TRISH CLOWES PLAYS BARBARA THOMPSON + MARTIN FONDSE AND ERIC VLOEIMANS play TESTIMONI Venue: St James's Piccadilly
Time (onstage): 7.30 p.m.
Ticket price: £20/£15
Saxophonist Trish Clowes and Tangent String Quartet led by Thomas Gould play Kurt Weill as conceived by Barbara Thompson. Arrangements by Richard Rodney Bennett, John Dankworth, Mike Westbrook, Mike Gibbs and Thompson herself.
The quartet also join Holland's most cherished composer and pianist and vibrandoneon player Martin Fondse and trumpeter Eric Vloeimans with their gorgeous project Testimoni.
Saxophonist, composer and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Trish Clowes and what has become the Tangent String Quartet came together in December 2011 to work on Clowes’ second album for Basho Records. Clowes and cellist Louise McMonagle had worked many times before on Clowes’ first album Tangent and with their own ensemble the Odd Trio - with drummer Tim Giles. The other members were handpicked for their open-minded approach to music and reputation for cross genre performance. Thomas Gould (leader) has a busy schedule of classical soloist, co-principal of the Britten Sinfonia, leader of the Aurora Orchestra and member of gypsy jazz group ‘Man Over Board’. Violist Adam Robinson is a busy freelancer in Manchester and runs cross-over ensemble the ‘Threads Orchestra’ (of which Chris Montague and Kit Downes are members). Violinist Thea Spiers has a position in Opera North as well as a busy freelancing career playing folk and jazz. The string quartet will tour as part of the Tangent Nonet in the Autumn of 2012.
Barbara Thompson MBE
Barbara was born in Oxford and educated at Queen's College, Harley Street, London and the Royal College of Music, where she studied clarinet, piano, flute and composition. Whilst retaining a strong interest in classical music, Barbara was captivated by the jazz work of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane and developed a consuming passion for the saxophone. She formed her own group Paraphernalia in 1977. The band, still touring and recording despite Barbara being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1997, became one of the major instrumental attractions on the European concert scene. She cooperated closely with Andrew Lloyd-Webber for musicals like Cats and Starlight Express and his requiem. She wrote several classical compositions, music for movies and TV, a musical of her own and songs for the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia and her big band Moving Parts. Her playing, if not her name, will be familiar to a wider audience, from her playing the incidental music in the popular ITV police series A Touch of Frost starring David Jason. She also played flute on Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.
Barbara's original and inventive compositions and soaring saxophone and flute improvisations, have earned her international acclaim, while the originality of the music has appealed to a wider audience than merely contemporary jazz enthusiasts.
" I’ve had a love affair for many years with the music of Kurt Weill, with his haunting melodies that twist and turn unexpectedly, and his use of modern harmonies and interesting orchestrations. Originally, Neil Ardley suggested he arrange Kurt Weill’s 'Barbara Song' for myself and string quartet, and I soon had the idea to record a whole album of Weill pieces, with arrangements specially written by contemporary composers.." Barbara Thompson
Testimoni is a suite in two parts, the first of which entitled Testimoni Interiori features Martin Fondse on piano while the second called Testimoni Exteriori again features him, this time on vibrandoneon. The introspective opening piece is contrasted by the second which exuberantly sings the praises of expression. Martin Fondse’s performance on vibrandoneon, together with Eric Vloeiman’s trumpet playing in combination with the small ensemble evoke a wonderfully colourful and sensual world. Martin Fondse is one of Holland’s most cherished composers and pianists. His prowess as composer allows him to continually breaks new ground, and combine several different styles in his work. Fondse composes music for the Metropole Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Matthew Herbert, Basement Jaxx and fado chanteuse Mariza. Eric Vloeimans’ warm and expressive style of trumpet playing has won him many fans both at home and abroad. He tours to great acclaim on international stages with his own projects Gatecrash and Kytecrash. Artist website: www.testimoni.nl | www.martinfondse.com | www.ericvloeimans.nl