The Squid's Ear Magazine

Aspyrian (Porter / Gillen / Parkinson): To Explore (Vol. 1) (Hidden Threads)

A compelling and lyrical debut from the London-based trio Aspyrian of Robin Porter on tenor & soprano saxophones, Jack Gillen on guitar and Matt Parkinson on drums, the band name from Old English translating to "To search, explore, trace, discover, explain", which the band does with ebullient dexterity through seven original compositions from Porter and Parkinson.

Price: $14.95


In Stock

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

product information:

Label: Hidden Threads
Catalog ID: HTR-002
Squidco Product Code: 33397

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: UK
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at Lightship 95 Studio, in London, UK, in August, 2022, by Giles Barrett.


Robin Porter-saxophones

Jack Gillen-guitar

Matt Parkinson-drums

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"To Explore (Vol. 1)' is the debut album from London-based trio, 'Aspyrian', featuring long-standing friends and collaborators Robin Porter on tenor and soprano saxophone, Jack Gillen on guitar and Matt Parkinson on drums. The album title is the translation of the band name - an old English word - and reflects the band's approach to playing and creating music together. Whilst this particular ensemble only formed in 2021, the relationship that binds these three musicians has been nurtured in a range of other musical contexts since they met at Leeds Conservatoire over ten years ago. The result is a shared musical language that allows the trio to interact on a profound level.

All seven tracks on the album are original compositions - three written by Robin and four by Matt - which collectively exhibit a broad range of styles. Make no mistake however, this album has a cohesive sound that is enchantingly original, devoid of clichés and true to the band's shared experiences.

This debut album from the band - whilst still paying homage to a growing tradition of sax, guitar, and drums line-up - is a bold and individual record that firmly places the band's sound in the present day. 'Aspyrian' are immensely grateful and honoured to have been awarded the Help Musicians UK Record/Release Fund in 2022, which has not only supported the recording/manufacturing costs but also provided valuable business advice sessions to help the group better understand the release process."-Hidden Threads

Artist Biographies

"Robin Porter is an award-winning saxophonist, composer and educator based in London. He is a versatile and accomplished musician, having performed at many prestigious venues across the UK.

Highlights include; a 2017 live performance on BBC Radio 3 with Nick Smart, Kit Downes, Tom Herbert and Martin France, alongside students from The Royal Academy of Music; a 10 month weekly residency from 2016-17 at The Jazz Café alongside Ashley Henry; a 2013 performance with his own project at the Royal Albert Hall 'Elgar Room' as part of the Proms Plus Late Sessions, which was later broadcast on BBC Radio 3; a 2013 UK tour with the same band, playing at renown venues on the jazz circuit.

Robin received a distinction upon completing the MA Jazz Performance course at The Royal Academy of Music (RAM), where he had the privilege of studying with many world-class musicians and educators. He is a graduate of the Leeds College of Music (LCoM) BA Jazz programme with first class honours, and was awarded 'The George Murphy Trophy for Jazz Saxophone'.

Robin is extremely grateful to numerous charities and organisations that have and are continuing to support him throughout his studies and career, including; Help Musicians UK; The Countess of Munster Musical Trust; The Royal Academy of Music Thompson Family Trust; The Loan Fund for Musical Instruments; The Macfarlane Walker Trust; The EMI Sound Foundation; The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust; The Southend High School for Boys Alumni Trust."

-Robin Porter Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Jack Gillen began his musical life at age 7, studying classical guitar avidly before discovering Jimi Hendrix at age 15. This discovery opened up pathways into blues, jazz, rock and soul music, and ushered in an obsession with the electric guitar. After studying Jazz for 3 years at Leeds College of Music between 2010-2013, Jack returned to his hometown of London, cutting his teeth as a session guitarist/ co-writer/ musical director/ producer, working with artists in many different musical settings. After a few years of being a musical chameleon, he decided to dig deeper into his own identity as an artist and composer, the first evidence of this being his debut EP 'The Long Way Down'. Fusing Jazz, Rock, Folk, Blues, and Classical influences into a distinctive style of his own, the EP featured melodically focused compositions, dark harmonic twists and turns, lots of dynamic improvisational interaction between musicians, and raw, stinging guitar tones."

-Jack Gillen Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Matt Parkinson is a drummer, percussionist and composer based in London. He is known for his creative and musical approach, across a wide spectrum of groove-based styles.

He has been fortunate enough to perform at many prestigious venues throughout the UK and beyond including Wembley Stadium, Buckingham Palace, The South Bank Centre, The Jazz Café, Pizza Express Jazz Club, The 606 Club, and The Vortex Jazz Club. His current creative projects include Howl Quartet, Aspyrian, his solo project and production work.

Matt graduated with distinction from the postgraduate Jazz course at the Royal Academy of Music and gained a Bachelors degree from Leeds College of Music. Alongside Jazz, Matt has spent a lot of time studying and performing the traditional folkloric music of Cuba, Brazil and West Africa."

-Matt Parkinson Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. ACE 5:42

2. Hymn For Jim 7:59

3. With the Benefit of Hindsight 4:44

4. R-Evolve 6:05

5. Unknown 5:10

6. Rigor Mortis 5:24

7. Changing Tides 6:18

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Trio Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Search for other titles on the label:
Hidden Threads.

Recommended & Related Releases:
Aspyrian (Porter / Gillen / Parkinson)
To Explore (Vol. 1)
(Hidden Threads)
Banks / Canha / Porter / Taylor
Lost At Sea
Other Recommended Releases:
Russell, John / John Butcher / Dominic Lash
But everything now left before it arrived
Watts, Trevor (feat. Moire Music Drum Orchestra / Mark Hewins / Jamie Harris / Gibran Cervantes)
A World View [5 CDs]
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
Moore / Prevost / Yarde
Monicker (Scott Thomson / Arthur Bull / Roger Turner)
(Bug Incision Records)
Orchestra Entropy
Monicker (Scott Thomson / Arthur Bull / Roger Turner)
(Ambiances Magnetiques)
Kuchen, Martin / Ed Pettersen / Roger Turner
The End Of The Universe
(Split Rock Records)
Turner, Roger / Henry Kaiser / Martin Kuchen / Damon Smith / Jeff Coffin / Ed Pettersen / Tania Chen / Jordan Muscatello
Interstellar Transmissions
(Split Rock Records)
Dunmall, Paul / Philip Gibbs / Ashley John Young
Now Has No Dimension
Bailey, Derek / Trevor Watts / John Stevens
Dynamics of the Impromptu
Dunmall / Sanders / Edwards
Mind Out
Grid Mesh (Schubert/ Willers / Fischerlehner]

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Eberhard, Silke / Celine Voccia
Wild Knots
(Relative Pitch)
Swell, Steve
For Rhina P. Espaillat
(Relative Pitch)
Caines, Ron / Martin Archer Axis
Das Rad
Pateras, Anthony
A Dread of Voids
(Another Timbre)
Ogawa, Michiko / Lucy Railton
Fragments Of Reincarnation
(Another Timbre)
Stemeseder, Elias / Christian Lillinger (+ Peter Evans / Russell Hall / DoYeon Kim / Brandon Seabrook)
Roysum, Andres / Christian Meaas Svendsen / Kresten Osgood
Music Improvised on September 23rd, 2021 [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)
Wood, Dorian / Thor Harris (w/ Carla Bozulich / Jarboe / Patrick Shiroishi / Heather Trost)
You Are Clearly In Perversion [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Editions)
Normal (Fred Frith / Sudhu Tewari)
Moving Parts
Mitchell, Matt
Oblong Aplomb [2 CDs]d
(Out Of Your Head Records)
Names, The (Nutters / Frasch / Khorkhordina / Park / Tolimieri)
The Alte M unze Sessions
(Waveform Alphabet)

The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

© 2002-, Squidco LLC