Category Archives: strings

LUME Lab project blog #2: Julie Kjær

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.

Lineup:

Seth Bennett double bass
Olie Brice double bass
Thodoris Ziarkas double bass
Tim Fairhall  double bass
Julie kjær bass clarinet/alto flute & composition

18th February @ London Review Bookshop: En Bas Quartet

Our second gig of February is a special one: we are taking LUME to the cosy basement of the London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury. Part of the bookshop by day, and home to literary events and film screenings, the downstairs room will become our intimate setting for Seth Bennett’s new project En Bas Quartet.

enbas

En Bas Quartet is, as the name suggests, a low string quartet, featuring some of the most exciting string improvisers in the U.K. They will be playing Seth’s quartet for improvising low strings, based on the Northumberland folk song tune “Sair Fyeld Hinny”, and exploring various settings and provocations for group and solo improvisation. Inspired by the quartets of Shostakovich, Beethoven and Bartok, as well as more contemporary jazz ensembles like Arcado String Trio, the Masada string trio and contemporary British free improvisation, En Bas Quartet weave their disparate influences into a compelling whole.

Aby Vulliamy viola

Benedict Taylor viola

Alice Eldridge cello

Seth Bennett double bass

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This gig is a ticketed event (unusual for us I know!) and the room at LRB has a limited capacity. The ticket includes a drink, and it’s doors at 7pm with the music starting at 7.30pm. Buy your advance tickets HERE.

LUME at EFG London Jazz Festival 2015

For this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival, LUME is curating an afternoon of music on the Barbican freestage on Saturday 14th November.  Join us on a voyage of contemporary sounds! As the stage name suggests, it’s free entry, so just come down to the Barbican foyer and settle in for the ride…

12 noon: Corey Mwamba & Rachel Musson

Spontaneous, living music in-the-moment from two of the UK’s finest improvisers.

Corey Mwamba vibraphone
Rachel Musson tenor saxophone

Corey Mwamba and Rachel Musson

12.30pm: Colin Webster & Andrew Lisle

Fiery, free-wheeling sax and drums duo from DIY improv/noise label Raw Tonk Records.
Colin Webster saxophones
Andrew Lisle drums

colinandrew

2pm: Entropi

Space jazz quintet led by Dee Byrne, currently making waves with their debut album ‘New Era’. Juggling order and chaos, composition and improvisation, they take listeners on an exploration of the musical cosmos.

Dee Byrne alto saxophone
Andre Canniere trumpet
Rebecca Nash keyboards
Olie Brice bass
Matt Fisher drums

Entropi

3pm: Sloth Racket

Brand new group formed for Gateshead Jazz Festival 2015 by Cath Roberts. Improvisers from Manchester, Leeds, Macclesfield and London navigate a set of experimental graphic scores, using them as a jumping-off point for freely improvised group explorations.

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

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6pm: Madwort’s Menagerie

Intricate compositions and delicate textures from Tom Ward’s chamber jazz sextet, with a diverse collection of instruments played by high-calibre improvisers from across the London creative music scene.

Tom Ward bass clarinet, composition
Julie Kjaer flute, alto flute
Alex Bonney  trumpet
Magnus Dearness trombone
Adam Spiers cello
Tim Fairhall double bass

Madwort's Menagerie

 

9th July: LUME is 2! Birthday gig at Hundred Years Gallery

This week we’re decamping to Hundred Years Gallery once more, for a special gig to celebrate our second birthday! We have assembled a nebulous ensemble of musicians – from the London jazz/improvised music scene and beyond – to take part in a series of improvised performances. Who plays in each set will be determined using our dice and hat method, inspired by the long-running Manchester night The Noise Upstairs.

LUME-is-2-poster-for-web

Musicians confirmed so far…

Seth Bennett
Adam Fairhall
Colin Webster
Hannah Marshall
Corey Mwamba
Joe Wright
Johnny Hunter
Martin Pyne
Olie Brice
Tom Ward
James Opstad
Andrew Lisle
Ed Riches
Tom Taylor

Dee Byrne
Cath Roberts

…with others possibly to be announced! (Although we might leave it there because we want everyone to play…)

Live At LUME

The evening will also function as the launch of our ‘Live At LUME’ fundraiser compilation; an album of live performances recorded at LUME gigs, donated by a bunch of our favourite musicians. This is available as a download, plus we’ve also produced special CD editions with hand-printed sleeves.  All proceeds go towards our running costs for the next year of LUME gigs. Grab your copy on here or at the gig!

Live at LUME cover

Entry is, as usual, one Bank of England note of your choice. Doors 7.30pm, music 8pm. We’d love to see you there as we mark two years of LUME activity. Bring your friends!

Hundred Years Gallery is just around the corner from Hoxton station at 13 Pearson Street, E2 8JD.

Not long until ‘LUME Presents…’ at the Vortex!

Our ‘LUME Presents…’ series at the Vortex kicks off on August 3rd with a double bill of Overground Collective and Madwort’s Menagerie. It’s all very exciting and advance tickets are available now from the Vortex website! Here’s some background on the two bands…

Overground Collective

Paulo Dias Duarte is an award-winning Portuguese composer, based in London since
2003. Paulo’s compositions mix styles and frame musical clichés in very unusual way,
guiding audiences through rarely-visited musical fields. The Overground Collective is
an unorthodox big band composed of some of the wildest improvisers on the London
jazz scene. The combination of Paulo’s music and these improvisers makes each
concert a unique experience….as you can see from this video!

Guitar/composition – Paulo Dias Duarte

Alto saxophone/soprano/flute – Chris Williams
Alto saxophone/flute/piccolo – Julie Kjaer
Tenor saxophone – Rachel Musson
Tenor saxophone – Dan Mays
Bass clarinet – Tom Ward
Baritone saxophone – Joseph Stout

Trumpet – Noel Langley
Trumpet – Yazmeen Ahmed
Trumpet – Andre Canniere
Trumpet – Henry Spencer

Trombone – Paul Taylor
Trombone – Ed Reiband
Trombone – Raph Clarkson
Bass Trombone – Olivir Haylett
Tuba – Ben Kelly

Bass – Ben Bastin
Keyboards – Danny Keane
Drums – Jon Scott

Madwort’s Menagerie
After a momentary glimpse in a misfiring big band rehearsal, Tom Ward has been
bugged by an overheard snippet of a weird quartet comprising bass clarinet, flute,
trumpet and trombone. Transmogrifying some of his compositions for sax quartet,
hybridising this with his free improv duo Ti/om and finally balancing woodwind, brass
and strings with the addition of a cello, Tom is proud to present Madwort’s
Menagerie. Featuring some incredible improvising musicians with a full spectrum of
credits ranging from the London Improvisers Orchestra through Brass Mask, the
Overground Collective, Quadraceratops and The Imaginary Delta to Sinfonia Cymru
and the London Tango Orchestra.

Tom Ward – bass clarinet, flute, composition
Julie Kjaer – flute, alto flute
Alex Bonney – trumpet
Magnus Dearness – trombone
Adam Spiers – cello
Tim Fairhall – double bass

August-3rd-Madworts-Menagerie-1-492x304

We hope you’ll agree it’s going to be a fantastic night of new music. Join us as we venture into a new chapter of LUME with these amazing musicians!

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Artwork by the ever-awesome Peter Beatty

‘LUME Presents…’ at the Vortex

We’re very excited to announce a new venture for late Summer and Autumn 2014: ‘LUME Presents…’ at the Vortex in Dalston! We will be hosting monthly double bills of our favourite musicians every first Sunday of the month starting on August 3rd. Join us for an extra dose of great original and improvised music…and a great excuse for some brand new artwork from the amazing Peter Beatty! Tickets are on sale from the Vortex website.

LUME-Presents-A6-flyer-with-text

 

24th April: Ti/om and Molino de Otoño update

Quick update about this week’s gig. Sadly, Clive Bell has had to pull out of the Molino de Otoño set on Thursday, but electronic music composer and improviser Visa Kuoppala has kindly stepped in! He is a regular collaborator with the group and they have sent over a biog…

Visa Kuoppala is a Finnish composer, improviser and field recordist living in London. He is active in the areas of acousmatic composition and electroacoustic improvisation, fascinated with the poetic and emotional qualities of enigmatic or ambiguous sounds. He has developed a granular synthesis and feedback-based instrument called Malegra, and is currently working on a PhD in electroacoustic composition at the University of Birmingham. His works have been performed in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, USA, China and Italy.

This should be a fascinating set! Come down to Long White Cloud and check them out, in a double bill with Tim/om (info in our original post below).

Doors 8pm, music 8.30pm, £5 entry.

molino graphic

 

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.

Ti/om

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

tiom-sideways

 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…

10th April: The Stolen Project

Back at Hundred Crows Rising last July, we had a lot of fun putting on Paulo Dias Duarte and his excellent band Overground Collective. They played in a double bill with On The Roof, and it was one of our most popular gigs of the year. We’re very happy to welcome Paulo back to LUME again this week, when he’ll be presenting two sets of new music with another of his ensembles: The Stolen Project. Come down and check out some great new compositions with an exciting line-up…

Paulo Dias Duarte – Guitar/Composition
Chris Williams – Saxophones
Danny Keane – Cello
Kit Massey – Violin
Olie Brice – Bass
Rob Pennel – Drums

paulo

Doors 8pm, music 8.30pm. Long White Cloud, 151 Hackney Road, E2 8JL. £5 entry.

3rd April: Barrel & Alex Bonney/Dave Kane

This week we present an evening of improvised music from two ensembles: string trio Barrel and a duo of Alex Bonney and Dave Kane.

Barrel

These three musicians have been performing in various combinations with others on the London improvising scene for several years. As well as the numerous small groups they have participated in, all three are members of the London Improvisers Orchestra. The first performance of the trio, at the 2007 Freedom Of The City festival, was so musically successful that they decided to continue as such, and chose to call the group Barrel as it involved a lot of scraping. Since then, Barrel have performed widely around London, the UK and Europe. Their record ‘Gratuitous Abuse’, released on the Emanem label, was in the Wire’s ‘Critics’ Choice’ list of 2012 albums.

Alison Blunt – violin

Ivor Kallin – violin and viola

Hannah Marshall – cello

TrioBarrel_062

Alex Bonney/Dave Kane

Dave Kane and Alex Bonney’s improvising duo is full of surprises. Traditional roles of trumpet and double bass are exploded and the sonic potential of their instruments is explored. The duo’s action packed and playful range of textures and dynamics combine with a strong melodic sensibility and an uncanny interplay between the two musicians.

“In my opinion Alex and Dave play true music. Played at a very high level, it’s as good as any improvised music played anywhere in the world.”
Paul Dunmall

“Mixing energetic free improv with quirky melodies and lopsided rhythms Kane and Bonney’s interaction was mesmerizing, packed full of innate humour and off-hand virtuosity their dialogue was a joy to behold.”
Jazzwise

kane bonney duo

It promises to be a great night. Doors 8pm, music 8.30pm at Long White Cloud, 151 Hackney Road, E2 8JL. £5 entry. See you there!