Preview: The Mirrors of Hall Big Band at the Forge, Camden – Tuesday 7th May 2013.
Andrew Linham writes:
The Mirrors of Hall is an experimental London based big band led by trumpeter Andy Hall. This contemporary big band draws on improvised music and free jazz. We seek to dispel the notion that the instrumentation of the big band unit governs the music that it makes. Having been formed around a year ago performing works composed solely by our bandleader, this performance at the Forge Camden on Tuesday 7th May strikes a new direction for the ensemble as it performs new music written by other band members.
Which is where I come in. I play baritone saxophone in this tumultuous noisemaking machine, and I’ve written a suite of music which we will be premièring this Tuesday.
I’ve always loved really old stories, and none has captured my imagination more than the story of Dante’s Inferno, a long journey in which Dante travels through the nine circles of Hell, seeing damnation rain down upon the sinners of old. I find the idea of Hell absolutely fascinating, a place without hope or time, a place that is full of endless repetition of the same tasks to no avail, and a perfect place to create a suite of music about that is deliberately without convention, a premise that The Mirrors of Hall seeks to uphold as an exponent of contemporary improvised music.
The Linferno Suite is a musical exploration of Hell through Dante’s eyes with improvisation acting as your tour guide, taking you through purgatory and the seven deadly sins on an hour long musical journey. This is not a soundalike of Hell but a musical response to the landscapes Dante explored, the mythical creatures he saw and and the sinners that were punished. This suite is a celebration of a old story, an epic journey and is set in a place which unless we end up there we will never understand.
Alongside the Linferno Suite is a ‘Melodrama for Narrator and Big Band’ entitled Scarecrow’s Fowl, written by Mirrors of Hall trombonist Alex Paxton. Scarecrow’s Fowl explores the loneliness of a scarecrow whose only purpose is to strike fear into the birds of the field he is guarding. Complete with narrator, this valuable addition to the concert showcases the band’s continuing intention to challenge the paradigm of what a big band should ‘sound’ like.
We will also perform a staple of our repertoire, a piece by bandleader Andy Hall entitled ‘Tear Gas’, written in November 2011, at a time when the news was filled with images of rioting, ‘Occupy’ and the ‘Arab Spring’. Clouds of tear gas seemed to be a motif throughout the reporting of these, accompanying varied scenes of anger, sorrow and panic. The music lurches dramatically between these emotions, whilst a sequence of improvisations perhaps represents individual people reacting to this quickly changing environment.
Join us at The Forge Camden on Tuesday 7th May 7:30pm, travel with us through the inferno, meet the lonely scarecrow, reflect on the panic of Tear Gas, and to enjoy an exciting evening of new big band music.
Saxes: Tommy Andrews, Phil Meadows, Rich Low, Hywel Carver, Andrew Linham
Trumpets: Barney Lowe, Sam Warner, Pete Martin, Geoff Bartholomew
Trombones: Paul Taylor, Alex Paxton, Raphael Clarkson, James Mitcham
Piano: Rob Brockway
Guitar: Rich Perks
Double Bass: Andrew Robb
Drums: Tom Atherton
Buy Tickets HERE
Online: £8 (£6 concession)
On the door: £10 (£8 concession)
Twitter: @mirrorsofhall, @alinham, @andrewhallmusic www.facebook.com/TheMirrorsOfHall