I wanted to write a post about my trombone improvisation project that I’ve been running over the past year because I’m fairly confident it’s over now. Good to have a record of these things… so…
It started during my Curfew Tower residency in Cushendall, Northern Ireland in a phone box outside, specifically. I posted the phone number of the box online and invited people to call me. When they rang I asked them a couple of questions that gave me parameters to improvise a trombone solo on. Most of the recordings of this can be heard on my album that came out last year on Crow Vs Crow –
I performed this process of question asking equalling improvisation at a party in the kitchen of the Curfew Tower also –
Later that week after the residency had ended I was invited to perform at a house party in Athlone in Ireland. Dial a bone was performed in front of a live audience mainly of people I didn’t know. Nice thing about boning is you make friends easily.
A couple of months later, back in the UK, I was asked to perform my new act at a small art studio in Sheffield. This one was a bit weird because I hooked up my mobile to a PA and got friends to call in, all prearranged. I’ve definitely got good friends who obliged but they all use different methods of contact so phone calls got interrupted by Whats App calls and things like this. A few lessons learnt there.
Then Ryoko Akama (legit sound artist) invited me to perform Dial a Bone at her AME event in Huddersfield. How could I refuse? I decided to approach the format in a new way and asked people to contact me on Skype so that their images would be on stage with me. Musically it went really well! Although an audience member mentioned that they felt ignored so again…lessons learnt. Isn’t art a fine thing.
Then the last performance took place back at The Curfew Tower, although, I was in North London at the time. They had a party in Northern Ireland and the party organisers put my mobile number into the original phone box so that people could call me. I was teaching teenage composers at the time and luckily one was a bass trombone player so we performed as a duo. It felt good to past on the trade to young James who was really into it.
So there you go. It went back full circle in way. It’s been an interesting project that has made me consider improvisation in other ways. Really into this concept of parameters and it has lead onto another new trombone stunt I’ve got now – Trombone Aerobics.
Thanks to the Curfew Tower, especially Bill Drummond for texting my friend to say he was into it. Debbie Sharp and Rosanne Robertson – you are both amazing.
The lovely people at The Worm in Rotterdam have invited me over to run an Iron Maidens session there. I’m super excited to be running the workshop with electric guitars this time so I reckon things are going to get quite wild… Info below. If you want to get involved visit this link – https://worm.org/
While I’m in The Netherlands I’ll be performing with Delphine Dora in both Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Ignatz is playing the Amsterdam show as well and I’m a BIG FAN so smiley face from me.
12th October – Iron Maidens session, 12 – 5pm followed by evening concert. Also performing with Delphine Dora. The Worm, Rotterdam
13th October – Duo with Delphine Dora. OCCII, Amsterdam https://occii.org/
Iron Maidens is a one-day workshop where participants will explore electric guitar playing and group composition via a series of guitar playing techniques lead by Sophie Cooper. The workshop will have a strong emphasis on how to listen and respond to other players in the group while developing individual approaches to the guitar. By the end of the workshop the group will have created a new composition that will be performed, live, at an evening concert on the same day.
Iron Maidens is open to women and non-binary people who have any guitar playing ability from beginners to experts. Participants are expected to bring their own electric guitar and amp (any size).
Sophie Cooper is a musician based in West Yorkshire, UK. Sophie has been playing guitar for over 20 years, performs regularly and teaches music professionally across West Yorkshire. Please get in touch with Sophie if you have any questions about the workshop via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
DJ Car Tape all cassette special this month! Cleaned out the glovebox, cool tunes for the road and in your house as well.
Our little tour with Noel Meek and Richard Youngs went really well, thanks! Here’s a few pics I lifted off Twitter.. might be some recordings floating about that may wash up at some point too.
Tor Fest: Experimental Yorkshire was a total success as well by the way! Cheers to everyone who came and especially to Mal at the Trades who couldn’t have been more helpful. We’ll be back there again some time I’m sure.
Here’s a really great video that perfectly captures all the different actions that took place in 2018’s rendition of ‘Landscape’ which is a score by Mick Banks and Trevor Wishart originally composed for the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival in 1970. This video was made by Luke Blazejewski.
Thanks to Julian Brooks for producing this year’s version and to Eleanor Cully for coaching high notes out of me!
If you were there and have any footage to share please look here: https://archive.org/details/000.LandscapeTwitterCover
Over the past few months we of The Slowest Lift have expanded our distance duo to include New Zealand based artist Noel Meek and you can hear the results on our bandcamp page or come to one of our shows next week. Thanks for the whirls Noel!
Includes music by Ashtray Navigations, Foldhead, exclusive new tune from Bridget Hayden, Guttersnipe, Hood and a half hour mix from Julian Bradley of the Vibracathedral Experience. Give it a listen!
21st July – Trades Club, Hebden Bridge is the place for Tor Fest: Experimental Yorkshire. Buy your ticket here – http://thetradesclub.com/events/ey
We have added the ace ‘Gloomy Planets’ of Leeds because Andie Brown can’t perform at the show anymore sadly. Check out the gloom: https://gloomyplanets.bandcamp.com/releases