Spontonality 2017 – music improvisation sequence

13 October - 19 October 2017

Daily free performances in the gallery
14, 15, 17, 18, & 19 October (closed Monday 16 Oct)

10.30am – 4pm*
*lunch break likely between 12:30 – 1:30pm

In the final hour (3-4pm) on the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions (17-18 Oct) the improvising circle grows to include the ‘audience’. All are considered part of the performance and welcome to either participate or remain silent. You are warmly encouraged to bring instruments and other sound sources to these sessions.- 1:30pm

Evening Concerts
Tuesday 17 & Thursday 19 October
7pm – 8.30pm  £10

A music improvisation series returns to Kestle Barton gallery for a third season following the great sounds and success of previous years. Visitors are invited to drop into the gallery to listen throughout the week and join us for two evening concerts.

Five virtuoso players from radically different traditions perform music improvisation sequences throughout the week. Pianist and instigator Tim West in collaboration with trumpet player Torbjörn Hultmark, saxophonist Tony Woods, clarinetist Julian Bliss and new to the group this year, cellist Zoë Martlew.

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Spontonality 2017

FU Academy of Music and Theatre Arts in sessions with Spontonality: Click here for short video

Trail Mix[ED] // Spontonality

Trail Mix[ED] // Spontonality. 

Trail Mix is a geographical show about art and the journey as a form of process and product. On this weeks show we’ll be following improvisation specialists Spontonality as they visit Kestle Barton for a week long residency in the gallery space. Initially we’ll join them for a workshop at Falmouth University though, where 20 students will hit their instruments and use their voices in new and as yet unexplored ways. With readings from David Toops Into the Maelstrom and an interlude provided by La Monte Youngs The Well Tuned Piano this journey on the trail is, at its heart, entirely improvised.

Tim West

From a solid grounding in the classical world, Tim West has moved predominantly in other musical spheres. Alongside composition and performing he has developed the science of music, leading to a significant advance in its understanding.

As members of the National Youth Orchestra he and Matthew Barley first met. Then a bassoonist, he continued this focus through his time at Cambridge University playing with Nigel Kennedy and Jerzy Maksymiuk amongst others. As a conductor he worked with Emma Johnson, Tom Morris and Ed Shearmur.

Since his time at Cambridge Tim’s musical interests have been predominately in rock, jazz and experimental music – though today he still holds two long term posts as church organist.

For several decades he has played keyboards in the band Akasha: working with Maxi Jazz, Jerry Dammers, Sarah Cracknell, Damon Brown, John Bentley, John Eacott, Colin Edwin, Dave Ruffy, Andy Gangadeen.

He also plays keys in a new project with Rat Scabies and another with Jane Horrocks.

Tim West has gigged extensively over the years with a variety of artists including Johnny Borrell, John Fiddler’s Medicine Head, Tim Whitehead, Emily Saunders, Guy Barker, Ray Majors, Mitch Benn and Steve Hyams – as guitarist, keyboardist and saxophonist. Other sessions cover the ground from rock legends UFO to Leonard Bernstein.

For many years Tim ran the 20 strong music department at Richmond Community College. Here, a Eureka moment fused his Cambridge Maths degree and experience in teaching/playing music into a dramatic discovery which has tremendous repercussions – dramatically simplifying the learning process of musical theory and leading to many new possibilities.

Throughout, improvisation has been a core concern. Tim West has an almost evangelical zeal for encouraging its practice on a wide scale.

Torbjörn Hultmark

Torbjörn Hultmark was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1957. He is a naturalised British citizen subsequent to having moved to the UK in 1985. Torbjörn studied trumpet and composition at the Gothenburg Conservatoire of Music and at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies, Goldsmith’s College, London. His main teachers were Bengt Eklund (Gothenburg) and John Wallace (London).

Alongside his work as a member of Notes Inégales and the Headspace Ensemble, he works with orchestras and ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe as well as film and TV session work. Torbjörn has worked as a soloist with the Northern Sinfonia and with the BBC Philharmonic, on BBC Radio 3 and at the Albert Hall Proms. He was a founder-member of Chaconne Brass.

‘…its fiendish trumpet part particularly crisply delivered by Torbjörn Hultmark’ Richard Morrison, The Times (Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Torbjorn is also an experienced composer whose compositions have been performed extensively, including Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand and the UK (BBC R3, Classic FM etc).

Tony Woods

A graduate of Keele University, Leeds College of Music and The Guildhall School of Music, Tony received the soloist’s prize at the Dunkirk International Jazz Festival.

In the mid 90s, Tony Woods Project was formed. It has recorded three highly acclaimed albums of original, folk inspired compositions: High Seas (1997), Lowlands (2004), and Wind Shadows (2009). The band has attracted airplay on BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM, UK Jazz Radio, has toured the UK extensively and performed at festivals across the country including Manchester, London, Swanage, Ealing, Ascot and Teignmouth.

To explore the possibilities of improvising on English classical music Tony formed the Avalon Trio with Pete Churchill and the debut album Forlana (BBC Music review here) was released in 2011, resulting in interviews on BBC Radio 3 and Jazz FM. Tony has also performed at the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Room, Pizza Express Jazz Club and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

Tony has worked as a session musician in many of London’s studios including Lansdown Studios, Angel Studio, Abbey Road and Maida Vale Studios. He has frequently performed with Michael Garrick, both live and on disc, in large and small ensembles, often with his wife, singer Nette Robinson.

In 2010 Nette’s Little Big Band released its debut CD The Little Big Band Plays and in 2012 Michael Garrick’s Lyric Ensemble, which features Nette and Tony, released Home Thoughts – Michael Garrick’s final album.

2012 also saw the release of Seventh Daze, the debut album from Kwartet -Tony’s collaboration with long time musical associate Tim Whitehead.

Julian Bliss

Julian Bliss is one of the world’s finest solo clarinetists excelling as concerto soloist, chamber musician, jazz artist, masterclass leader and tireless musical explorer. He has inspired a generation of young players, as guest lecturer and creator of the Leblanc Bliss range of affordable clarinets, and introduced a large new audience to his instrument. The breadth and depth of Julian’s artistry are reflected in the diversity and distinction of his work. He has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and performed chamber music with Joshua Bell, Hélène Grimaud, Steven Isserlis, Steven Kovacevich and other great interpreters.

Julian stands today among the finest musicians of his generation. He launched the Julian Bliss Septet in 2012 at Wigmore Hall and at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and fronted their debut disc, Benny Goodman –The King of Swing. This programme has gone on to be performed across the world, including a sell-out performance at the Concertgebouw.

Zoë Martlew

Cellist, performer, composer, media commentator and educator, the increasingly un-categorisable Zoë Martlew performs and records around the world as soloist and with some of the world’s most renowned contemporary music ensembles, improvisation, film, electronica, multi-media, pop and rock artists, dance and theatre companies including Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta,  BCMG, National Theatre, Christian Marclay, Ballet Boyz, Royal Ballet, Mira Calix, BFI, Phoenix Dance Company, Radiohead, Plaid, Incognito, Antonia Franceschi, Alexander Whitley, working with many, many composers including Oliver Knussen, Sir George Benjamin, Brian Ferneyhough, Helmut Lachenman, Beat Furrer, Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Thomas Adés.

Her one woman show Revue Z has recently played at festivals in Aldeburgh, Plush, Denmark, Iceland, Spain and Wigmore Hall in London where she gave a recital of music for cello and electronics earlier this year in collaboration with Young Producers scheme. The premiere of her commission for BCMG “Broad Street Burlesque” was performed recorded for BBC Radio 3 last year as part of 25th anniversary concert directed by Thomas Adés and her commission for CoMA ”Slap On” has had multiple performances since it’s 2016 summer inauguration, going to Spain later this year performed by Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Schott publish her music.

Zoë was a judge on BBC TV’s Maestro and Young Musician of the Year; commentator for BBC Proms, appeared on Newsnight Review, is regular guest BBC Radio 3, has contributed articles for publications including the Guardian, Evening Standard, Classical Music Magazine, The Strad and was on the UK panel for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.

She is much in demand for educational activities including Artistic Director of the Saigon Chamber Music Festival in Vietnam, tutor for the National Youth Orchestra GB, Harstad Strings in arctic Norway, Aldeburgh Music, Pro Corda, is a regular jury member for international competitions including Royal Philharmonic Society awards and Young Musician of the Gulf in Bahrain.

Recent/upcoming projects include recording/live electronics collaborations with sound designer Cato Langnes at NOTAM in Oslo, solo improvisation/electronics at IRCAM for dance theatre production by choreographer Richard Siegal at Ruhrtriennale Festival in Germany, concerts in Tokyo with Steve Reich and Colin Currie Group, performance of cello, piano and electronics piece Kali & Gilikrist by James Clapperton at Sound Scotland Festival, public presentation/analysis of Thomas Adés In Seven Days as part of London Sinfonietta concert at Royal Festival Hall, recital at Festival Verano, Oviedo.

She studied at the Royal College of Music, Clare College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music and the Chopin Academy in Warsaw.

Open Tuesday - Sunday 10:30am - 5pm. Closed Mondays but open for Bank Holidays