Great photos of a great gig!

We asked musician and photographer Martin Delaney to take some photos of out last gig featuring the duo Charlotte Keeffe and Joe Smith Sands, followed by Bill Thompson and then a further duo of Phil Durrant and Mark Sanders, Here are some great shots of the night:

Charlotte Keeffe and Joe Smith Sands

Quick fire interplay between trumpet/flugelhorn and electric guitar – Charlotte and Joe are one of the most exciting duos to emerge on the UK improv scene in recent years.

Bill Thompson

Slowly evolving soundscapes with great attention to detail  –  Bill produced a mesmerising set:

Phil Durrant and Mark Sanders

Phil  and Mark reignited their long standing duo to explore the relationship between #modularsynth and drums:

#MertonCulture #mylocalculture


Bill Thompson aka prof lofi/ Charlotte Keeffe & Joe Smith/ Phil Durrant & Mark Sanders

It’s September and SoundSpace is back!

Our next event on September 23rd features two duos Charlotte Keeffe (trumpet & flugelhorn) and Joe Smith Sands (guitar) and Phil Durrant (modular synth) and Mark Sanders (drums) and one solo: Bill Thompson aka prof_lofi (Moog guitar and electronics).

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Bill Thompson aka prof lofi (Moog guitar and electronics)

Bill is a sound and video artist whose work involves the combination of found objects, field recordings, repurposed live electronics, and digital media to create evolving structures for installation and live performance. Thompson creates immersive environments that slowly shift and evolve over time and that focus listeners’ attention on the act of perception as much as on the work itself. Originally trained as a guitarist, Bill has worked with live electronics for the better part of 15 years. Since 2016/17, however, he has returned to the guitar, performing with one built by Moog that combines built in electronics with miscellaneous table top devices, found objects, flashing lights, and the occasional vibrator. Bill’s compositions often involve long sustained tones, slowly evolving textures, and indeterminate or improvised structures.


Charlotte Keeffe (trumpet and flugelhorn)
Joe Smith Sands (guitar)

After graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree specialising in jazz performance on the trumpet from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Charlotte Keeffe continued her musical journey and recently graduated with a Masters from The Guildhall School of Music & Drama as a scholarship recipient and Help Musicians UK Award Winner. Charlotte was lucky enough to study with her heroes – trombonist Sarah Gail Brand and trumpeters Noel Langley, Percy Pursglove and Byron Wallen.

Realising her deep fascination for Improvised Music, Charlotte got in touch with guitarist John Russell and helped established the Mopomoso Workshop Group. She plays regularly in the London Improvisers Orchestra and has shared concert bills with the likes of John Edwards, Steve Noble, John Butcher, Steve Beresford and Mark Sanders.

Charlotte performs as a trumpet/flugelhorn soloist, in a duo with Kim Macari Stone-Lonergan, and as part of her Space Painters Trio with two guitarists (Joe Smith Sands and Diego Sampieri). She is also a member of Martin Archer’s Corps Radical quintet.

Joe Smith Sands is a guitarist from London and has played improvised music since 2015. Following a period of study with guitarist John Russell he went on to be a founding member of the Mopomoso Workshop Group. More recently he has worked and performed with musicians such as Sarah Gail Brand, Veryan Weston, Charlotte Keeffe and Alex Ward.

Charlotte Keeffe and Joe Smith Sands @ Flim Flam 28 June 2017

Phil Durrant (modular synth)
Mark Sanders (drums and percussion)

Phil Durrant and Mark Sanders have been performing together since the late 1980s as a duo, trio with Alan Wilkinson, and for many years with Sarah Gail Brand and Pat Thomas in Lunge. This will be performance for new modular synth/drums incarnation.

Born near London in 1957, Phil Durrant is an improviser/composer/sound artist who has devised his own virtual performance instruments using Reaktor. 
As a violinist (and member of the Butcher/Russell/Durrant trio), he was one of the key exponents of the “group voice approach” style of improvised music. In the late 90s, his trio with Radu Malfatti and Thomas Lehn represented a shift to a more “reductionist” approach.
Durrant’s exploration in the use of live electronics to expand the timbre of the violin, evolved into the creation and building of self-made virtual instruments. His live sampling/treatments duo with John Butcher and his work MIMEO, saw Durrant move from the use of hardware to the use of software in live situations. Recently he has returned to hardware and is currently using modular synth and live lecetronics.

Durrant also performs regularly with the acoustic/electronic group Trio Sowari (with Bertrand Denzler and Burkhard Beins) and Mark Wastell’s The Seen.

Mark has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Evan Parker, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.
In situations using composition Mark works in a number of projects including Christian Marclay’s Everyday for film and live music and John Butcher’s Tarab Cuts – both projects have performed major festivals throughout Europe and Brazil. He has performed works by guitarist John Coxon in Glasgow and Sydney playing with the Scottish and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. With New York’s ICE Ensemble he has performed John Zorn’s The Tempest in London and at Huddersfield New Music Festival.

Mark also works in the groups of Paul Dunmall including Deep Whole Trio with Paul Rogers, and the ensembles of Sarah Gail Brand, including a long-standing duo. He has a lengthy discography including a solo album, has performed internationally and played at major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Womad and notably at Glastonbury with legendary saxophonist John Tchicai.


Inspirational Improv at Merton Arts Space

Our third SoundSpace event drew some new faces to Merton Arts Space to experience our USP – improvised music with added library books. Once again the acoustic of the space made it really special.

The first set had Phil Julian and John Macedo playing modular synths. The duo explored sine waves and filtered noise with sounds invoking Geiger counter crackles, clicks and pops. 

Phil and John made the most of Merton Arts Space PA, moving their music around and between the four speakers positioned high above the audience, producing accelerating and decelerating patterns of sound.

Trombonist extraordinaire Sarah Gail Brand’s quartet with Steve Beresford (electronics and objects), John Edwards (double bass) and Mark Sanders (drums) brought a veritable improv supergroup to Wimbledon. The musicians’ long experience of playing together created an organic and intricate dialogue that swept up the audience in their magical sound. 

SoundSpace will be taking a summer break for now, but it was an excellent way to end our first run. Thank you to all the musicians and especially the small (but growing!) loyal local audience who have shown us that South West London wants improv. 

In the meantime, the legendary bassist Jah Wobble (also London Libraries Lead Ambassador) will be gracing the stage at Merton Arts Space on July 1st – so see you there!

Launch night: an intimate space for experimental sound

Phil D Phil M 1
Phil Maguire and Phil Durrant

Last night brought free improvisation to Wimbledon and SoundSpace radiated with intimate, warm and haunting music.

The evening started with Phil Durrant and Phil Maguire making music with modular synths and DIY noise instruments. Maguire’s atmospheric rumbling and gurgling met Durrant’s in-between-radio-station frequencies coming from his 0Coast synth. The layers of sound created an envelope of drones and glitches to wrap the audience in a delightful sound world that was enhanced by the warm ambience of Merton Arts Space.

John Edwards at SoundSpace
John Edwards

In the second set, John Edwards fully exploited the wonderful acoustic of the venue, reflecting and expanding the traces of the previous electronic soundscape with his extended techniques. Gently guiding the audience through his unique and personal double bass vocabulary, Edwards brought the space to life. Whispers, clicks, pops, growls and creaks spread out into the room, creating an intimate and exhilarating sound space.

11 march 2017 tutti 3
From left: Richard Sanderson, Sue Lynch, John Edwards, Phil Maguire and Phil Durrant

The second half of the evening started with Sue Lynch and Richard Sanderson on flute and amplified melodeon, creating a finely balanced melodic interplay that affirmed their long standing collaboration. After the delicate exchange of the opening duo, Lynch and Sanderson were joined by Edwards, Durrant and Maguire to create a haunting, laminal blanket of sound, with high pitched flutterings peppered with deep drones and trills. The quintet closed the evening with a final short piece of sustained murmurings, percussive smatterings, poignant peals and ghostly howls. It was fantastic.


SoundSpace Launch Night

feather with words like experimental, improvisation, microtonal, smooth, striated, hum, listening, crash floating around it and the names of artists playing: phil currant and phil maguire, john edwards, sue lynch and richard sanderson

Launch night 11th March 8pm

£8 on the door £6 + £0.60 booking fee in advance Buy Tickets

For the first time, SoundSpace will take over Merton Arts Space and present an evening of improvised and experimental music. The evening will open with the first performance of a new electronic music duo featuring Phil Durrant and Phil Maguire. The brilliant double bassist John Edwards will follow.  In the second half, Sue Lynch (tenor sax and clarinet) and Richard Sanderson (melodeon) will start with a duo, and will be joined by the other musicians for a quintet.

John Edwards / double bass

John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.

Phil Durrant / modular synth

Phil Maguire / DIY noise instrument

Phil Durrant is an improvising musician who has performed with Trio Sowari, The Seen, Mimeo, John Butcher and others, playing modular synths, self-designed Reaktor instruments, iPad, laptop and violin.  Phil Maguire makes reductive music with computers and recordings.

Phil Durrant and Phil Maguire bring together their respective practices in a new duo playing modular synths and DIY noise instruments fizz, pop and drone to create morphing mid-long form improvisations.

Sue Lynch / tenor saxophone & clarinet

Sue Lynch performs with Hogcallin’ (with John Edwards, Steve Noble, Adrian Northover), ‘The Remote Viewers’ ,’ The Horse Trio’, ‘The Custodians of The Realm’ and  Helen McDonald’s ‘Future Groove’. She has performed with The Cambodian Space Project (2015) and has recently performed at The Tate Modern as part of of Tarek Atoui’s ‘Reverse Collection’.

Richard Sanderson / melodeon

Richard Sanderson is an experimental improvising musician playing melodeon (a diatonic button accordion) in the Horse Trio with Sue Lynch (saxophone and flute) and Hutch Demouilpied (trumpet), and in a trio with Mark Browne (saxophone and small instruments) and Daniel Thompson (acoustic guitar).