Jack’s been thinking…about Trish Clowes’ Emulsion Festival at the Vortex (Sat 19th May)

Trish Clowes

Friday columnist Jack Davies writes about tomorrow night’s EMULSION FESTIVAL at the Vortex

Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes is a powerful, positive force. She released her debut album Tangent on Basho Records in 2010. It is a wide-ranging record, featuring Gwilym Simcock on piano, as well as a string orchestra with arrangements by Clowes herself. A follow-up album has been recorded recently.

Like many in the British music scene, she seems to see no issue with blurring genre boundaries – Dave Gelly has commented that she “composes luminous music that inhabits that intriguing world at the ill-defined edges of jazz and contemporary classical music.”

This luminosity will be exhibited at “Emulsion”, a mini-festival she has organised this for Saturday 19th May at the Vortex.

Funding from the PRS for Music Foundation has facilitated four brand-new commissions from her mentor Iain Ballamy, trumpeter Rory Simmons and Luke Styles, the Glyndebourne Young Composer in Residence, plus a new work from Clowes herself.

The festival brings together three disparate ensembles – Clowes’ ‘Tangent’, Simmons’ ‘Fringe Magnetic’ and Ensemble Amorpha, a contemporary classical group. As if that wasn’t intriguing enough, electronics and visual art will also have their place.

Cross-genre or multimedia collaborations can seem shallow, twee or forced, but these three ensembles and four composers share a common vision that will make this a compelling and convincing evening of art and music.

Perhaps that is because they do not inhabit separate generic slots, but rather coexist in a broader, comfortably open space where the big picture of good music – of good art – is the only guiding narrative.


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1 reply »

  1. Thanks for the lovely preview Jack… You can find music and photos from Emulsion here: http://www.trishclowes.com/Site/Emulsion.html
    … on to planning the next one!

    Tangent are playing again at the lovely Lauderdale House on Thursday (7th June). Playing music from 1st and 2nd albums – 'And in the night-time she is there' is due out in early September.


    Hope to see some of you there!

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