Sarah Gail Brand
Described by The Wire magazine as the most exciting trombone player for years, Sarah Gail Brand has recorded and performed on the international Jazz and Improvised Music since the early 1990s with Mark Sanders, John Edwards, Martin Hathaway, Billy Jenkins, Elton Dean, Evan Parker, Phil Minton, Lol Coxhill, Alexander Hawkins, Maggie Nicols, Rachel Musson, Wadada Leo Smith, Jason Yarde, Steve Beresford and countless others. She appears in Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, series 1 & 2 (BBC TV) and with Stewart in the 2014 documentary Taking The Dog For A Walk. Sarah’s composing credits include an original score for the Charlie Chaplin classic Easy Street, premiered at the Barbican Cinema, London in 2013; incidental music for the 2014 short Low Down Alley Blues; We Should Consider The Possibility- Piece for Improvising Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra, premiered by the Guildhall Improvised Music Ensemble and the Southbank Sinfonia in 2014. Sarah was a guest presenter on Jazz on 3 (BBC Radio 3) 2009-2016, is a professor of Improvisation at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and a qualified Music Therapist. Sarah is currently studying for her PhD in Improvised Music at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent.
Alex Ward 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.
Benedict Taylor is an award winning composer & solo violist specialising in contemporary music and improvisation. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music & Goldsmiths College, and is a leading figure within the area of contemporary composition & string performance, at the forefront of the British & European new and improvised music scene. He composes, performs & records internationally, in many leading venues and festivals including: Royal Court Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, BBC Arts Online, Berlinale, Venice International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Festival, London Contemporary Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Cantiere D’Arte di Montepulciano, Edinburgh Festival, CRAM Festival, Cafe Oto, The Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, The Vortex, Ronnie Scott’s, ICA, BBC Radio 3 & 2, Radio Libertaire Paris, Resonance FM London. Through his work he is involved with a number of higher education institutions, giving composition, improvisation & performance lectures at the Royal College of Music, City University and Goldsmiths College amongst others. He is the founder and artistic director of CRAM, a music collective and independent record label dedicated to new music.
Douglas Benford, composer and sound artist, has been involved in various audio genres since the late 1980s, performing at institutions in the UK (Bristol’s Arnolfini, London’s Science Museum, Tate Modern, The Roundhouse, ICA and Glasgow’s CCA), festivals worldwide (Mutek, Synch, Transmediale) and has had installation work in numerous UK galleries (London, Swansea, Stroud and Essex). After numerous electronica releases in his ‘si-cut.db’ guise, in the past few years he has focused on acoustic improvisation and installations, using field recordings, classical instruments, vocals and children’s toys. His regular collaborators include Blanca Regina, poet Tamar Yoseloff, Angharad Davies, Lina Lapelyte, Clive Bell, Steve Beresford, Sue Lynch, Adam Bohman, Jem Finer, sculptor Rob Olins, as well as – in the past – pop group Saint Etienne, Momus, Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light), Scanner, Stephan Mathieu and DJ Andrew Weatherall. He is also co-curator with Iris Garrelfs since 1996, of Sprawl audio events in London.