Not the kind of people to let a global pandemic get in the way of making music together the Oxford Improvisers have been meeting weekly throughout the lock-down via the wonder that is video-conferencing. It’s taken some getting used to but we’re now feeling pretty at home in our new venue which has allowed us to come together not only from the Oxford area but also with members from afar as Brasília, Dubai, Zurich, Radnorshire and even Chipping Norton!
If you’re missing your fix of live improvised music join us for our very first live online broadcast on Monday 22 June, 8.30pm – 9pm (British Summer Time) free via our Youtube Channel
This month, our special guest is Marcio Mattos: born in Rio de Janeiro in 1946 double bass ‘cello performer Marcio Mattos has, since coming to Europe in 1970 has performed, recorded and broadcast in Britain and abroad. Mattos has performed with a host of improvisers including Evan Parker, Derek Bailey’s Company, Marilyn Crispell, Dewey Redman, Georg Graewe, Chris Burn, John Butcher, Phil Minton, Martin Blume, Eddie Prévost and many more. He also trained as a Ceramic artist at Goldsmiths college and continues to make and exhibit work in clay.
This concert will be a special occasion for me, marking a special moment in my story in Oxford, and being part of the Oxford Improviser’s ‘family’.
Hope seeing you there to share this moment with us!
7:45 – 10pm
Arts at the Old Fire Station
40 George Street
This Saturday 27th May, Oxford Improvisers invite Vid Drašler, Tom Jackson and Daniel Thompson. There will be some improvisations with the host group too, and I will be playing piano and maybe organ.
St Columba’s United Reformed Church,
Oxford OX1 4EH
Tickets £8 / £6 on the door
7:45 pm – 10:00 pm
Vid Drašler, Tom Jackson and Daniel Thompson met for the first time in the spring of 2016 as part of the CRAM Records residency at FriForma in Ljubljana, Slovenia. During the residency the trio had the fortune to play and record as a trio in Vrhnika, Slovenia and immediately vowed to collaborate again.
For our first event of the year we are excited to present a special performance by Philipp Wachsmann and Trevor Taylor. It will relate to a performance in the late 1970s called Three Draft Pistons (ref The Large Glass by Marcel Duchamp) using visuals, tape and live playing, adapted here to the smaller space and ‘now’. The evening will also feature performances by members of Oxford Improvisers (me included).
Philipp Wachsmann has worked with improvisation, the violin and electronics since 1970. He has performed with many of the leading figures in improvised music and recorded for labels including Bead, ECM and FMR.
Trevor Taylor started FMR records in 1987. It became a leading label for improvised music and now has over 500 releases. He has been promoting music for 40 years as well as being a practising musician with 50 years experience.
Thursday 17 November: riotriotriot – Oxford Improvisers at the Holywell Music Room. The Holywell is said to be Britain’s first concert hall, a room full of history (Haydn performed there, among other icons of classical music). Oxford Improvisers is delighted to showcase the very best contemporary improvised music and make the most of this wonderful venue and its fabulous acoustic. And I am thrilled to be included in the highlights of the programme, alongside the super duck-rabbit ensemble.
8pm – 10:30pm, at the Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street, OX1 3SP. Tickets £9 & £7 on the door.
This month, Oxford Improvisers receives Sound Quartet: ‘Imaginary soundscapes, noisy electronic experimentalism’ from Thomas Bjelkeborn and Paul Pignon – an eclectic and shapeshifting crew descending on Oxford as part of their UK tour. It’s an ever changing gathering of electronic/acoustic musicians and visual artists in a joint search for new artistic crossroads.
Pete McPhail is an extraordinary performer with an unmistakable touch. The evening will also showcase pieces by members of Oxford Improvisers Orchestra, in which I will be playing digital and toy pianos!
This Festive Season has been full of music, in a variety of styles and contexts, in a number of dates here in Oxford.
I can only be so grateful for such an amazing year, and the privilege to be immersed in music during most of my days, and having you to share this joy with me!
Merry Christmas, and a super beautiful New year!
Thursday 03 December: Oxford Brookes Carol Service. I played Jennifer Eklund’s arrangement of ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ for piano solo. Westminster Chapel, Oxford Brookes Harcourt Hill campus, 6:30pm, free.
Saturday 05 December: a place to be.I played piano and toy piano in an evening of improvisation over field recordings from Italy, Brazil, France and the UK, with members of Oxford Improvisers. South Oxford Community Association, 8pm, free.
Tuesday 15 December: Wass-ailing you?Oxford Improvisers monthly gig, this time in the Festive mood. The evening featured original renditions of Polish Carols, pieces by John White and James Saunders, a musical festive punch devised by Jill Elliot, and a music secret Santa. I played piano, toy piano, bottle and my secret gift given by dear Santa. Old Fire Station, 7:45pm, free.
Monday 21 December: Britten: St. Nicolas and A Ceremony of Carols.East Oxford Community Choir (conducted by Mel Houldershaw) is joined by the Carl von Ossietzky from Bonn and East Oxford Youth Choir, reaching the number of 140 singers, plus harp and orchestra to perform those two Britten’s masterpieces, plus a couple of traditional carols. I will be playing first piano in St. Nicolas. St. John Evangelist Church, Iffley Road, 7:30pm. £10/ £8/ £3 (under 18).