My electronics duo Deemer (with Dutch sound artist Merijn Royaards) is releasing its third album on 4th June on Luminous Label with the welcome addition of Manchester based drummer Johnny Hunter. The trio recorded the album at Viva Recorders Studio in London way back in November 2019 after performing at the London Jazz Festival.
Aftermath is nine short(ish) tracks taken from that three hour recording session, reflecting the scope of the trio’s collective musical journey that day. You can preorder Aftermath on digital and CD formats on Bandcamp. While you are there you can also buy tickets to the album launch on 4th June. There are a very limited number of in-person spaces available and the performance will also be live streamed.
This will be the 15th release on Luminous, a label I have co-run with Cath Roberts since 2013. To mark the occasion we are also very happy to unveil our brand new website! It feels really nice to have our own space online with everything in one place: label background, artist info, blog and shop.
In the absence of opportunities to perform live during the pandemic, I’ve been exploring the varied textures and soundscapes my effects pedals have to offer in the context of solo improvisation with my saxophone. Although I’ve been using electronics in a group setting for a while (with Entropi, MoonMot, Atmosfear and more recently in a trio with Cath Roberts and Craig Scott), exploring electronics in a solo setting is a relatively new thing for me. In 2019 I performed at the East London Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival and at the Vortex downstairs with just me and my pedals. It’s a pretty exposing experience and feels like a real risk standing alone, guided by the inner promptings of each new idea and trusting that the whole thing will make sense. But I really enjoyed it and hopefully I’ll get a chance to perform more with this solo project in the future.
The impetus to make these videos came from Freedom: The Art of Improvisation monthly facebook events run by Orphy Robinson, Cleveland Watkiss and Tori Handsley – an online substitute for the pre-COVID live nights at the Vortex (a packed room full of musicians, artists and listeners coming together to celebrate impromptu music-making). Videoing one or two short solo improvisations most months has provided a focus and helped me to develop in this area. It is a exercise in concentration, with my aim being to become completely absorbed in the music for the entire duration of the video. Easier said than done, but it’s rewarding reaching for this space. I have uploaded seven of these short videos to my YouTube channel. Here are a few: