I am a saxophonist, composer and improviser based in London with an interest in pushing the boundaries of jazz. I collaborate with artists from the UK and Europe who occupy the area of contemporary jazz, avant-garde and free improvisation.
My area of interest is the meeting of structured, composed material with free improvisation. I love freely improvised music as well as contemporary jazz, but for me the magic happens in between, where a composition is given room to breathe and has the potential to go in unexpected directions.
After graduating from Trinity Laban with a Masters in Jazz Performance in 2011, I went on to compose and record two albums with my contemporary jazz quintet Entropi. Alongside this, in 2013, I created a platform for original and improvised music in London with saxophonist/composer Cath Roberts. Weekly gigs, a monthly residency at the Vortex, festivals and tours all provided a safe space for us to experiment with new ideas and keep our music-making fresh and inventive.
In 2018 I was awarded Arts Council’s Developing Your Creative Practice grant, which enabled me to take a deep dive into my creative process using visual art as a medium to unlock fresh approaches to composition. This period of exploration has yielded a bunch of new music, which has been recorded with two ensembles: my new sextet Outlines and UK/Swiss collaborative sextet MoonMot. Outlines recorded nine of my compositions in October 2021 – the album will be released in the autumn on the contemporary jazz label Whirlwind Recordings. MoonMot has recorded two albums, both featuring my compositions alongside those by the other band members (Cath Roberts, Simon Petermann, Oli Kuster, Johnny Hunter and Seth Bennett). Our first album was released in 2020 on Unit Records with accompanying European tour. Our second album is due for release in spring 2023 on the Enja Yellowbird label.
As a band member I play in European quintet Ydivide, which plays the music of Swiss drummer Clemens Kuratle and also features Elliot Galvin, Chris Guilfoyle and Lukas Traxel. In November we recorded our debut album in Zurich, which is coming out in August 2022 on Intakt Records. I also play in an experimental trio with Swiss musicians Oli Kuster (modular synth) and Cyrill Ferrari (guitar/effects). We released our first album in November 2021 on Efpi Records, with our second album coming out (also on Efpi) in June 2022.
The duo format has been an interesting setting to explore free improvisation: I have an acoustic duo with Cath Roberts, which looks like it will feature more electronics in the future as our sound and taste develops. I also have a long running duo Deemer with Dutch sound artist Merijn Royaards – it was in this duo that I first started experimenting with effects pedals. Deemer has released three albums on Luminous Label (LUME’s offshoot record label) and the duo with Cath has released one album: Disembark! on Luminous.
I have recently joined a couple more original jazz projects: Inner Space, a chordless quintet led by Loz Speyer and Holding Hands, an octet led by Norwich based musicians Chris Dowding and Rob Milne. I have attended the London Improvisers Orchestra for the past three years, which has been a real pleasure. Learning to play in the context of a larger improvising ensemble has taught me the value of listening and leaving space. Also learning conduction as both ensemble musician and conductor has been a rich experience. Finally my favourite project is my solo project where I get to take a deep dive into the unknown, just me and my effects pedals. It’s an intense experience, which I find very rewarding and strangely addictive!