the wire

Somerset House resident Jenn Nkiru in shortlist for Jarman Award

3 jours 21 heures ago

The £10,000 prize money celebrates the pioneering film making of UK artists working with moving image

Michelle Williams Gamaker, Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, Jenn Nkiru, Project Art Works, Larissa Sansour and Andrea Luka Zimmerman have been shortlisted for the 2020 Jarman Award, a prize inspired by visionary film maker Derek Jarman.

The winner will be announced on 24 November, before which a special weekend of online screenings, discussions and performances featuring the work of all six shortlisted artists will take place on 14 and 15 November. London’s Whitechapel Gallery will also be showcasing relevant materials on their website in the run up to November.

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “With the impact of Covid-19 being felt so deeply by artists and exhibitors, we are more proud than ever to present this year’s Jarman Award shortlist and help raise the profile of this important body of original work that questions and articulates the world around us. We would like to congratulate all six shortlisted artists and thank our funders, Arts Council England, as well as returning partners Whitechapel Gallery and Genesis Cinema for all their vital support.”

You can find out more about the submissions – including Jenn Nkiru, the artist and film maker whose practice is grounded in the Afro-surrealist lens and the history of Black music, drawing on the Black arts movement and Black diasporic cinematic traditions – via Film London Artists' Moving Image Network.

Watch Nkiru’s Black To Techno teaser, 2019

Jenn Nkiru, 'BLACK TO TECHNO', 2019 (Teaser) from Film London on Vimeo.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland announces career retrospective album 

3 jours 22 heures ago

Canada based composer shares new single “River Dreams” ahead of new album Transmissions, released on 25 September

Beverly Glenn-Copeland has released his first new piece of music in over 15 years. Called “River Dreams”, it’s s the lead single for his forthcoming album Transmissions: The Music Of Beverly Glenn-Copeland. It will be released on 25 September by Transgressive, the label now also home to Glenn-Copeland's back catalogue.

“I feel that music originates from the Universe itself, and it comes to me via something I call the UBS – ie The Universal Broadcasting System,” says Glenn-Copeland. “This song “River Dreams” came to me through the UBS. The song has a feeling to it. It is both calming and interesting because of the unusual time signature which is 17 eighth notes to every bar. Musically that is expressed as 17/8 instead of time signatures with which we are more familiar like 4/4 or 3/4. I recorded it in my home studio sometime in 2019.”

The new album includes music composed throughout his career to date and features both new and unreleased tracks and live versions. Leaving the US in 1970 to study music in Canada, Glenn-Copeland recently embarked on his first world tour at the age of 74, an experience documented in a three-part film Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story directed by Posy Dixon.

Glenn-Copeland regularly guests as Beverly on Canadian TV’s kids show Mr Dressup. He has also composed music for Sesame Street.

Listen to “River Dreams” and preorder Transmission on vinyl and CD via Boomkat and digitally on Bandcamp.

NTS Radio launch listener support scheme

3 jours 23 heures ago

London online radio station announce scheme to support the station and its hosts, as well as a list of new residents including Moor Mother, Haruomi Hosono and Inzane Johnny

NTS has announced the launch of a listener support scheme. Starting at £2.99 a month, NTS Supporters membership gives listeners the opportunity to support their favourite shows while receiving perks such as live tracklisting and 20 per cent discount on NTS Merchandise.

The online station introduced the scheme as part of a wider move towards a more sustainable model, with money raised going towards costs associated with running an internet radio station: music licensing, streaming infrastructure and radio production, with an additional 50 per cent directed to NTS residents. It follows on from NTS Friends in 2019, an early NTS support package limited to just 1000 listeners, which sold out in two weeks.

The station has confirmed is has no plans to broadcast behind a paywall or introduce advertising.

Finally, the station has also announced a new batch of resident hosts including Black Midi, Corin, Covco, Erol Alkan, Haruomi Hosono, He4rtbroken, Iasmin Turbininha, Inzane Johnny, James K, Labour, Limp Wrist, Los Hitters, Malibu, Moesha 13, Moor Mother, Mount Kimbie, Nala Sinephro, Rachael Anson, Rosa Pistola, Smithsonian Folkways, Upsammy, Vegyn and Yaej.

Roland and Korg fined £5.5 million

3 jours 23 heures ago

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) punished both companies for price-fixing

Roland and Korg are the latest in a line of companies to be fined for price-fixing. Recently the CMA fined Casio and Fender for implementing resale price maintenance (RPM) designed to ensure retailers sell their products at or above minimum price. GAK also admitted engaging in this illegal conduct with Yamaha, which resulted in a fine of more than £250,000.

The CMA has accused Roland of requiring one online retailer to sell its electronic drum kits and accessories at above minimum price between 7 January 2011–17 April 2018. The same conclusion was reached about Korg's music equipment and synthesizers sales between 9 June 2015–17 April 2018. Fines for the two companies total £5.5 million.

Moving forward, the CMA has launched new software that allows them to monitor price levels to ensure companies are not entering into these types of agreements. Full story via

Ergo Phizmiz announces lockdown epic

4 jours 1 heure ago

The Dimbola Mikado riffs off Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado

A two and a half hour audiovisual epic is the latest offering from Ergo Phizmiz. Called The Dimbola Mikado, it started life two years ago, when it was originally conceived as a theatrical performance and exhibition. But due to the pandemic, it has been filmed, cut and edited during the lockdown with all members of the cast participating from their respective quarantines.

“Join Ergo Phizmiz and Friends in an hallucinogenic, uncategorisable work of intermedia art, which uses Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado as a springboard for investigations and conjectures about art past, present and, most vitally, future,” reads the synopsis. The quarantine theatre work takes inspiration from Polish avant garde artist Stefan Themerson and his idea of semantic opera, focusing on the meanings behind words to form a “patchwork of themes, ideas, possibilities and conversations”.

The Dimbola Mikado will premiere on 15 August on Experimental Media Channel. Check out the website for an exhibition of visual material and other various source materials.

Jacques Coursil 1938–2020

1 semaine ago

“I wanted to ‘destroy’ the beat and harmony,” declared the French musician and teacher, who was one of the few Europeans to make an impact on New York's 1960s free jazz scene. By Pierre Crépon

Trumpeter, composer and scholar Jacques Coursil died on 26 June 2020 in Plombières, Belgium. He was 82. One of the few Europeans to have travelled to New York to take part in its avant garde movement of the 1960s, his trumpet added an original voice to a decisive moment in jazz history.

Coursil was born in the Montmartre area of Paris on 31 March, 1938 and grew up in the city’s suburbs. His parents were from Fort-de-France, Martinique, in the French West Indies. Creole songs, biguine, clarinettist Alexandre Stellio’s music and the Gregorian chants of churches made up the family’s musical environment. Coursil’s mother sung, and literature held an important place in the household. His father, a former sailor, was a syndicalist and French Communist Party member.

After a tentative start on the violin at age nine, Coursil took up the cornet as a teenager. Early jazz interests included New Orleans players Sidney Bechet and Albert Nicholas. A live performance by saxophonist Don Byas left a strong mark. Contemporary classical music – Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern – and Pierre Schaeffer’s experimentations were other strong early interests.

In 1958, during decolonisation, Coursil left for Africa. He travelled for three years to Mauritania and Senegal, joining the entourage of Léopold Sédar Senghor, negritude writer and first president of independent Senegal. Back in France, Coursil studied literature and mathematics. He worked as a schoolteacher in Dieulefit, southern France, while attending the nearby Montélimar conservatory.

Selling his extensive library, Coursil moved to New York in 1965, without contacts but with knowledge of the jazz avant garde. He found work bartending at East Village jazz club The Dom.

“Coming to the free jazz scene, I firmly intended to deconstruct the whole apparatus of rhythm,” Coursil told writer Jason Weiss in Always In Trouble: An Oral History Of ESP-Disk’, The Most Outrageous Record Label In America. “I wanted to ‘destroy’ the beat and harmony too… I wanted to play atonal without any rhythmic framework. I also wanted to stop playing scales, to get away from melody. I was clear on that.”

Coursil joined drummer Sunny Murray’s band, leading to his first recording session for Murray’s self-titled ESP-Disk’ in January 1966. “Everybody plays legato now. I hate it. This is why I play in a very articulate manner,” wrote Coursil in Actuel magazine in 1968. “A melodic line, a sonic sentence, needs to be organised rhythmically. It needs spirit, swing, but that swing doesn’t have to be framed in a regular metre. An atonal and arhythmic phrase has to contain a certain amount of swing for it not to seem escaped directly from John Cage’s zoo.”

Leaving Murray’s band, Coursil joined tenor saxophonist Frank Wright’s first quintet, with drummer Muhammad Ali and bassist Henry Grimes. Alto saxophonist Arthur Jones was also a member and his partnership with Coursil would last for several years. The unit recorded Your Prayer for ESP in May 1967.

Coursil studied with pianist Jaki Byard and composer Noel DaCosta. Now focussing more on composition, he recorded his own leader date for ESP, with saxophonist Marion Brown. It remains unreleased. He wrote the 40 minute serialist Black Suite and an extended mass for choir and orchestra. “It might not please the Pope, this old racist who banned jazz, the music of black people, from churches, as if the gifts of Balthazar were in some way degrading,” he wrote of the work in Actuel.

In addition to music, Coursil led what he termed a double life, teaching French by day at the prestigious United Nations International School and writing for Actuel. New York associates of the 1960s also included Rashied Ali, Alan Silva, Bill Dixon, Perry Robinson, Clarence ‘C’ Sharpe, Mark Whitecage, Burton Greene and Paul Bley. Coursil rehearsed briefly with The Sun Ra Arkestra.

During the summer of 1969, he visited France with Arthur Jones, taking part in sessions for the BYG label, then taping the first records in its Actuel series. Coursil made two LPs under his name – Way Ahead and a realisation of his Black Suite – and played on Burton Greene’s Aquariana. The sessions’ core personnel included Jones, bassist Beb Guérin and drummer Claude Delcloo. Coursil’s band shared the stage of the American Center and the Lucernaire Theatre with pianist François Tusques and the recently arrived Art Ensemble Of Chicago and Anthony Braxton, who plays on Black Suite.

New York activity dwindled down, ceding ground for Coursil’s academic pursuits. Shortly before leaving the city permanently in 1975, the trumpeter added a new technique to his repertory. “I was walking on Park Avenue [and] met my good friend Jimmy Owens… I said to him, Would you tell me how to do circular breathing? And as he was walking towards his home, he picked up straws from the cafeteria and he showed me the trick. And then I… started stopping all the cliches that I heard and learned… Then dropping all the cliches I have invented myself… And from then until now, it’s just been one note,” Coursil told All About Jazz New York in 2005.

Retreating from public performance, Coursil obtained two doctorates from the Université de Caen in Northwestern France, where he taught for two decades. A 1977 linguistics dissertation was entitled Recherches linguistiques sur la parole (Linguistic Researches On Speech). A 1992 applied science dissertation was entitled Grammaire analytique du français contemporain: Essai d’intelligence artificielle et de linguistique générale (Analytical Grammar Of Contemporary French: Essay In Artificial Intelligence And General Linguistics).

Coursil taught literature and theoretical linguistics. After Caen, he worked at the Université des Antilles et de la Guyane in Martinique, Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and at the University of California, Irvine. In addition to numerous papers, he published in 2000 La fonction muette du langage: Essai de linguistique générale contemporaine (The Silent Function Of Language: Essay In General Contemporary Linguistics), and in 2015 Valeurs pures: Le paradigme sémiotique de Ferdinand de Saussure (Pure Values: The Semiotic Paradigm Of Ferdinand De Saussure).

After more than three decades without records – but not entirely without performances, notably with François Tusques in 1981 – Coursil issued Minimal Brass in 2005. Initiated for his Tzadik label by saxophonist John Zorn, a former student of Coursil, the project was a solo album of fanfares made up of multiple overdubbed parts using circular breathing.

Clameurs and Trail Of Tears followed in 2007 and 2010 (both Universal Music France). Recorded in Martinique, the former featured pieces for trumpet and spoken word – drawing on the work of writers such as Frantz Fanon and Édouard Glissant – against a percussion and synthesizer pads background. The latter was an extended work dealing with the deadly forced relocation of Native Americans by the US government in the 1830s. The album included a reunion with his former colleagues from the free jazz scene. Coursil’s final album was FreeJazzArt: Sessions For Bill Dixon, a duet with Alan Silva issued by RogueArt in 2014.“This is my last free jazz record,” he said, “I won't make others.”

Jacques Coursil is survived by his wife Irène Mittelberg and his children Florent and Marie.

Larry Heard and Robert Owens launch legal action against Trax Records

1 semaine 3 jours ago

TaP Music Publishing announce they're working with the artists on a case filed on 23 June

Legal action has been launched against Chicago record label Trax for the exploitation of artists and their works. Controversy has long surrounded the label, with artists claiming to have seen little financial return for releases pressed on poor quality vinyl and often bootlegged without their permission.

Trax rose to notoriety for its association with acid house. It issued Phuture’s Acid Tracks 12" in 1987 and would go on to release a succession of proto-ghetto house records. Larry Heard – whose landmark Trax releases "Washing Machine” and “Can You Feel It” were released in 1986 – made the statement: “After doing several releases independently, it was so disappointing that my earliest ventures into the music business was with a label in the community that turned out to be dishonest, like with many other artists that we hear about all too often. We are simply seeking justice and fairness. Maybe, our efforts will shed light on the many predatory practices that have been in place for a long time in this industry.”

Robert Owens adds: “Trax’s treatment of those artists on its label is notorious to those in the electronic world. Many of my friends and fellow artists have been similarly treated. Hopefully this lawsuit will end Trax’s reign of non-payment. I’m grateful to TaP for their support in bringing this long overdue claim.”

As The Guardian has confirmed, the complaint states: “Talented, but unrepresented, musicians hungry for their first break were lulled into a business relationship with an unscrupulous record company that made promises it never intended to keep and masqueraded as paternalistic benefactors for those artists – like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Damages are expected to exceed $1 million.

Robert Wyatt and Alfie Benge publish Side By Side

1 semaine 4 jours ago

Lyrics, poems, writings and drawings of Robert Wyatt and his wife Alfie Benge

Robert Wyatt and Alfie Benge, partners in life and creatively, will publish a book in September documenting their artistic endeavours. Side By Side presents the lyrics, poems, writings and drawings of the one time Soft Machine musician and his manager, the English painter and songwriter Benge, who, since 1982 has collaborated with Wyatt on most of his songs.

Brian Eno said “Whenever an aspiring musician asks me about songwriting I point them towards Robert and Alfie. Their work is so unusual, so perceptive, so playful and so grown-up... well, I don’t think there's really anyone to compare. If you want songs that touch your mind as well as your heart, these are the best. Wide distribution of this book could improve the state of music dramatically.”

As well as the publication of Side By Side, Domino Records will be repressing Wyatt’s solo catalogue on vinyl including the compilation His Greatest Misses, released on vinyl for the first time. The book is limited edition and comes with four prints of Benge's work.

You can pre-order on Rough Trade.

First edition of Mopomoso Digital happening on Sunday

1 semaine 4 jours ago

John Russell's Mopomoso meetings turn to live streaming to share new work

“I have been improvising with people on Zoom, and I recognise that, yes, there is a social function to this, but technically it’s far from ideal; and it reminds me just how deeply improvised music is tied to the lives situation”, says John Russell, one of the founders of and the driving force behind Mopomoso, “the longest running concert series dedicated to free improvisation in the UK”, in the pages of The Wire 437.

Founded in London in 1990, MOdernism POst MOdernism SO What?, or simply put, Mopomoso has previously hosted sessions with Lol Coxhill, Maggie Nicols, Max Eastley, Steve Beresford, Phil Minton, Alan Tomlinson, Evan Parker, Kay Grant, Roland Ramanan, Dominic Lash, Alex Ward and countless others. After a recent break due to the pandemic, they've since decided to return with a session held over YouTube.

The line-up includes Jörg Hufschmidt/ddavid/John Russell trio, Sylvia Hallett solo, Catherine Sikora with a film by Eric Mingus, Ash Cooke solo guitar, The Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra with international guests, Sothiac with guest Paul Jolly, and Ned Rothenberg/Paul G Smyth duo.

Stream from 2pm BST on 28 June. Subscribers can read about John Russell and Mopomoso in an interview by Philip Clark in the recent July issue of The Wire.

First Sun Ra Arkestra studio album for 20 years

1 semaine 5 jours ago

Canadian musician and artist Chad VanGaalen has animated a video for lead track “Seductive Fantasy”

Strut Records has announced that The Sun Ra Arkestra are releasing their first new studio recordings in over 20 years. Scheduled for an October release, Strut have already shared the lead track “Seductive Fantasy” – originally recorded for On Jupiter in 1979.

Sun Ra Arkestra in the studio: Michael Ray (left), Knoel Scott and Tara Middleton (right). Photo by Anya Arnold

The new version of the song was recorded at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Philadelphia. The personnel involved are: group leader Marshall Allen on alto saxophone and EVI (electronic valve instrument); Knoel Scott on alto saxophone; James Stewart on tenor saxophone and flute; Danny Ray Thompson on baritone saxophone and flute; Michael Ray on trumpet; Cecil Brooks on trumpet; Vincent Chancey on French horn; Dave Davis on trombone; Farid Barron on piano; Dave Hotep on guitar; Tyler Mitchell on bass; Wayne Anthony Smith Jr on drums; Elson Nascimento on surdo drums and percussion; Stanley “Atakatune” Morgan on congas; Tara Middleton on vocals.

Canadian musician and artist Chad VanGaalen has created an animated video to accompany the announcements. “Seductive Fantasy” is available to download now.

Applications for the fourth annual Oram Awards open to public

1 semaine 6 jours ago

For the first time, any music creator or their representative who meets the criteria can now apply to receive development bursaries from PRS Foundation

Plans for the annual Oram Awards are underway. For the first time since its inception in 2017, the Daphne Oram-named bursary for innovation in sound, music and related technologies will this year allow the general public to nominate either themselves or others. Nominations are welcome for women, gender minorities and girls aged 11+ who are based in the United Kingdom, creating high quality, innovative sound and music and are ready to use the PRS Foundation bursary for future creative and professional development.

Last year's six winners were Ain Bailey, Andie Brown, Cee Haines (aka CHAINES), Natalie Sharp (aka Lone Taxidermist), Nwando Ebizie (aka Lady Vendredi) and Steph Horak (aka SheIsRevolting).

Full details can be found on their website. Deadline for applicants is 31 July. Winners will be announced on 1 November.

Bastard Assignments continue Lockdown Jams

1 semaine 6 jours ago

Recently Alexander Schubert composed special conference-call performance Browsing, Idling, Investigating, Dreaming

The experimental music and performance group Bastard Assignments have been meeting during lockdown via video conferencing software in a continued effort to create music. Recording and posting the outcomes by way of a new series called Lockdown Jams, the short experimental encounters allow for participants to share ideas across a wide range of disciplines in fields of composition, performance, theatre and dance.

As well a short composition and improv session, the series also include long form pieces, for example a recent hour-long edition by Alexander Schubert described as a “multi-screen odyssey across the internet”, Browsing, Idling, Investigating, Dreaming. Future performances come from Marcela Lucatelli on 6 July and Bastard Assignments on 20 July, while choreographers Lea Anderson and Thick and Tight; composers Jennifer Walshe, Neil Luck, Elaine Mitchener, Id M Theft Able, Michael Brailey, and Mocrep; and theatre makers Alan Fielden and Oliver Dawe, are also confirmed.

Bastard Assignments are Timothy Cape, Edward Henderson, Caitlin Rowley and Josh Spear, four composer-performers who met at London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2012. Originally producing a series of live events, they began touring as an ensemble in 2017 with dates at hcmf//, Aldeburgh Festival, Spor Festival, LCMF, and elsewhere.

Watch Lockdown Jams sessions on their website.

Desolation Center available to stream online

2 semaines ago

A series of 1980s concerts in the Mojave Desert featuring Sonic Youth, Einstürzende Neubauten and Meat Puppets paved the way for its commercial successors

Released in November 2019, Desolation Center tells the story of a series of guerrilla music and art performances that ran between 1983–85 in the Mojave Desert, California. Directed by the creator and organiser of the original events, Stuart Swezey, the 94 minute documentary features interviews and rare archival footage of Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Swans, Redd Kross, Einstürzende Neubauten, Survival Research Laboratories, Savage Republic and others.

The first of these events, dubbed Desolation Center, was called Mojave Exodus. Punks and industrial fans travelled on rented school buses into the far reaches of the Mojave Desert for a programme of gigs documented by LA Weekly as being “like some bizarre ritual at the end of the world.” Following that, Joy at Sea had punters take a boat to a floating space in the San Pedro harbour, while for Mojave Auszug and the Gila Monster Jamboree they returned to a secret location in desert's expanse. Kim Gordon, in recent autobiography Girl In A Band: A Memoir, described the Gila Monster Jamboree as “a magical night, one of my favourite shows ever.”

Although the film makes links between Desolation Center shows and the formation of larger commercial festivals like Burning Man, Lollapalooza and Coachella, in his review in The Wire 429 (available to subscribers), Byron Coley disagrees: “I had occasionally thought this myself,” but, he continues, “after watching Desolation Center, I am less convinced. It reminded me that there were more than a few of us back in the day who would regularly drive out to Joshua Tree, rent a cabin at the 29 Palms Motel and spend the weekend running around the desert while tripping our brains out. Swezey’s desert events were closer to those weekends than anything offered by their big time supposed-spawn.”

Whether a precursor to bigger things or not, the film documents the power of DIY culture at a time when more traditional punk was moving aside for hardcore. It's available to stream from today on iTunes, Apple, Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play and Vimeo On Demand.

Watch rare footage of Einstürzende Neubauten performing in the desert.

Posthumous Henry Grimes release with William Basinski and Preston Wendel

2 semaines 3 jours ago

“A lotta babies gonna be born to that track!” exclaims Margaret Grimes

Sparkle Division is a new project by William Basinski and Preston Wendel, and today they release a recent collaboration with the late Henry Grimes, who died of Covid-19 on 15 April. The track “Oh Henry!” had Grimes appear on upright bass and violin and was recorded at Grimes’s favourite studio, The Bunker in Brooklyn.

“I met Henry and Margaret Davis Grimes in the green room at The Empty Bottle in Chicago around 2003 or 2004, shortly after Henry had moved to NYC and began playing again,” explains Basinski. “When Preston pulled out this slow groove that became “Oh Henry!”, I was moved to play a sexy, slow melody. Then the beats hit and he’s got it in double time... it worked! I called Margaret in NYC and said we had a track we’d like them to hear to see if Henry would come in on it.

“Margaret called me a few days later and said, ‘a lotta babies gonna be born to that track!’ When their schedule allowed, we booked Henry’s favourite studio, with Nolan Thies engineering. Nolan recorded five takes of Henry performing upright bass and violin for the track, which Preston edited here at Musex International in LA. Henry’s playing is mind-boggling as usual, and we were absolutely blown away.”

The track is out today on Bandcamp. Read William Parker's tribute to the man who “opened the door to his inner world every time he was on the bandstand”.

Oh Henry! by Sparkle Division

Surprise release from Speaker Music

2 semaines 3 jours ago

Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry comes with a booklet of writings by black theorists with all label profits donated to BEAM and M4BL

The new album by Speaker Music aka DeForrest Brown Jr is released on Juneteenth – a holiday which celebrates the official end of slavery – and acts as a response to recent events in the US and the nationwide anti-racism protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. It's described as a “street-level fire music” and explores poet Tsitsi Ella Jaji’s concept of stereomodernism – or as Jaji says, “dubbing in stereo for solidarity”.

Brown’s second release for Planet Mu following 2019’s a desire, longing, Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry is a “mobilisation beyond the savage free market capitalist industrial system, and towards a future that isn’t indebted to the fictive and failing socio-economic ‘progress’ imagined within the frames of White American techno-utopianism”, according to the release notes on Bandcamp.

The album is accompanied by a PDF booklet of writings by black theorists and poets. Opening track “Amerikkka’s Bay” features a text written and read by Maia Sanaa, remixed by Brown.

It's available on Bandcamp now with the label's proceeds going to BEAM and M4BL.

Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry by Speaker Music

Keith Tippett dies age 72

3 semaines ago

English improvisor, pianist and lifelong collaborator with wife Julie Tippetts, passed away on 14 June

Keith Tippett died on 14 June; the cause of death is currently unknown. Born Keith Graham Tippetts in Southmead, Bristol, in 1947, Tippett studied organ and piano. He formed his first jazz group whilst at school alongside friends Terry Pratt and Bob Chard, and became a regular at Bristol venue the Dugout Club.

Tippett moved to London at the age of 20. It was there he would meet trombonist Nick Evans, cornettist Mark Charig and saxophonist Elton Dean and form the The Keith Tippett Group. Having first seen Tippett perform at the 100 Club, the then Julie Driscoll would have Tippett's group play on on her debut album in 1969. “We were introduced and were then literally locked in all night at Polydor’s studios until the cleaners came in the morning,” recalled Tippett in The Wire 426. “Julie would play her songs and say, ‘I would like some brass here’. We worked all the way through the night and we fell in love.”

They married in 1970. It was at that time that Tippett would drop the "s" in his name in response to a number of misspellings by promoters who would bill his group as Keith Tippett’s Sextet. Julie and Keith would go on to collaborate throughout all of their respective individual music careers.

In 1970 Tippett played piano on the King Crimson albums In The Wake Of Poseidon and Lizard. The following year he formed Centipede – Keith and Julie's first collaborative project, an ensemble of more than 50 musicians including members of Soft Machine, King Crimson and Spontaneous Music Ensemble – releasing Septober Energy in 1971 on Neon Records.

Interviewed in The Wire 142, Robert Wyatt described Tippett as “a West Country bloke with a great big heart and completely unlike the Old Boy Network jazz mafia that was the London scene at the time. He listened to everybody, was openminded, never put anybody down and one of his things was to get all these different musicians from different genres together.”

In 1972, Tippett released Blueprint, his and Julie's first improvised album as a duo. Tippett would go on to collaborate with Louis Moholo-Moholo, Paul Dunmall, Peter Brötzmann, John Tilbury, Pat Thomas and many others. For 25 years he co-directed, with Lewis Riley, a course at the Dartington Summer School. He was also an Honorary Fellow at Royal Welsh College Of Music and Drama.

In 2018 a fund was set up for Tippett following a heart attack and complications with pneumonia. He would later regain strength and return to performing live.

Tippett was the subject of two large articles in the pages of The Wire, which are available to read for free until 15 July. In 2001 he was interviewed by Julian Cowley (read on Exact Editions); and in 2019 he and Julie were interviewed together by Mike Barnes (read on Exact Editions).

How to buy the July issue of The Wire

3 semaines 3 jours ago

If you can’t find the magazine in a shop near you, there are many ways to buy it online.

Buy direct from The Wire:

Take out a print + digital subscription:

Take out a digital only subscription (including option of three months for £7.99):

Buy as an in-app purchase in The Wire app: download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play

Other places to buy the June issue online:





Norman Records


Forced Exposure


Vienna: Substance Recordstore


Helsinki: Digelius Music


Paris: Souffle Continu, Gibert Joseph


Cologne: A-Musik

Berlin: Bis Aufs Messer, Zabriskie Buchladen


Milan: Serendeepity


Rotterdam: Underbelly


Lisbon: Flur/Holuzam

Porto: Materia Prima


Geneva: Librairie Le Rameau D’or

5 heures 15 minutes ago
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