“awesome foursome… impeccable”
4* from Dave Gelly, The Observer
out on Basho Records January 13th 2017
‘My Iris’ is a new project from BASCA award winning composer and saxophonist Trish Clowes. Following collaborations with string quartets and the BBC Concert Orchestra, My Iris shifts Clowes’ perspective to the possibilities of a small ensemble. With Chris Montague on guitar, Ross Stanley on piano and Hammond organ and James Maddren on drums, My Iris explores startling melodies, earthy grooves and gnarly lines, creating a sound world that is both intimate and thrilling. The ensemble has honed these musical concepts in major performances including the Women in (e)Motion Festival for Radio Bremen, the Deal Festival and at the Southbank Centre.
The group’s first recording, Clowes’ fourth album for Basho Records, will be released on 13th January 2017 with accompanying tour dates across the country. The album includes Muted Lines by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian – commissioned by Clowes with support from the PRS for Music Foundation – and Clowes’ sister piece Tap Dance (For Baby Dodds). The works share a theme of migration, in particular forced migration; Muted Lines addresses loss and silence from the perspective of Cevanne’s Armenian heritage and features a 16th Century poem by Nahapet Kuchak. Tap Dance is built upon fragments of a Baby Dodds drum solo, celebrating the birth of the drum set and its central role in the music of the African diaspora.
Blue Calm evokes the multifaceted Iris, messenger to the Greek and Roman gods, and One Hour imagines the additional hour of dreaming and brain repair afforded when the clocks go back. In Between The Moss and Ivy is Clowes’ ballad of an English garden, Be A Glow Worm responds to some gnomic advice from a wise musician and A Cat Called Behemoth acts as a sequel to Clowes’ earlier Mikhail Bulgakov-inspired piece ‘The Master and Margarita’. In addition to Clowes’ thoughtful writing, the group also explore dynamics, textures, exciting interaction and fiery improvisation. ‘My Iris’ represents a new chapter in Clowes’ career and is her most assured album to date.