Thursday 22nd August @ The Harrison: Tom Millar Quartet and Madwort’s Mechanical Mindset

This week it’s our first gig at The Harrison. We’ll be presenting two great bands in their basement bar, which is a cosy space that often acts as home for all kinds of folk gigs. The venue is only five minutes’ walk from Kings Cross/St Pancras, so hopefully should be easy for everyone to get to. Do come down and support us as we start moving around as bit for the next few months: the programme remains full of the same exciting music except for 19th September, which will now be ‘LUME’s week off’…

Anyway, this Thursday 22nd August at the Harrison it’s a double bill of bands led by Toms: pianist Tom Millar and sax player Tom Ward. Tom Millar, chair of the Way Out West musicians’ collective and the man behind the current incarnation of the Green Note Jazz Jam (first Sunday of every month) formed his quartet in 2011. With guitarist Alex Roth, bassist James Opstad and drummer Mike Clowes, the group play mostly Tom’s compositions and have been gigging regularly around London.

Tom Ward is bringing a brand new ensemble to LUME: Madwort’s Mechanical Mindset. After spending the past year or so establishing the Madwort Sax Quartet (where ‘madwort’ is an anagram of Tom Ward), he has recruited a rhythm section and is exploring his music in a more stripped-down lineup of sax, keyboards (Dave O’Brien), bass (Spencer Brown) and drums (Olly Blackman). Tom composes using Steve Coleman-esque number sequences as a starting point, and the result is intriguing groove music that transports the listener in unexpected directions. In his own words:

“The main thing I’m working on with the compositions for this project is an idea that I’ve come in several places – notably Slonimsky via Coltrane, but also Wayne Krantz’s iOS and elsewhere – of exploring ways of enumerating possibilities in order to stretch your intuition as a composer. Of course, some search spaces are too large to be enumerated (such as the universe), so, I’ve been using a couple of simple algorithms based on prime numbers & symmetry to derive little grains of ideas, little points in the search space. I then grow these ideas organically, filtering them through my own personal listening history, taste & intuition, until they gradually develop their own personality, their own character as tunes. I think the sonic pallet they take on reflects things that I’ve been listening to in recent years, which includes Steve Coleman, Alas No Axis, MF Doom, Tim Berne and others.”

Yeah! Come with us to The Harrison for an evening of new music! 28 Harrison Street, Kings Cross, WC1H 8JF. Doors 8pm, £5 entry.