Streaming tonight at 7pm on YouTube & Facebook… MY IRIS recorded a set for Jazzlines at Symphony Hall in Birmingham last month & now you can hear the results! The sound in the hall is phenomenal… Nearly all new music, ahead of our next recording, so this is a bit of a preview… Big thanks to the Jazzlines team plus Luke the sound engineer & filming team Broaden.
Exciting news…!! At the end of August MY IRIS will be recording a new album at Livingston studios in north London. Despite a very strange year, we’ve managed to develop an album’s worth of new material over the various streams and gigs we’ve done for the 606 Club, Guildford Jazz, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Cambridge Modern Jazz Club, and Jazzlines at Symphony Hall in Birmingham (broadcast of this coming very soon…). A HUGE thank you to all of these people for making these events happen, and another HUGE thank you to everyone who has donated and bought our music via Bandcamp this year – you have literally kept our music alive!!
If you would like to donate towards the costs of the new MY IRIS album, I have set up this PayPal link (or see the donate button below)
A little bit about the music to come…
One of the newest tunes is called ‘The Ness’… This was on our GSMD stream back in May, and you’ll be able to hear another performance of it on our Jazzlines set. I developed this tune out of a cello solo I wrote for Louise McMonagle last year – ‘Round By the Ness’ – written in response to images and sounds captured along the East Neuk of Fife coastline by filmmaker Rose Hendry (director of my ‘Abbott & Costello’ music video). Here are a few of the images…
Other very new tunes include ‘Morning Song’ (also on the Jazzlines set, written in the morning…), and ‘Almost’ (heard only by attendees of our Cambridge gig!). We’ll also be recording a version of ‘Time’ (home-recorded duo version with Ross currently available on Bandcamp), ‘No Idea’ (which appeared at our 606 gig), and these two tunes:
‘Amber’ (for Amber Bauer of Donate4Refugees)
‘A view with a room’ (a play on the book title ‘A room with a view’ – by EM Forster – and a reference to online experiences over the last year…)
I am also plotting some kind of Q&A session online, but just researching the best and (web) safest way to do this… 🙂
Last night I had the most incredible experience playing a livestream from Wigmore Hall with Ross Stanley… and earlier yesterday it was announced that I have been appointed as an Associate Artist at Wigmore Hall…! So I am floating today, as I was during our performance… it was so magical to be in that acoustic and hear Ross enjoying that piano!
Click here for the full details on all the wonderful things that John Gilhooly is doing at Wigmore as part of their 120th anniversary year celebrations.
And here is our concert from last night! Available for 30 days…
After Christmas, all my teaching at Guildhall School of Music and Drama went online again… As a way to get everyone making things, and getting outside, I set some of them the task of capturing some audio and visual footage in their area, and turning it into some kind of music video. The students shared their creative processes with each other throughout the project, and then presented their creations via Zoom… I was so blown away with what they came up with that I encouraged them to share the videos with the world… Here are some of them:
Flo Redmonds Duck Fight
Note from Flo: My video ‘Duck Fight’ is based on a field recording I took of some ducks fighting out the back of Guildhall. It was made using my phone to record the original audio and the video, and logic pro X to produce the music.
Leon Middleton On the Train
Note from Leon: I filmed and edited the videos on my phone, documenting my trip by underground to Chalfont and Latimer. I then wrote the music to fit the film having been inspired by my journey, using stock Garageband sounds to get the desired feel.
Owen Eastwood Mind The Doors
Note from Owen: I recorded a tube journey and then manipulated very short loops from the recording to create synthesisers such as the main polysynth and plucks that you hear, which I then used alongside traditional synths/synth-bass and drums to create a funk house beat. It’s interspersed with atmosphere, vocal and build up sounds all built from the recording.
Jo Rotunno Past, Present & Future
Note from Jo: I wanted to create something of reflection over the current times we’re living in, as well as the importance of letting go of the past and the hopeful though uncertain future. A collection of videos from my hometown in Northern Italy combined with a track I wrote over the 1st March 2020 lockdown with pianist Tom Phelan and an addition of a spoken words section done over the 3rd February 2021 lockdown. Never like in these times the world is needing creativity and art expression to lift heavy hearts… thanks for watching.
Jamie Holman Hosanna
Note from Jamie: Hosanna is about a man who has seen the darkness and decided that darkness is bad. He tries light the darkness using his song like a burning torch but people worry that this torch might set them on fire so they run away from him.
I used my android phone camera, final cut, cubase and a cheap condenser mic.
Very excited to announce that I’ll be playing at Wigmore Hall with Ross Stanley on April 13th (7.30pm)… Programme includes our own compositions plus arrangements of a whole range of music including the ‘Sleep’ Vivaldi project I did with Orchestra of the Swan, Joe Cutler’s Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii, a Marcel Dupré prelude, some Ellington… full details here
The concert is free to view, but donations to Wigmore Hall (so they can continue to programme these live streams) are very welcome…
Here are some fabulous shots taken by Monika S. Jakubowska of our gig last night… if you’d like to watch back the gig, click here … such a wonderful evening – so much fun!! Huge thanks to Louise McMonagle, Lauren Kinsella, Ross Stanley, Chris Montague, James Maddren, the whole team at Ronnie’s and Women in Jazz.
If you are able, the donate link to support the musicians is here ❤️
Pretty excited to say I’m going to be presenting MY IRIS – usual dream-team of Chris Montague, Ross Stanley & James Maddren – at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club for the first time on March 8th for International Women’s Day … with special guests vocalist Lauren Kinsella and cellist Louise McMonagle. Kinsella is an utterly unique improvisor and guested with MY IRIS for the first time in November at the 606 Club for the London Jazz Festival. McMonagle is a powerful and infinitely creative cellist and has been a collaborator of Clowes since their music college days, including appearances as ‘The Odd Couple’ (they were scheduled to appear at Punkt Birmingham 2020), and recording for BBC Radio 3 studio sessions and Clowes’s first two albums on Basho Records. I’ve put some more info on these two awesome musicians below…
“A modernist, Kinsella is pushing vocal improvisation into new areas” – AllAboutJazz
Lauren Kinsella is an Irish vocalist based in London. Her work as a composer, improviser, collaborator and performer has been described as “truly captivating” (For Folk’s Sake), “stunning” (BBC Radio 3) and with “inventive curiosity and imagination” (Irish Examiner). A regular performer at many of London’s celebrated venues and festivals including Kings Place, Cafe Oto, the Vortex, the Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, Songlines Encounters and the London Jazz Festival, she has also performed at several European festivals including Unerhört Jazz (Switzerland), InJazz (Netherlands), Cool Britannia (Vienna), Klaeng (Cologne), Down With Jazz (Ireland), Ankara International Music Festival (Istanbul), 12 Points (Porto), Dublin Literary Festival (Ireland), European Jazznights (Oslo), Jazzy Colours (Paris), Belfast Literary Festival (UK), Südtirol Jazz Festival (Italy) and the Cardiff Poetry Festival (Wales). She specialises in improvisation and her unique style of vocalisation involves exploring the different types of vocabulary connected with vocal and instrumental sound. From singing to speech, utterance to lexicon, syllabic deconstruction to stream of consciousness, Lauren’s work celebrates the human voice in multi-faceted ways. “A modernist, Kinsella is pushing vocal improvisation into new areas” (AllAboutJazz) Kinsella also works as a soloist with several celebrated composers from contemporary classical (Ian Wilson, Ed Bennett) to film (Harry Escott) and writers (Cherry Smyth, Sally O’Reilly).
“Cellist Louise McMonagle’s playing was especially vivid, with its powerful combination of precision and intensity.” – Bachtrack
Louise McMonagle, a Scottish cellist in London, is a versatile performer who enjoys making music in many environments. Highlights include winning the Ernst Von Siemens Ensemble prize (2020), performing at Wigmore Hall (London), playing as soloist in Boulez Messagesquisse at the VIVA Cello Festival (Switzerland), recording Berio Sequenza XIV with Four Ten Media, and performing with eminent jazz musicians such as Trish Clowes (BBC NGA), Kit Downes (Mercury prize nominee), Evan Parker etc. Louise loves playing music by living composers, and has found a musical home in the Riot Ensemble as cellist and Artistic Board Member. In this role she works as performer, curator, commissioner and collaborator; creating and producing a diverse array of projects around Europe. Described as “volcanically creative” by Alex Ross (The New Yorker), Riot Ensemble have given around 200 World and UK Premieres by composers from more than 30 countries.Their discography includes releases on HCR/NMC Recordings and Coviello Classics. Louise has performed at festivals such as Wien Modern (Austria), HDS ZAMP (Croatia), Dark Music Days (Iceland), Tampere Biennale (Finland), Nordic Music Days (Sweden), November Music (Holland), SOUND (Scotland), Spitalfields Music Festival (London), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (England), and Santander Music Festival (Spain). Select upcoming engagements include concerts at Mozarteum Salzburg, and Darmstadt Music Festival.
Orchestra of the Swan asked the wonderful dancer Lana Williams to interpret my single with them (out on Signum Classics ) & now it’s a music video available on Apple Music! Click on the image below to access… Film devised & produced by Woodbury Recording Studios.
On Saturday night Joe Cutler was interviewed by Robert Worby for BBC R3’s New Music Show, talking about his composition process and improvisation. It’s a really interesting insight into how Joe develops his ideas and works with other musicians. During the interview they discuss his saxophone concerto, written for me and out on Birmingham Record Company/NMC Recordings, performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Ben Palmer (and featuring Ross Stanley on Hammond organ & ukulele). They also play a few excerpts as well as the third movement in full at the end of the interview. If you’re interested you can listen back at the link below… Enjoy! 🙂