Category Archives: saxes

LUME Lab project blog #1: Word Of Moth


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

Dee writes:

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!)

Cath writes:

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….

Word Of Moth’s LUME Lab gig is 8th February at IKLECTIK, near Waterloo. Doors at 8pm, music 8.30pm. Tickets are on sale now from the Luminous Bandcamp site, and we’d love to see you there.

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

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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 April @ Hundred Years Gallery: Madwort Sax Quartet (live album recording)

We’re very happy to welcome Madwort Sax Quartet to Hundred Years Gallery for an important event in the group’s life: the making of their debut album. This gig will be recorded by Alex Bonney for a future release. Having played a sold-out gig at Manchester Jazz Festival in the summer – ably assisted at the last minute by LUME’s own Dee Byrne – the quartet are now back on home turf for this special performance.

Playing Tom Ward’s compositions, the band explores irregular grooves and unusual harmonies inspired by mathematics and numerology, framed by the intuitive expressionism of free improvisation. This is a challenging line-up that allows for beautifully blended harmonies, intricate polyrhythms and abrasive dissonances. Inspirations include the movement of the planet earth through space, Steve Coleman, pioneering saxophone quartet Rova, Tim Berne, and transcriptions of bird song.

“The group’s sychronisation, the engaging, rounded brass sound and the impressive ease with which the four musicians blended to dish out a significantly distinctive musical proposition” – LondonJazzNews.com

Tom Ward alto sax/compositions
Chris Williams alto/soprano sax
Andy Woolf tenor sax
Cath Roberts bari sax

Hundred Years Gallery, 13 Pearson Street, E2 8JD. Doors 8pm, music 8.30pm. One Bank of England note. Tickets are available in advance from the Luminous Bandcamp site.

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3rd April @ The Vortex: Dave Kane Quartet & Corey Mwamba/Cath Roberts/Olie Brice

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

Dave Kane photo

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.

Corey Mwamba vibraphone

Cath Roberts baritone saxophone

Olie Brice bass

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16th March @ IKLECTIK ARTLAB: Schnellertollermeier & Taupe

We’re proud to present a double bill of two cutting edge trios: Schnellertollermeier from Switzerland and Taupe from Newcastle at the super hip IKLECTIK ARTLAB. Join us!

IKLECTIK ARTLAB, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane ( Royal Street corner, next to Archbishop’s Park), SE1 7LG. Doors 7.30pm, music 8.15pm.

Schnellertollermeier

Schnellertollermeier play music without compromises: ranging between free improvisation, hardcore jazz, modern composition and brute rock music, their style defies genre boundaries with an instrumental power that lets heart beat the head easily.
The idea of a band that sounds like one organism in which each element has its own importance and clear function was worked on intensively and put to effect on their new album „X“. The usual roles of the instruments were extended decisively – what can be perceived is a unified energy with as much explosive force as depth.

Andi Schnellmann Bass
Manuel Troller Guitar
David Meier Drums

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Taupe

Taupe are a Newcastle upon Tyne based trio specialising in razor-sharp polyrhythmic play, exploratory improvisation and raw, high energy live performance.
The group’s sound is built of influences drawing from free jazz and math metal to hip-hop grooves and post-bop, with a healthy dollop of skronk, all navigated down a path that seeks to blur the line between carefully constructed rhythmic compositions and explosive group improvisation.
Taupe thrive on the danger of this ambiguity, deconstructing their music in real time to weave fresh and dynamic paths through their material with each performance.

Adam Stapleford Drums
Mike Parr Burman Guitar
Jamie Stockbridge Saxophone

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6th March @ The Vortex: Tom Ward/Adam Fairhall/Olie Brice/Andrew Lisle & Øyeblikk

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

LUME (by Montse Gallego) Adam Fairhall Tom Ward

Øyeblikk

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

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As usual, doors are at 7.30pm and the music will start at around 8pm. Tickets are on sale now from the Vortex website.