Happy birthday!

A big happy birthday to John White (b. 5 April 1936). For those who don’t know it, John White is the originator of Machine and systems processes, and essentially is the father of minimalism in Britain. He has also been the greatest composer of music using postmodern irony, and has done so when most composers in Britain were only just beginning to accept serialism. He has written a number of symphonies, most of them (those written since the early 1980s) for electronic keyboards and computer processes. His series of piano sonatas (since 1956 and now numbering almost 200) have acted as a kind of diary of musical thoughts and information. John has also written extensively for the stage, dance, and television/film, and is musical director for Drama Centre London.

John White’s music has never failed to enthral us, surprise us and make us laugh. There are some pieces by John White on the Experimental Music Catalogue; we would like them all, if we could. Very happy birthday, John: can’t wait to see what you will come up with next!

Fizzle archive and new show

Andy Woodhead sends the following:


Thanks to all who came down last week, it was lovely to see so many people out!

The recording is now up in the archive here:

(I’ve done excerpts of both sets and put them together in a little mash up because of various really boring reasons to do with Mixcloud’s upload policy)

Coming up on the 10th at the Lamp we have another absolute belter of a gig for you:

Bruce Coates – Saxes
John Edwards – Bass
Mark Sanders – Drums

Plus early set from

Richard Scott – Violin
Tapiwa Svosve – Shruti Box

Doors at 7, Early Set 7.15, Main Band 8pm.

£5 OTD

See you all there!

The Lamp Tavern, 157 Barford Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B5


Next week’s Fizzle

Andy Woodhead sends us the following from frimpland (where all is freely improvised). Looks good — Paul Dunmall is always worth a listen.

Hello again!

We had a cracking week last week with Alicia and Tom and Alison and co, and a great turn-out as well, so thanks all for coming! Recordings are making their way to the archive in the near future all being well, so keep your ears to the ground for those.

We’ve got an absolute belter of a Fizzle coming up for you this tuesday…

Doing the early set we have:

Richard Foote – Trombone
Joe Wright – Tenor Sax
Tom Ford – Guitar/FX
Euan Palmer – Drums and Cymbals

followed by:

Liam Noble – Piano
Paul Dunmall – Saxophones
Mark Sanders – Drums and Cymbals

Doors at 7
Early Set at 7.15
Main Band at 8

Usual fiver on the door

See you all there!

He didn’t add the location, but here it is: The Lamp Tavern, Barford St, Birmingham, B5 6AH.

Scratch Orchestra Improvisation Rites

Sunday night there will be a rather wonderful event at Cafe Oto. Various people — original Scratch Orchestra members, new folk, younger folk — have been working on that most fascinating genre of Scratch Orchestra music-making, the Improvisation Rite, using the early Scratch Orchestra document, Nature Study NotesNature Study Notes is a collection of Improvisation Rites, edited by Cornelius Cardew, that existed right at the start of the Scratch Orchestra. Improvisation Rites are not compositions, at least not according to the Draft Composition of the Scratch Orchestra. Instead, they are meant to supply conditions for improvisation: a setting, idea, installation, and so on. In fact, many of the 152 Nature Study Notes Rites are actually compositions (they tell you what to play), but the Scratch Orchestra genres have always been somewhat fluid. For more on Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra, there’s a rather good article on Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra in the unlikely setting of the Red Bull Music Academy website: http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/magazine/cornelius-cardew-feature.

Stefan Szczelkun launched this concert of Scratch Orchestra improvisation along with a host of others, and from the early notes on rehearsals, it looks amazing. The information on the concert at Cafe Oto exists on their site: https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/nature-study-notes/ . It’s going to be a lovely programme, and the EMC (Chris Hobbs, Virginia Anderson) are going to be in the audience, cheering them on. For those on Facebook, the event notification is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1409389246024588/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming . And Carole Fyner will be interviewing performers on her Resonance Radio (London and the Internet) show, Sound Out, on Friday, 20 February, at 2 pm.

And should you want to follow along, the EMC has put up a download of the original EMC edition of Nature Study Notes on our Freebies page: http://www.experimentalmusic.co.uk/emc/Freebies.html . Your school field trip notebook was never this much fun!

Free concert recording

The EMC founder Christopher Hobbs played a lunchtime concert at Coventry University on 5 November 2014. The programme consisted of:

Terry Jennings: Piano Piece 1960
Morton Feldman: Intermission 5 (1952)
Christian Wolff: Play (1968) (with Chris Evans, perc.)
John Cage: Music for Marcel Duchamp (1947)
Christopher Hobbs: Sudoku 137 (2013)
Terry Jennings Piano Piece 1 1965 “Winter Trees”

We thought that it was a shame that everyone couldn’t be sent to Coventry, at least for this one concert, so we’ve put up a recording. To give it a listen, press here: http://www.experimentalmusic.co.uk/emc/Hobbs_concert,_Coventry,_5_November_2014.html

Canard de “Fizzle”, avec lapin

Bruce Coates brings us news of the new season of Fizzle, curated by Andrew Woodhead. This concert may quack you up, so be sure to attend: hop to it!

The new season of Fizzle kicks off with the fabulous duck-rabbit, featuring:

Joe Wright – saxophone/electronics,
Tom Taylor – piano/electronics,
James Opstad – double bass/electronics

Should be a delightful gig, come on down!

Gig starts at 8pm at the Lamp Tavern, Barford St, Birmingham.

£5/£3 OTD

Lewis-Shrapnel Duo in London

Well, this looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. John Lewis was one half of the legendary 1970s piano duo with Dave Smith. Hugh Shrapnel was a member of the (can we repeat legendary? Oh, okay, we will) legendary minimalist quartet the Promenade Theatre Orchestra. Both composers have come up with loads of great pieces over the years, so we expect good things from this concert. And the free wine’s a bit of a draw!

Hugh Shrapnel and John Lewis Piano Duets and Solos

Saturday 27th September 6.30 pm                                  

Schotts Music Publishers, 48 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7BB                                                   (Nearest tube Oxford Circus)

Shrapnel and Lewis’s music complements each other. The former’s amiable sepia-tinted portraits of S.E. London life and locations contrast with the latter’s more aggressive jazz-tinged depictions of the Chemical Elements.

Expect train journeys, rare-earths, cemeteries, evil-smelling liquids and much more…

Admission £8, (concs. £5) and free wine!

Fizzle fizzling around with international fizzles

The Lamp Tavern,

Barford St,


B5 6AH.

Tuesday 20th May, 8:30pm.

Francois Carrier – alto sax

Alexey Lapin – piano

Michel Lambert – drums

This group has released three live albums on Leo Records since their first Russian Tour. Furthermore, FMR Records will soon release a new live double album of our April 2013 russian tour.

More here: http://www.francoiscarrier.com/

Hobbs and Bryars at the London Contemporary Music Festival

Hobbs and Bryars will recreate parts of their album, Ensemble Music (Obscure 2), May 26, 2014, including:

  • Christopher Hobbs, Aran and McCrimmon Will Never Return
  • Gavin Bryars, 1,2,1-2-3-4

plus music by John White and a live improvisation by Maggie Nicols. This is a rare — nay, an unheard-of — recreation of Hobbs’ and Bryars’ pieces using antiquated instruments (reed organs, toy pianos) and (hopefully) live analogue electronics.


Really worth seeing just for these three pieces.


More free improvisation fun from our friends at Fizzle, Birmingham:

A Centrifuge-Fizzle co-promotion

Centrifuge nos # 26
Tuesday 6th May at The Lamp Tavern, 157 Barford St, Birmingham B5 6AH.
8.15pm, £5/3.

Centrifuge brings an exciting collection improvising musicians based in North and Midlands together in Birmingham. The musicians, with a range of different musical practices, will combine in various small groupings to deliver a program of free improvisations in music.

Featuring the following and more or less:

Andrew Woodhead
Dom Lash
Ian Simpson
Mark Summers
Mike Hurley
Phil Hargreaves
Phil Lucking
Phil Morton
Phil Rowland
Walt Shaw

Phil Morton notes: A tasty line up, good instrumentation, and excellent to see the “Phil’s” are well respresented.

Instruments may include
Accidents & Treatments, Double Bass, Bass Clarinet, Electronics,Flute, Flugelhorn, Guitar, Keyboard, percussion, Sax, Trumpets, Voice,

More at: http://www.improvisersnetwork.co.uk/centrifuge/2014/centrifuge26.htm