Tuesday, 28 July 2020
During lockdown, I was very excited to be asked to contribute to "Unpredictable Times", a live "broadcast" online arts event curated by Blanca Regina and Steve Beresford. I provided a short film, Guitar Body; which is a solo performance shot by Bill Thompson at one of his Mercury Over Maps events at the Hundred Years Gallery in Shoreditch last year.
"Unpredictable Times" is available to watch online here:
Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Amazing to get a piece of music released on vinyl! My electronic tone poem Coastal Fulmar is one one side of this lathe-cut 7" put out by TSOKL. Daniel Spicer and Ron Caines provide their track Hazeblaze on the flip. Coastal Fulmar is a studio composition based on several live passes on my set-up of the acoustic guitar body and electronic devices. These are augmented by processing techniques including vari-speed and tape delay. I love the 7" format; being constrained to a five minute time duration I find oddly liberating! Being a lathe-cut, it ain't cheap but both sides have been professionally mastered by Julian Tardo at Church Road Recording Co. and the cut itself was done by Phil at 345RPM, both Brighton companies. Pro b/w sleeves and inners printed by those nice chaps at Brighton Print Centre. Super-limited run of 20 units. Very favourably reviewed by Byron Coley in his Size Matters column in The Wire Magazinbe issue 429.
To purchase a copy, please PayPal £15 (including UK shipping) to email@example.com
I feel very privileged to be involved in a quartet recording at the end of November with Daniel Spicer, Peter Marsh and Paul May. Marsh and May were in Brighton for a concert at Safehouse of their group Fourth Page, and having arrived early in the day were able to convene with Daniel and myself at Campbell Road Studios. Three separate performances were recorded featuring Daniel on cornet and piano, Peter on bass and electronics, Paul on drums and percussion and myself using the guitar body and electronic devices. The results I feel are excellent, ranging from free jazz to pure improvisation and sonic experimentalism. There's even a bit of a hoedown briefly! Great fun! I am now in the process of editing and mastering the recordings for potential release next year...
Friday, 21 June 2019
photo taken from video footage by Bill Thompson
I had a great time at Hundred Years Gallery in Hoxton for Bill Thompson's Mercury Over Maps 10 event in June. Thanks for the invite, Bill! Graham MacKeachan runs a beautiful and very friendly gallery and cafe; this was my first visit, but it won't be my last.
Fantastic performances of improvisation from Bill and video-maker Gregory White, and a superb trio of John Macedo, Brigitte Hart and Matt Atkins. I enjoyed performing with the guitar body and electronics set-up here; the gallery was nicely resonant; bright, which I think helps with the equipment I use. And the audience were very attentive and appreciative.
I had not been to Hoxton since being involved with film projects at The Lux when it was at Hoxton Square in the late 90s. My route from home in Sussex to East London was via leafy Forest Hill where I caught the Overground train; making me recall the concert Daniel Spicer and I participated in at V22's HQ there last summer, and the brief period I lived in the area many years ago...
photos by pkm
Monday, 3 June 2019
...from The Sound Projector website:
On the cassette Sepertae (LINEAR OBSESSIONAL RECORDINGS LOR117), UK improvisers Daniel Spicer and Paul Khimasia Morgan join forces to create tiny intimate sounds with a largely acoustic set-up. Paul happens to contribute writings to this magazine, and I assume “knows” quite a lot about the theory and practice of improvised music, but does not seek to position himself as some sort of “meta-musician” when he sets to performing. His chosen implement of late is a cannibalised acoustic guitar, stripped down to just the body which he uses as a cavernous oyster when playing his miniature live electronics kit. Rubbing the wooden body is permitted, but what we see and hear enacted in each performance relies on a mysterious bond between one man and his little pet.
Spicer does blow flutes, cornets, recorders, shenai, trumpet and other such puffers in the West Hill Blast Quartet (who play good energy jazz in the free high wind mode), but I personally value him more for his more idiosyncratic side which occasionally surfaces in performance. His work here on piano, bugle, violin and “bamboo sax” (an early form of Peruvian knitting rod) isn’t especially zanoid perhaps, but it’s out there – the work of one who is quietly taking risks and edging the music out into a certain space, a space as near the shoreline a man can go without actually standing in the ocean…although that might be the next phase of the plan. Indeed, both Morgan and Spicer could be said to be gently expanding the envelope of what is possible with their respective sound kits, and what is permissible between them as two collaborating individuals; for the latter, every move is made with great mutual respect and compassion, a spirit of “what if we try this?”.
In this context, small gestures and short repeated phrases go a long way, rather than the whirlwinds of sudden change and violent disruption favoured by other roaring-type musicians. At less than 15 mins a side, you will be left wanting more of this…from 22nd November 2018.
Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, 27 May 2019