Input/Output – February Edition

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We’re one month and 12 days into 2018 and it’s time to check in.

Input (What I’ve been putting into my eyes and ears this year…)

Podcasts

Podcasts now far outweigh TV shows and films as my medium of choice. I use Stitcher to listen and have a number of absolute core shows I listen to.

Hellbent – The tagline is ‘a feminist podcast for those who resist and persist’. the two hosts, Devon and Drexel are great and their remit covers all kinds of important topics – lots of current affairs and politics especially as it relates to equality, healthcare, family law etc. The tone is strong and honest and bold. This one is a new find but I love what I hear so far.

Inflection Point – Presented by Lauren Schiller and always with a fascinating roster of guests. The tagline is ‘how women rise up’ and there’s some great episodes like How to bring Joy into the Resistance and one about Alex Bernadotte’s Beyond 12 programme for underserved college students including first gen immigrants and low income families.

Slow Burn – This is an incredible series about Richard Nixon and Watergate made by Slate. The theme is fascinating enough but this podcast goes beyond the standard stuff we all know about the enormous garbage fire that was Watergate and goes deep with lots of interview content with those close to the various stages of the story.

The Gender Knot – Exploring the new masculinity and femininity is their remit and the topics are far-reaching and always interesting. It’s thought-provoking and contemplative with broad topics like Does Gender Shape Business? as well as topics that reflect the current climate such as How Will #Metoo Affect Dating?

Up and Vanished – Late to the party, I know but to the 7 of you that haven’t listened – DO IT NOW. I’m just glad I discovered it when all the episodes were available so I didn’t have to wait in between. It’s made by Payne Lindsey and focuses on a 12 year old cold case  – the disappearance of 30 year old Tara Grinstead in Ocilla, Georgia. It really is extraordinary to listen as it turns from a cold case to an active case during the course of, and as a direct result of, this podcast.

Last Podcast On The Left – I. LOVE. THIS. SHOW. Hosted by Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski. If you want in-depth investigations into true crime, cults and aliens, finding this will be like all your Christmasses come at once. This is the podcast that makes you snort with laughter on the Tube and wake up the snoozing commuter next to you. It’s really hard to pick a favourite episode but I will say I keep episode 81: Female Serial Killers on my downloaded list at all times because it is gold.

Output

February’s turned into a lovely month for gigs so you can see me as part of a small, a medium AND a large ensemble setting across England –

19th – Calum Gourlay Big Band @ The Vortex, London

21st – What Love? @ The Lescar, Sheffield

22nd – Deep Tide Quartet @ Claptrap, Stourbridge

23rd – What Love? @ Listen, Cambridge

I did a pretty in-depth interview for LCoM which was published today as one of their Alumni profiles. Read it in full here.

Here’s a snippet…

 Some of your recent work has involved the use of graphic scores and the visualisation/sonification of data. How important to you think it is for jazz musicians to push the boundaries of musical notation?

I think it’s important for musicians to be true to themselves and that it’s ok if your voice as an artist sits outside of the mainstream. I’m at home in the world of improvised music and graphic scores because it feels very honest to me. Part of developing as an artist is about trying lots of things on for size and figuring out what fits and what doesn’t. Visualisation and sonification of data is something I’m really excited by at the moment. For example, I wrote a score for the Visualising Music event at the RA called Feeling Truth, which took data sets from the Earthquake Swarms in Oklahoma caused by the oil industry’s wastewater injection process. Through that performance, I’ve started working with an artist called Liz K Miller on a graphic scoring project and I’ve quite a few things in the works for this year in that field. I LOVE hearing people talk about their work and about artistic process, so I try to incorporate that into my work, too. I mainly use my website for that purpose.

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April Update 2014

Photo by Porl Medlock                              Panel discussion at Meet Jazz North, Penrith (Photo: Porl Medlock)

Hectic March has just finished and I’m looking ahead to April and May, our first Transatlantic Apollo tour and new plans for LOCUS.

The above photo was taken at a full day event we held at UpFront Gallery near Penrith with Jazz North and BlueJam Arts. (It confirms that my default face is angry, though I promise I had a lovely time…!) We had a fantastic day and I was blown away by standard of musicianship and of creativity that Jilly Jarman and her team inspire in people. I really hope we work with them again soon. It’s days like that one that confirm to me why I spread my work across both the performance side and the industry side of jazz.

APOLLO – We are gearing up to welcome Fat Face Trio to the UK from North Carolina for their May/June tour. We’ve got 11 dates across the UK lined up for them and I’m certain it will a great tour. We’re just firming up all the promotion for them now so look out for a full list o tour dates being revealed soon.

LOCUS – Leah and I are working on plans for more recording and more gigs this year with LOCUS. I’m so ready to play with them again and work on some new material. Regardless of the fact that we live 3000 miles apart, it’s great to find another musician with whom you work so well and I am determined to build on last year’s tour success and take another step forward with the band.

Jazz Education Conference – I am pleased to be on the bill as a speaker for this year’s Scottish Jazz Education Conference on August 29th. My session is entitled ‘Learning Jazz from the Nursery to Professional Musicianship’ and I’m honoured to be featured alongside the musicians who had such a large impact on me as a young musician; Richard Michael, Tommy Smith and Richard Ingham.

I’m looking forward to some great gigs coming up – a sextet performance at Seven Arts in conjunction with Jazz Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Festival in June and an appearance at the Marsden Jazz Festival with Louise Gibbs and her septet in the autumn. After that, our LOCUS tour kicks off and some more dates will be announced soon.