Here's a brief update of selected projects and "other stuff" I have been involved with over the last few months
STUART STAPLES (TINDERSTICKS) Spent a wonderful few days in France staying with the Staples Family. Working with Stuart on first draft arrangements for his mini set of 3 songs to be performed for the IN DREAMS: DAVID LYNCH REVISITED at Barbican on 20 June 2014.
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON COLLEGE A fascinating and intense week long intervention working with HND students from Stratford College creating a suite of new bespoke compositions for the 1000+ year old Chapter House at Worcester Cathedral. New duet pieces composed by 5 students and a collective ensemble piece performed by the composers and myself. A really enlightening week which rekindles the inside flame I have for sharing experiences with young student musicians.
APHELION TRIO An evening of ancient melody, hypnotic drones and music of reflection with dear friend and collaborator Chris Long and his fabulous partner Paula Evans. We performed a programme of new and old compositions and improvisations in Pershore Abbey. Stunning acoustic and excited to be playing Philip Glass on saw!
JOBY TALBOT + BRIAN MILLS Delicious encounter with 2 ex-Divine Comedians. I’ve been playing on several film scores with Joby and Brian over the last few years. Always good to catch up with them both. This time over xiao long bao at Leong’s Legend restaurant in Chinatown. (Here’s a link to the review Jay Rayner wrote for The Observer last year. He was accompanied by myself!) http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/08/leongs-legend-restaurent-review
JAY RAYNER Accompanied my mate Jay Rayner on another one of our sporadic culinary encounters. This time the Thai relative newcomer Janetira on Brewer Street. The lunch was mindblowing and included probably the spiciest dish I have ever eaten – a mackerel curry which comes with a warning! http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/13/janetira-thai-restaurant-review
CATHAL SMYTH/ CHAS SMASH – HMS MISERY – IBIZA Travelled to Ibiza at the beckoning of Cathal Smyth to work with him on his musical HMS Misery. Cathal is best known for his work with iconic British pop band Madness but it is his many side projects that fascinate me. He has asked me to help get the piece to a shipshape state where we can take the piece further. A collection of songs and writings which he describes as “Oliver Twist meets Cape Fear!”
YOKO ONO/ NELS CLINE/ TALVIN SINGH Spent a rainy Tuesday March evening up in Dalston at Café OTO spellbound by one of my favourite performers of all time – Yoko Ono. The improvised concert she gave with Nels Cline and my old friend and collaborator Talvin Singh was probably one of the best concerts I have seen all year.
SEB ROCHFORD The incredible musician/ drummer/ composer and I have been working together on a new project. We have recorded an album of new material (live treated drums and jews harps) which we performed live at The Attic in Hackney on 19 April to a very appreciative crowd. I love the Trestle Records evenings. A terrific bunch of artists curating a label which is specifically intent on releasing new instrumental music by a very diverse bunch of artists. http://www.trestlerec.com/
JARVIS COCKER/ KRONOS QUARTET/ ROGER ENO Jarvis and I have been meeting regularly this last few months to create the new piece commissioned by Kronos Quartet – KERF – which will be given its World Premiere performance on Tuesday 13 May 2014 at Barbican as part of their 40th Anniversary concert series.
Jarvis and I also travelled to Suffolk to work with Roger Eno on a new version of Beck’s Eyes That Say I Love You from the Song Reader project I MDd with Ed Harcourt at Barbican last July. We’ve recorded a new version for a charity album to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Project is led by Randal Poster with whom Jarvis and I worked on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mister Fox soundtrack.
SENSE OF SOUND CHOIR – MIGRATION MUSIC Damon Albarn and I are patrons of an amazing choir from Liverpool – Sense Of Sound – run by Jennifer John, Saphena Aziz and Perri Alleyne-Hughes. These three women are Goddesses and they make me laugh like I rarely laugh. I travelled up to Liverpool in April to meet, discuss and plan a new piece to be made this August for Liverpool Everyman Theatre (and Liverpool Festival of Music). I am to be Musical Director of this new work to be made in collaboration with world-renowned beatbox guru, Shlomo.
ERIKA STUCKY/ TERRY EDWARDS/ MICHAEL BLAIR Flew to Germany for last couple of concerts promoting Erika Stucky’s Black Widow project. Played in Essen at Grillo Theater and Brotfabrik in Frankfurt. Crazy music. Crazy people. Crazy and delicious!