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Barkingside (Ward / Hawkins / Lash / May) (Emanem)

A quartet of four excellent young improvising musicians based in London and Oxford, none of whom have ever been to the outer London suburb of Barkingside.

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product information:

UPC: 5030243414727

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 4147
Squidco Product Code: 9322

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded by Alexander Hawkins at Bateman Auditorium, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, September 26, 2006 (tracks 1 - 2) and by Rick Campion and Sebastian Lexer at Freedom of the City Festival, Red Rose, London, May 7, 2007 (track 3).


Alex Ward-clarinet

Alexander Hawkins-piano

Dominic Lash-doublebass

Paul May-percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"Alex Ward was born in 1974. He is a composer, improviser, and performing musician. His primary instruments are clarinet and guitar, and he has also performed in public and on recordings on alto sax, piano/keyboards, bass guitar, and as a vocalist. He was based in Oxford from 1992-2000, and since then has lived in London.

His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. As an improviser, he was initially principally a clarinettist (sometimes also playing alto sax), but since 2000 he has also been active as an improvising guitarist. On both instruments, hIs longest-standing collaborations in this field have been with the drummer Steve Noble.

From 1993 to 2001, most of his activity as a composer took place in collaboration with Benjamin Hervé, mainly in the context of the rock band Camp Blackfoot. From 2002-2005, his writing was mostly done solo, and was primarily focused on songs. Since 2006, he has been heavily involved in both solo and collaborative composition, predominantly (though not exclusively) of instrumental music. Much of his writing and performing during this time has been done with Dead Days Beyond Help, a duo with drummer Jem Doulton. He also currently leads a number of bands including Predicate, Forebrace, The Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet, and Alex Ward & The Dead Ends.

He has been a member of many other groups including ensembles led by Eugene Chadbourne, Simon H. Fell and Duck Baker, and has also done various work as a session musician and in collaboration with other media. Since 2005, he has co-run the label Copepod Records with composer/performer Luke Barlow. He does the recording, mixing and/or mastering of most of his own music, and for many of the groups he plays in." (

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"Alexander Hawkins is a composer, pianist, organist, and bandleader who is 'unlike anything else in modern creative music' (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a 'dazzling new apex' (Downbeat). A largely self-taught improviser, he works in a vast array of creative contexts. His own highly distinctive soundworld is forged through the search to reconcile both his love of free improvisation and profound fascination with composition and structure. In 2012, he was chosen as a member of the first edition of the London Symphony Orchestra's 'Soundhub' scheme for young composers. He also received a major BBC commission in late 2012 for a fifty minute composition: One Tree Found was first performed and broadcast in March 2013, and was subsequently performed and broadcast for the WDR in Cologne (2014). He has also twice been commissioned by the London Jazz Festival (once as composer, once as an arranger), and by the Cheltenham Jazz Festival (2016).

An in-demand sideman, Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with vast array of contemporary leaders of all generations, including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Mulatu Astatke, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Harris Eisenstadt, amongst many others. He has also been noted in recent years for his performances in the bands of legendary South African drummer, Louis Moholo-Moholo. Concert appearances have taken him to club, concert and festival stages worldwide."

-Alexander Hawkins Website (

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"Born Cambridge, England, in January 1980; played bass guitar since 1994; studied with Hugh Boyd and Pascha Milner and at Basstech (London) with Rob Burns, Terry Gregory and others. Played double bass since 2001; basically self taught, with grateful thanks to Simon H. Fell. First class BA in English Literature from Oxford University (2002). Received MA Composition from Oxford Brookes University in 2003, having studied with Paul Whitty, Ray Lee and others. Received PhD from Brunel University in 2010, having studied the work of Derek Bailey, Helmut Lachenmann and JH Prynne and been supervised by Richard Barrett and John Croft."

-Dominic Lash Website (

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track listing:

1. Alopekis 26:12

2. Basenji 8:50

3. Carnauzer 24:23
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Barkingside features some of the most exciting young players on the UK improv scene. It plays completely improvised acoustic music, drawing on each member's varied musical experiences. Formed in 2005, the group's performances have included the Urban Underworlds conference in Cambridge (where it collaborated with poet Michael Horowitz) and the 2007 Freedom of the City festival in London (an excerpt of which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3).

Dominic Lash has been active on the free improvisation scene since 2001. He is a central figure in the Oxford Improvisers' Collective and important long-term musical collaborators include Angharad Davies, Tim Hill, Steve Noble, Samantha Rebello, Pat Thomas and Philipp Wachsmann. Recent work has included a UK tour with Pat Thomas' quartet SILA, a performance in Trondheim, Norway with a large ensemble convened by Mark Wastell, and festival appearances including the Nickelsdorf Konfrontantionen and Liverpool Frakture.

Alexander Hawkins has played keyboard instruments since the age of six. Possessed of a 'fierce technique' and a 'diamond hard touch', his current improvising ensembles include The Convergence Quartet (a transatlantic group featuring Taylor Ho Bynum, Harris Eisenstadt and Dominic Lash, whose first album Live in Oxford has just been released on FMR), and his own sextet and quartet (including Orphy Robinson, Mark Sanders and Hannah Marshall).

Paul May is a versatile yet still highly individual percussionist, drawing sounds from rubbing and striking the drums with any number of objects, as well as the traditional ones. He works regularly with avant-blues guitarist and singer Duke Garwood, jazz singer-songwriter Rosie Brown and, as an improviser, with Veryan Weston, Steve Beresford, John Butcher and Tom Chant. Paul has released four albums on Leo Records with pianist Carolyn Hume.

Alex Ward is one of the country's most extraordinary clarinettists. He started playing with Derek Bailey aged of 12, he has since collaborated with many of the most significant improvisers in the world. He also has a long involvement in rock music, from his own bands, Camp Blackfoot and Dead Days Beyond Help, to work with the Mercury-prize nominated Guillemots. He is featured on well over 30 recordings, including three on his own label, Copepod. A virtuoso, Alex is as happy interpreting complex compositions by Michael Finnissy as improvising with Evan Parker."

Related Categories of Interest:

EMANEM & psi

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Free Improvisation
Quartet Recordings
Instant Rewards

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Pleasures of the Horror [VINYL]
(Bisou Records)
Hawkins, Alexander / Elaine Mitchener Quartet (w / Neil Charles / Stephen Davis)
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(Another Timbre)
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(Holidays Records)
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Mopomoso Tour 2013 | Making Rooms [4 CD BOX SET]
Hawkins, Alexander / Evan Parker
Leaps in Leicester
(Clean Feed)
Hawkins, Alexander & Louis Moholo-Moholo
Keep Your Heart Straight
Beuger, Antoine performed by Chabala / Lash / Owen
s'approcher s'eloigner s'absenter
Malcolm, Nick Quartet

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