2013 : Dominic Lash

2013 : Dominic Lash

2013 : Dominic Lash

Publicerad: tis, 2013-12-17 15:09

I always find it difficult to remember what happened when. I have a freelance musician's memory that operates on a need to know basis: I'm always sure what I'm doing over the next few weeks but forget what yesterday's gig was. But with that in mind, there are a bunch of things I remember enjoying and am pretty sure happened in the last twelve months.

There's been the development of an exciting trio with Dag Erik Knedal Andersen on drums and Alex Ward on both clarinet and electric guitar, astonishing as ever on both instruments... playing John Cage at the Barbican Art Gallery with Susan Stenger and Terry Edwards... a jaunt around Europe in the car where I played solo, had first-time encounters with Cyprien Busolini, Birgit Uhler, Michael Maierhof, Paul Hubweber and Paul Lytton, and developed my musical acquaintance with Rodolphe Loubatière, Christoph Schiller and D'Incise... a second tour with the heavy hitters Tony Bevan, Tony Buck and Joe Morris (which was musically great but less good for my whisky supply)... Raoul van der Weide's hospitality in Amsterdam... playing Jürg Frey with Greg Stuart and Samuel Rodgers... four gigs with the Convergence Quartet that took me to Romania for the first time... a lovely quartet at Cafe Oto with Terry Day, Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston that became a quintet with Miya in the second set... and other equally lovely things that I'm afraid I forget at the moment. There have also been recordings with the Set Ensemble; with Keith Kirchoff and Steve Noble playing Christian Wolff; with Pat Thomas and Lawrence Casserley; and with Stefan Keune and that man Steve Noble again that might surface at some point in the future.

Coming towards the end of my second year of living here, Bristol continues to be an excellent city in which to be based, with a stimulating community of musicians and other creative types. It's been rewarding to be involved in a small way both in a series of gigs at Café Kino in Stokes Croft and a monthly series including concerts, workshops, films, listening and discussion sessions called Several 2nds at the Arnolfini art gallery. Plus we got a cat, which I've wanted since I was a child but never had, which has successfully prevented any excess of productive activity.

The summer felt a little quiet but then everything came in a rush at the end of the year, and I had a series of wonderful treats: visiting Eliane Radigue in Paris to work on a new piece for double bass... debuting my new group Consorts (which explores sustained tones and free improvisation – with Angharad Davies, Tom Jackson, Nick Malcolm, Hannah Marshall, Benedict Taylor, Alex Ward)... touring my quartet with Alexander Hawkins, Javier Carmona and Ricardo Tejero (all lovely gigs apart from the one where the piano turned out to be nonexistent) in support of our first album, Opabinia, which was recorded back in January... and just last weekend an intense weekend with the Set Ensemble in residency at the Meantime gallery in Cheltenham, working on music by myself, Tim Parkinson, Bruno Guastalla, Thomas Stiegler, Angharad Davies, Taku Unami and Richard Glover.

Lachenmann's "Tanzsuite mit Deutschlandlied" was an excellent choice for my first ever prom (and made Mahler sound talented but in need of an editor). Listening has been largely inspired by two remarkable men, Lawrence Picken and David Munrow, and so has included a lot of guqin, racketts and rauschpfeifen. Also lovely to get a new dollop of Burial just in time for Christmas. I read plenty of Primo Levi, Lazlo Kraznahorkhai and Katherine Mansfield, and the White Review was alternately inspiring and irritating. Much like Edmund de Waal: his 'intervention' at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge was absolutely stunning but I still can't get all the way through The Hare With Amber Eyes. The best films I saw for the first time this year were Night of the Hunter and Holy Motors, plus there's the collection of Werner Herzog's documentaries that I got from Australia and am still working my way through.

And if all this sounds relentlessly positive there's always the UK government continuing its campaign to blame the poor for being poor – as well as for the lion's share of the world's ills – to balance things out.

Dominic Lash

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