Go on, admit it, you had no idea I was going to release an album today…. (OK, maybe you’d seen a tweet or two about it over the last week, but not MUCH clue… )
I didn’t know about it until last week! Then I discovered that my friend and collaborator Andy Williamson was going in for a kidney transplant on Friday. I had a couple of beautiful unreleased improvs that Andy and I recorded on a mini-tour he, I and Lobelia did last year, where we played a couple of shows in churches in Devon and Cornwall.
So I hatched a Kickstarter-esque plan – to explore the possibility of doing a load more ‘sacred space’ shows with Andy – there’s a certain creative mindset engendered by playing in buildings designed to inspire awe and facilitate contemplation. Listening to these improvs, both Andy and I take our time. They formed the centrepiece of each of the gigs, and are extended solo improvisations by me which Andy joined whenever he felt it was ‘the moment’, and we then finished together. The fact that he comes in when he does on both of them (from the back of the room, working his way forward filling the building with his incredible sax tone) was as much a generous affordance from the space and the audience as it was an exhibition of his creativity and control.
So here’s the plan – we sell the album, and use the album money to plan more duo gigs for Andy and I as soon as he’s well enough to be back gigging. For musicians who need to take time off due to big illnesses and operations, it’s pretty inspiring to have creative work booked in, something to focus on, something that makes you feel a little less like you’re neglecting your artistic calling by daring to be incapacitated.
Who knows how much we’ll make – that’s up to you. But whatever we get will go towards us sorting out some gigs.
Also, anyone who pays ten pounds or more gets a free ticket to one of the shows. If you’re able to come to one, then great, it’s yours. If you can’t, it’ll be given to someone else who can’t otherwise afford it. So whatever happens, someone will get to see us play live if you pay a tenner… And of course we’ll record the gigs anywayby