Matthew Wright – artistic director, turntables + electronics
Matt works as a composer, turntablist and sound artist at the edges of concert and club culture. Erosion, non-linear networks, the idea of music ‘at the edge of collapse’ and the dialogue between ’stillness’ and ’speed’ are recurrent themes in his work and he has collaborated with artists as diverse as Evan Parker, Ensemble Klang and The Percussion Group of Hague, working in venues such as Abbey Road studios, The Royal Festival Hall, Cargo, The Vortex, Café Oto and Tate Modern (rain), De Ijsbreker and Muziekgebouw Ann ‘t Ij (Amsterdam), Bunkier Stzuki (Krakow) and Le Poisson Rouge (New York). His output is available on a number of labels and has been streamed online, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and ABC Classic FM (Australia), London’s Resonance 104.4FM and the UK’s Channel 4 television. Ensemble Klang will launch a CD dedicated to his work at the Huddersfield festival later this year. Matt studied with Richard Steinitz and Chris Fox at The University of Huddersfield, with Louis Andriessen, Martijn Padding and Richard Ayres at The Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands, and with Roger Redgate at Goldsmiths College, London.
He lives in Canterbury and is a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he also directs the BA (Hons) Creative Music Technology degree programme.
“[…] Wright used a turntable, a laptop computer and other effects to blend the recorded chanting and growling of Mongolian singers, pealing and scraping bell sounds, vinyl crackle and electronic rumble, all played through speakers positioned around the room. Even with synthetic sounds in the mix, the piece evoked a wind-swept, spirit-haunted expanse, an effect bolstered by Gobi images projected and altered on two video screens.”
Steve Smith, New York Times
James Allsopp – saxophones and clarinets
James is a multi-instrumentalist and composer whose genre busting quintet “Fraud” exploded on to the Jazz scene in 2005 to instant critical acclaim. Their Cheltenham Jazz festival gig of 2006, as part of the Jerwood Rising Stars programme, was voted one of the gigs of the year by Jazzwise magazine, and they have since gone on to record a special session for BBC Radio 3’s “Jazz on 3” programme and have won both the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation 2008 and the Ronnie Scott Award for best New Act 2007. Fraud’s Debut album received many critical plaudits including being described as “the future of improvised music” by Jazzwise Magazine and “what the term cutting edge was meant for” by the Guardians John Fordham.
As well as Fraud James writes for his new trio “The Golden Age of Steam” which features his Fraud collaborator Tim Giles alongside Hammond organ wunderkind Kit Downes. Allsopp’s compositions combine highly complex rhythmic and harmonic structures with a use of unusual sounds and orchestrations to allow for a seemingly infinite range of improvisational possibilities. He favors seamless transitions that blur the lines between compositional rigor and improvisational freedom juxtaposed with abrupt changes in direction and approach. His music has an enormous dynamic range from the thunderous to the whispering, which invites us into a strange dream world whose constantly shifting boundaries defy complacency.
As a sideman James has played in the UK and all over Europe and the U.S.A with many musicians including The Brian Irvine Ensemble (various European tours and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C), Polar Bear (UK and European gigs and a BBC World Service Broadcast), David Axelrod (Royal Featival Hall), Joe Morris, The F-IRE collective Big Band, Richard Fairhurst(Cheltenham Jazz Featival, BBC Jazz Award for best New Work 2003, Jerusalem Jazz Festival 2004), Ingrid Laubrock (Cheltenham Jazz Featival, Kings Place), Paul Dunmall, Dylan Bates, Stan Sultzmann and Graham Collier (Purcell Room, C.B.S.O Centre) amongst others.
Clare Clements – piano / keyboards
Australian-born pianist Clare Clements graduated with degrees in English Literature and Music from The University of Melbourne before coming to Britain in 1993 to study at the Royal Northern College of Music. Finding the dark, damp winters and cooler summers conducive to music-making, she won all the major awards for accompaniment and chamber music during the course and, in September 1995, graduated with a Master of Music in Performance. The following year, she joined the staff of the College as Lecturer and Accompanist. In 2000, seeking drier winters and warmer summers, Clare moved south to reside in leafy north London where, in addition to her busy performing schedule, she has a small private teaching practice and is a music examiner for Trinity Guildhall.
Clare is an experienced chamber musician, especially in the piano trio repertoire and also has a keen interest in contemporary music. With the group Vamos! she has given world premieres at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Ryedale Festival and the York Late Music Festival. She also gives regular recitals with singers and instrumentalists throughout the U.K and has appeared on television and radio in Britain, Austria, France, Holland, Ireland and her native Australia. She has appeared as orchestral pianist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the State Orchestra of Victoria in concerts and recordings. Clare has worked with prestigious conductors, instrumentalists and singers including Christopher Hogwood, Vernon Handley, Witold Lutoslawski, Liwei Qin, Olaf Bår, Alberto Remedios and Rita Hunter.
She made her conducting debut in March 2005 at St. Giles’ Cripplegate in the City of London, directing the Morley Singers, soloists and orchestra in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah and has since conducted performances of the Verdi Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Mozart’s Coronation Mass.
Heledd Francis Wright – flutes
Heledd’s work currently encompasses solo, chamber, theatre and orchestral appearances alongside sessions for film and television, and has taken her to European countries including France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
She also works extensively in the field of new music, collaborating with composers, djs, choreographers and visual artists. Heledd’s performances have been broadcast on Channel 4, and she has recorded for Universal (The Backgammon Club), and UMP (Hotfoot). Her most recent recording engagements have been with Boosey Hawkes, for whom she recorded 2 cds of Piazzolla Tangos, with a new Rachmaninov project to be published in 2010.
In the field of education, Heledd is the senior flute tutor at Kent Music Academy for gifted young musicians, has a busy private teaching practice, and organises flute courses for London Flutes (www.londonflutes.com) across the UK.
Alison Holford – ‘cello
Alison Holford was born and brought up in Birmingham. She read music at Huddersfield University and Trinity College of Music, where she was principal cello in the college Symphony Orchestra and the Contemporary Music Group. Since graduating she has pursued a busy freelance career, both playing and teaching in London and the south-east of England, including principal cello of St Paul’s Sinfonia; principal and solo cello in the Bergamo Ensemble; cellist in the Arcadian String Quartet (winners of the Barbirolli Prize); and in France, principal cello of Opera de Bauge. She is a fervent supporter of Aston Villa FC and a keen observer of celebrity culture in all its forms!
James Widden – violin / viola
James studied Music and English at Newcastle and Sussex universities, and undertook a postgraduate Advanced Diploma at Trinity College of Music, studying violin with Nona Liddell and viola with Nic Pendlebury. While at Trinity he led all the orchestras and the Contemporary Music Group, including memorable performances with Evelyn Glennie at the Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich, and of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder at the Royal Festival Hall. His string quartet, the Arcadian Quartet, won the Barbirolli Prize for outstanding performance of a Beethoven quartet, and he performed the solo violin part in Berg’s Chamber Concerto, both at Trinity and at Blackheath Concert Halls.
Since graduating, James has pursued a busy freelance career in London and the south-east, including working with the London Sinfonietta, the Endymion Ensemble, and performances at the BBC Proms with the BBC Philharmonic. In addition to his work as leader (and string fixer) of St Paul’s Sinfonia, James is also leader and administrator of the Bergamo Ensemble, a contemporary music group that has been bringing exciting and challenging programmes to London and the South-east for the last eight years. He has performed the Kurt Weill Violin concerto with the Bergamo Ensemble and with Southern Winds, at the Canterbury and Brighton Festivals, and at the Royal Northern College of Music. With St Paul’s Sinfonia he has played the violin solo in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (with Sam Burstin, viola), and Autumn as part of a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. This season (in the February concert) he will be performing the Beethoven violin concerto.
Mark Holub – percussion
Drummer composer and bandleader Mark Holub has been at the forefront of UK creative music since his arrival in the UK from New Jersey(USA) in 2000. He is most notably knows as the bandleader and composer for Led Bib. The group, one of the jazz ensembles which is revitalizing the UK jazz scene, were nominated for the Mercury Prize 2009 (One of 12 albums of the year) and were also winners of the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award 2005. With Led Bib he regularly tours across the UK and continental Europe. His music has been broadcast across worldwide media, including, BBC 2, Channel 4, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, ORF(Austria), XFM, Radio 1 (Prague), BBC Radio 3, Radio 6(NL) BBC Radio 4 and college radio across the US. Led Bib have just completed their 5th album which is to be released on Cuneiform Records in January 2011.
Holub is also active in other projects which see him tour around the UK, Europe and the US. This includes ‘Mustard Pie’ a recent collaboration with his Led Bib compatriot Liran Donin with the Polar Bear rhythm section (Tom Herbert, Seb Rochford) and UK sax legend Jan Kopinski (Pinski Zoo). He also works with Donin on a duo project called A Blue on Blue Productions(aBoBp). Other work includes, Frognal, which explores the link between free jazz and 80s TV themes, a new music ensemble led by Canterbury based composer/improviser Matt Wright, called Splinter Cell, Luke Barlow Band, a new piano trio with pianist Dave Morecroft and bass player Ruth Goller and freelancing in various other ensembles. He also features regularly on the improv scene with various collections of players.
Alongside all this Mark works as a composer for dance and theatre doing various commissions. Recent work has included Sign Dance Collective and Wired Aerial Theatre productions. He is also a busy contemporary dance accompanist working regularly for London Contemporary Dance School and CAT at The Place, London Studio Centre as well as freelancing with various companies including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, English National Ballet, Michael Clark Company, Rambert Dance Company, and Richard Alston Dance Company.
All Photos Copyright © Caroline Forbes