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….
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.