A “new improved” site is going to be seen at this address one fine day!
Meanwhile - What's manifest this August 2014
Memories, Dreams and Blasts from the past.
John Miller,( Polenta: record label), his website speaks volumes in a minimalist surreal sort of way. This inspiring breath of ordered anarchy contacted me to ask if I minded if he release a compilation of recordings some of which have me playing, made between 1993 - 97. The compilation was based on DAT (Digital Audio Tape) John made of gigs in an extraordinary club complete with background people noise which compliments the music and a surprising and integrative sort of way.
About this club. (Please bare in mind that a great deal of recollection is reconstructive.) Anyhow what I recall, or reconstruct, is a a dark alleyway leading towards the Thames from the South side. Off the alleyway was a back entrance to an office block. It was hidden by some heavy metal dustbins. An auspicious start.
If you survive this right of passage you are allowed into a lift which takes you up through closed down office floors (you can glimpse them through the lift gates as you travel up to what I think was the the 6th floor. The 6th floor is also an office floor but it has been temporarily converted into a club. There are still relics which speak of office but it’s definitely a club - with people, alcohol, waitresses, a kitchen, slightly burned pizzas, and a buzz.
John is there with his keyboard and you just don’t quite know who’s going to turn up - it’s a night time adventure for everyone concerned musicians and audience. If you wish to look out there are windows with panoramic views of the river. So it’s an underground club on the sixth floor type of atmosphere. It felt magical and normal all at the same time.
On reflection I see it was magical, of the moment. Now the moment is gone so the club has to become a memory. However there was a recording and John had the evidence.
The CD contains Tasty titles:
- Fragment of Pork
- Down With Nouns
- The Last Waltz
- Coalman Baby's On Fire / Watermelon Man
- For Yoko
- New in Old
- You Don’t Come from Cobbham?
- Down With Nouns
- Break On Through
- Donut House
- Mavis, I Implore You
- I Love your Heart
London Bridge is Broken Down
Since my earliest years as a professional trombone player I have played in a number of Mike Westbrook projects. The first huge one I recall was “Moonrise” which was first put on at the The Mermaid Theatre. It was kaleidoscopic in its scope: Anything to do with the moon was thrown in and tumbled. There were very early cartoons projected onto a screen, there were actors and mime and these elements pivoted around the Mike Westbrook big band. It was a fantastic time and experience.
The last project of his I worked on was “London Bridge Is Broken Down”. Another large scale project - a French commission which incorporated the Chamber Orchestra of Amiens and a band which Mike brought over from the UK.
We rehearsed, performed it at The Amiens festival and subsquently Virgin Records recorded the work in Paris. I think it was first released in 1988
August of this year: I heard from Mike after a long silence. "Picardie" of it is to be broadcast on Radio 3 in the context of the wider commemoration.
40 years after the event Chris ☛ link ☚ asked if I was happy about his releasing a track via his website that was recorded under some arches in London in 1974. Take a look at the page and see the wonderful score - all pencil with red scribbles and some green too. What a lovely collection of musicians.
“I wrote a four movement work for this band, called Life & Times (of a Perfect Stranger), but we only got as far as rehearsing the 12-minute first movement, Formative Years.”
Innes Book of Records
I bumped into John Altman at The Brunswick. John arranged and conducted the orchestra for this album of songs by and featuring Neil Innes. First released in 1979
News: Projects including ONL, Ife Tolentino/Paul Nieman duo, Lodder/Nieman duo, Trombone solo :- audio tracks
Ife & Paul Ife Tolentino (guitar) & Paul Nieman (trombone)
Teaching. I teach both one-to-one and groups; I'm taking names for my new course “Time and Intervals in Music”Paul Nieman