Here’s an update on recent and forthcoming activities – hope you find something of interest in here.
It’s been a crazy 2010 so far! Since January I’ve been travelling and playing incessantly. Beginning in London where I was involved in workshops at the Guildhall School of Music and performing with the Stroman/Jönsson Project, who released their debut CD on Kopasetic Records. Then it was off to Norway and Denmark, for performances with Métier at a very nice club in Oslo as part of an EU festival, and then on to Copenhagen and Odense for gigs with an international quartet and workshops at the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen and at the Carl Nielsen Conservatory in Odense – you can see some photos from that very cold trip here.
In February I travelled to Paris to begin working on music with a new trio featuring Stéphane Payen (alto) and Christophe Lavergne, two great French musicians and real innovators in the area of rhythm. We got together in Paris and Dublin just to rehearse and develop some music. We finished the Dublin leg with an impromptu concert at Newpark Music Centre – I’ve put a couple of clips here and here. We’re planning on doing some concerts in Ireland and France in the Autumn.
February also saw the debut performance of my new improvising Chamber group Trilogue. Featuring Sarah Buechi (voice) and Izumi Kimura (piano) the group balances the written and the improvised in a very unusual way. We rehearsed for three days at the beautiful Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Monaghan for three days and Sarah and Izumi are both great musicians and I’m looking forward to developing the music. We filmed a duo piece of mine for voice and piano – you can see it here.
March saw the arrival of Jim Black and Julian Arguelles for a tour of Ireland – this is a trio I’ve been involved with for several years and is always fun to play with. This tour was just as much fun as the others and the free-wheeling nature of the music is a real pleasure for me to be involved in. So much music these days is technically/rhythmically/harmonically difficult, but the music of the trio is LOOSE! You need really good musicians to make this work, and Julian and Jim are two of the best. I’ll be posting some audio clips from this tour very soon.
And then it was off to South Africa to play some concerts and attend the South African Jazz Educators conference. It was a first time in SA for me, and I think truthfully I can say that being in Cape Town gave me a little insight into the country, but an even bigger insight into how little I was actually seeing off that same country and just how big it is. I met some great people there and it definitely whetted my appetite for going back and seeing more. You can see some photos from the trip here.
As I write this I should be actually be in Brazil, but the volcanic ash has put paid to that trip – d’oh!
Future events include more concerts with Trilogue, another live performance with Métier of my film music in Dun Laoghaire in April, a performance with the power trio of MSG (with Rudresh Mahanthappa and Chander Sardjoe) at the ELB Festival in Hamburg, a duo performance with the great French-Vietnamese guitarist Nguyen Le in Paris in June and more concerts with Scott Stroman in August in London. You can see a full list of events on ‘dates’ section of my website.
On the recording front I will at last be releasing ‘Renaissance Man’, my music for jazz guitar trio and string quartet, dedicated to the memory of my father, and featuring the great John Abercrombie. It will be released on Diatribe Records later this year. As will the new MSG album, which will be out later in the year on the French Plus Loin label. We’ll be organising gigs with the trio to promote the album – watch this space! You can see a clip of the trio in action here
On the composition front things have been fairly relaxed in comparison to previous years, which is no bad thing considering how much else is going on. I did write a piece for the great classical duo of Katherine Hunka (violin) and Dermot Dunne (accordion) called ‘Binary Numbers’ which was commissioned by Con Tempo, which they toured around Ireland in March. And I’m gearing myself up for a really big project – a commission from the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland for a Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra. It will be performed in 2012 and I’ll be writing it next year – wish me luck!
One final piece of news – I will be involved in hosting the annual meeting of the International Rhythmic Studies Association at Newpark Music Centre next July. This is a 3-day event which brings together some of the leading innovators in the development of new rhythmic techniques for improvised music. We’ll be hosting 30 musicians from 12 different countries for three days of workshops, seminars and playing. Can’t wait!
As always I keep things updated on my website so please do drop in from time to time. I’ve also succumbed to the Facebook monolith and can be found here. And I’m writing an occasional blog on music also, which you can see here.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you out on the road sometime soon!