and form, including investigating negative harmony and stretching out with extended improvisations. Influences include the Greg Osby ‘Banned In New York’ album with Jason Moran, the ‘Monk’s Casino’ album with Alexander von Schlippenbach and Rudi Mahall, and Fieldwork with Steve Lehman, Vijay Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey.
Tom Ward alto sax, bass clarinet, flute Adam Fairhall piano Olie Brice double bass Andrew Lisle drums
Dee Byrne and Ed Riches met in 2008 and have collaborated in various projects such as improvising sextet Zonica (Gareth Lockrane, Xantone Blacq, Elliot Galvin, Tom McCredie, Pat Davey) and more recently as an improvising duo using electronics. Tonight they will be joined by drummer/percussionist Matt Fisher who plays in Dee’s band Entropi. Øyeblikk (‘moment’ in Norwegian) describes the ethos of the project: a spontaneous narrative of soundscapes, riffs and themes taking the listener on a cosmic, sonic adventure. The title Øyeblikk is a nod to the fact that both Ed and Dee have a connection with Scandinavia, Dee lived in Stockholm for seven years and Ed spent a part of his childhood in Norway.
Dee Byrne alto saxophone/electronics Ed Riches guitar/electronics Matt Fisher drums/percussion