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Collaboration, improvisation, innovation.
The remit for Black Flamingo.
During the Covid lockdown period I started on line long distance collaborations with a team of friends and made Oceans Of Milk and Treacle for Room40.
A family of long time associates plus some more recent and one that I have never met in person. All of them with a unique ability to respond creatively, in any genre or context, in a creative, spontaneous and improvised manner.
Featuring Geoff Hawkins on tenor sax. Our 60 year friendship goes back to the 1960s and my first band The Blues Committee then on through the 1970s to Trout Steel and the Machine Gun Company on the Dawn label meeting up again in the mid 1990s on my Island Songs c.d. and more recently on Oceans Of Milk and Treacle on Room40.
His son Aaron Hawkins who I have known since he was born, is now a prominent figure on the Bristol music scene in the UK joins us on tenor saxophone as well.
Elliott Sharp, guitarist, composer, improviser from the Downtown New York music scene. We first played together in Rome many years ago. We have a duo digital collection on my Bandcamp site and here on Black Flamingo Elliott plays bass clarinet.
Jon Raskin, a founder member of The Rova saxophone quartet based in California surprised me one night in London by appearing in the audience at a folk club concert I gave. We also have a duo collection together on my Bandcamp site.
Scot Ray, slidationist; lap steel and pedal steel guitar visionary. We have never met in the real(?) world, only on line. I am always seeking audacious players of both those instruments and Scot is a true star. Check out his own solo and other projects.
Michael Thieke, a fellow part time Roman part time Berliner member of the International Nothing (great name) brings peace on the clarinet with breathy playing on this most beautiful of wind instruments.
Viv Corringham has shared her voice on many past musical roads with me from Greek Rembetronika to an improvising trio with Lol Coxhill and Soundwalks in hills around Hong Kong.
Tim Hill on Baritone sax. We go back to my 1980’s in Reading in the UK. Together we had Beating Time with Paul Burwell on drums and Gary Jones on bass, both sadly gone now and Mayhem Quartet with Pat Thomas on keys and Neil Palmer our improvising dj both happily still with us. Then we started Trystero System which became a floating membership duo spanning several years and has included both Viv Corringham and Pat Thomas with myself and continues from time to time.
Lastly The Migrant School of Bodies Choir was the result of a workshop in Milan for a performance/dance piece organised by choreographer/dancer Ariella Vidach. The text is each member counting from one to 26 in their own language each one starting to count after the neighbour had reached the number eight . Most of the members were from Africa and shared no common African language. The rhythmic and tonal variations set up an interesting shingling effect with the voices tumbling over one another.