Myself and Tom Harrison are very excited to announce Emulsion VI festival! It will take place on June 15th-16th at the Gateway Education & Arts Centre in Shrewsbury. It will be headlined by pianist Robert Mitchell, who will perform a solo set on Friday 15th… and the Emulsion Sinfonietta will perform on Saturday 16th. Hopefully, the Sinfonietta will be premiering two new pieces written by Robert and Nikki Iles… but we need your support! We have launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for this new music, so please take a look… https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1520638818/emulsion-vi-new-music-festival-and-commissions
I will also be running 2 workshops for local audiences in the run up to the festival… the first is on March 18th (this Sunday) and the second is on April 22nd. If you are a Shropshire (ish) based person, please take a look at this flyer. If you would like to participate or want additional info, please just email me.
Last weekend was totally brilliant, if slightly mad!
On Saturday I had the honour of playing alongside the legend saxophonist Peter King at the 606 Jazz Club’s Saxophone Summit. Here’s me (with Alex Hitchcock and Vasilis Xenopoulos) looking in awe at the man himself!
Then on Sunday I premiered ‘Loujean & Lucy’ at the Royal Festival Hall – a piece of music that has dominated my thoughts since June! It was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and written for the BBC Concert Orchestra, me on tenor saxophone and Ross Stanley on piano. Such a brilliant experience. We were conducted by Holly Mathieson, who was absolutely fantastic to work with. Ross and I took advantage of the fact that the hall has a fairly amazing organ and performed a duo version of ‘A Cat called Behemoth’ too. There will be a BBC Radio 3 broadcast at some point so please watch this space…
A few days before I spoke on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour about the story behind ‘Loujean & Lucy’, so please take a listen to get the background… http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09cvxbj My bit is at 34.23
And here are a few photos… Ross and I before we go on, Ross and I playing duo above the orchestra, and with conductor Holly Mathieson after premiering ‘Loujean & Lucy’
First bit of news is to announce that I have become an ambassador for the charity Donate4Refugees. I’m very excited to take on this new role and look forward to supporting and learning from this incredible charity over the years to come. They carry out essential work facilitating grassroots charity work across Europe to help the many many people affected by the refugee/migration crisis.
Number two on the list is that Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian has been shortlisted for the 2017 BASCA British Composer Awards in the jazz category for her piece ‘Muted Lines’ which features on my album ‘My Iris’, and was performed at the Emulsion V Festival in Birmingham by the Emulsion Sinfonietta. This was a joint commission from myself and Emulsion with support from the PRS Foundation and the Emulsion Kickstarter backers. Here’s a video from Emulsion V:
In just over two weeks my latest commission for BBC Radio 3 is due to be premiered by the BBC Concert Orchestra, Ross Stanley (piano) and I at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. I can now announce that the title of this new work is “Loujean & Lucy” inspired by two women who were brought together through the Homes for Syrians initiative. I look forward to sharing more information about this piece in due course, although I will add that it was during the course of the research for this piece that I met Amber Bauer, who is the founder of Donate4Refugees. The link for the concert on November 12th is here.
Christina Bauer interviewed me for the summer edition of Sonic Magazine in Germany. Thank you to her for the fantastic questions and conversation… You can find a copy through www.sonic.de (snapshot of the interview above).
And on November 22nd, MY IRIS will be visiting Ulm to perform at the Stadthaus Ulm. Details here
We had a great time this week playing at Wigmore Hall for a Wigmore Learning concert, working alongside presenter Pete Letanka. (As it happens myself and Ross will be working with Pete again in November for a family concert with the BBC Concert Orchestra). Here we are setting up…
Then later that day we whizzed over to the Fish Factory studio to record a new tune of mine which will become a music video later in the year. I’ll be working with director Peter Cant once again, who was also involved in our docu-videos, our Shakespeare Sounds project and a Late Junction collaboration I did a few years back with violinist Donald Grant.
Yesterday I had great fun hearing Onyx Brass record my piece ‘The Mighty Pencil’ for their new album due out next year on NMC Recordings. The album will also feature music by Kenny Wheeler, Gwilym Simcock, Jason Rebello and Liam Noble amongst others…
‘The Mighty Pencil’ is dedicated to the victims of the 2015 shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo.
There are now four new videos of MY IRIS performing at Emulsion V (back in January) up on the website! Very excited to share these with you all 🙂 Take a look here. Massive thanks to Trapeze film (camera work), Alex Fiennes (sound) and Chris Kelly (video editing).
Very exciting goings-on tonight… at 10pm you can hear nearly the full set from the Emulsion Sinfonietta at Emulsion V (mac birmingham, January 27th 2017) on the Hear & Now programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08hmqbv
So, so, happy and proud to have this music being presented on this platform, as usual the BBC R3 team have done a fabulous job. On the programme you can hear interviews with some of the composers, and myself and Sara Mohr-Pietsch having a chat about all things Emulsion. Massive thank you to everyone who helped me make this dream a reality, in particular Tom Harrison, Fiona Talkington, my own band (Ross, Chris & James), Joe Cutler & Felix Carey.
Set list Hans Koller Happy Mountain premiere Chris Montague Beamish Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian Muted Lines premiere Trish Clowes Tap Dance (for Baby Dodds) premiere Percy Pursglove He, whose dreams will never unfold (for DP) premiere Bobbie Jane Gardner Tapeworm Joe Cutler Karembeu’s Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder Iain Ballamy Chantries
(photos Michelle Martin/Birmingham Review)
Line-Up (changes throughout)
Trish Clowes – saxes (& voice on ‘Muted Lines’); Percy Pursglove – trumpet; Chris Montague – guitar; James Maddren – drums; Calum Gourlay – bass; Ross Stanley – piano & Hammond organ; Melinda Maxwell – oboe & cor anglais; Max Welford – clarinets; Rachel Lander – cello; Anna Olsson – violin; Iain Ballamy – sax; Joe Cutler – keyboard (on Karembeu); Hans Koller – euphonium & piano; Joe Wright – sax
Anna Olsson’s “The Woodcarver”, which was premiered in the same set at Emulsion V, was broadcast last night. It’s performed by Anna with Rachel Lander, Ross Stanley & James Maddren. You can hear it at 2hours26mins with her own intro too: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08h0l2k
Special thanks go to Fiona Talkington who hosted the festival, and Alex Fiennes who provided the sound in the theatre space at the mac birmingham on the night.