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AlbumsFizzles, Imaginary Values, Frogging, Obliquities Similar PeoplePaul Lytton, Evan Parker, Maya Homburger, Mats Gustafsson, Marilyn Crispell
Barry guy london jazz composers orchestra harmos
Barry John Guy (born 22 April 1947, in London) is a British composer and double bass player. His range of interests encompasses early music, contemporary composition, jazz and improvisation, and he has worked with a wide variety of orchestras in the UK and Europe. He also taught at Guildhall School of Music.
Born in London, Guy came to the fore as an improvising bassist as a member of a trio with pianist Howard Riley and drummer Tony Oxley (Witherden, 1969). He also became an occasional member of John Stevens' ensembles in the 1960s and 1970s, including the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. In the early 1970s, he was a member of the influential free improvisation group Iskra 1903 with Derek Bailey and trombonist Paul Rutherford (a project revived in the late 1970s, with violinist Philipp Wachsmann replacing Bailey). He also formed a long-standing partnership with saxophonist Evan Parker, which led to a trio with drummer Paul Lytton which became one of the best-known and most widely travelled free-improvising groups of the 1980s and 1990s. He was briefly a member of the Michael Nyman Band in the 1980s, performing on the soundtrack of The Draughtsman's Contract.
Maya homburger barry guy die kreuzigung
London Jazz Composers Orchestra
Guy's interests in improvisation and formal composition received their grandest form in the London Jazz Composers Orchestra. Originally formed to perform Guy's composition Ode in 1972 (released as a 2-LP set on Incus and later, in expanded form, as a 2-CD set on Intakt), it became one of the great large-scale European improvising ensembles. Early documentation is spotty – the only other recording from its early years is Stringer (FMP, now available on Intakt paired with the later "Study II") – but beginning in the late 1980s the Swiss label Intakt set out to document the band more thoroughly. The result was a series of ambitious, album-length compositions designed to give all the players in the band maximum opportunity for expression while still preserving a rigorous sense of form: Zurich Concerts, Harmos, Double Trouble (originally written for an encounter with Alexander von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, though the eventual CD was just for the LJCO), Theoria (a concerto for guest pianist Irène Schweizer), Three Pieces, and Double Trouble Two. The group's activities subsided in the mid-1990s, but it was never formally disbanded, and reconvened in 2008 for a one-off concert in Switzerland. In the mid-1990s Guy also created a second, smaller ensemble, the Barry Guy New Orchestra.
Guy has also written for other large improvising ensembles, such as the NOW Orchestra and ROVA (the piece Witch Gong Game inspired by images by the visual artist Alan Davie).
His current improvising activities include piano trios with Marilyn Crispell and Agusti Fernandez. He has also recorded several albums for ECM, which often focus on the interface between improvisers and electronics, including his work in Evan Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble and his own Ceremony.
Guy's session work in the pop field includes playing double bass on the song "Nightporter", from the Japan album Gentlemen Take Polaroids.
He is married to the early music violinist Maya Homburger. After spending some years in Ireland, they now live in Switzerland. They run the small label Maya, which releases a variety of records in the genres of free improvisation, baroque music and contemporary composition.
In 2016 Guy was appointed Honorary Professor at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC) in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he periodically conducts workshops and master classes.
Guy's jazz work is characterised by free improvisation, using a range of unusual playing methods: bowed and pizzicato sounds beneath the bass's bridge; plucking the strings above the left hand; beating the strings with percussion instrument mallets; and "preparing" the instrument with sticks and other implements inserted between the strings and fingerboard. His improvisations are often percussive and unpredictable, inhabiting no discernible harmonic territory and pushing into unknown regions. However, they can also be melodious and tender with due regard for harmonic integration with other players, and at times he will even play with a straight jazz swing feel.
Similarly, in his concert works, Guy manages to alternate harmonic and rhythmic complexity worthy of 1960s experimentalists such as Penderecki and Stockhausen with joyous, often ecstatic, melody. Works such as "Flagwalk" for string orchestra and "Fallingwater – Concerto for Orchestra" display Guy's compositional skill in handling extended forms and writing for large instrumental groups.
Some of his compositions, such as "Witch Gong Game" for ensemble, use graphic notation in conjunction with cue cards to lead performers into playing and improvising material from numbered sections of the score.
He is also an architect.
Songs from Tomorrow (1975)
Voyages of the Moon (1983)
The Eye of Silence (1988)
UM 1788 (1989)
After the Rain (1992)
Concerto for Orchestra: "Fallingwater" (1996)
Large ensemble (seven or more players)
Look Up! (1991)
Soloists and large ensemble (seven or more players)
Statements II – Ex (1979)
Works for 2–6 Players:
Eos X (1976)
The Eye of Silence (1989
Four Miniatures (1969)
Games (for All Ages) (1973)
Mobile Herbarium (1992)
String Quartet No.2 (1970)
Un Coup de Dés (1994)
Whistle and Flute (1985)
Solo works (excluding keyboard)
Statements II (1972)
Solo voices and up to six players
Remembered Earth (1992)
The Road to Ruin (1986)
String Quartet No.3 (1973)
No Man's Land (1974)
Video Life (1986)
Music for film or television
Breaking the Surface (1986)
Hold Hands and Sing (1978)
These works are published by Chester Novello, UK, and further information may be found on their Barry Guy page.
Statements V-XI for double bass and violone (1976), Incus 22 – Early solo playing
Assist, Jazz & NOW 4 (1985) – Solos plus a long duo improvisation with Fred Van Hove
Fizzles (1991), Maya MCD 9301 – Solo doublebass and chamber bass
Symmetries (2001), Maya MCD 0201 – Solo doublebass
With John Stevens and Trevor Watts
Withdrawal (1966–67), Emanem 4020 – as Spontaneous Music Ensemble
Prayer for peace (1969), Transatlantic TRA 196/FMRCD96-V0402 – as Amalgam (Guy appears on one track only)
No fear (1977), Spotlite SPJ 556/Hi 4 Head Records HFHCD001
Mining the Seam (1977), Spotlite SPJ 556/Hi 4 Head Records HFHCD003
Application, interaction, and... (1978), Spotlite SPJ 513/Hi 4 Head Records HFHCD002
With Howard Riley
Discussions (1967), Opportunity CP2500
Angle (1968-69), CBS Realm 52669/Sony–Columbia 494433 – with Howard Riley Trio
The Day Will Come (1970), CBS 64077//Sony–Columbia 494434 1970 – with Howard Riley Trio
Flight (1971), Turtle TUR301 – with Howard Riley trio; re-released on FMR in 1995
Synopsis (1973), Incus 13 LP/Emanem 4044 CD – with Howard Riley trio
Free improvisation (1973), Deutsche Grammophon 2740 105 – three-record set with one record devoted to Iskra 1903
Overground (1974-75), Emanem 4054 CD – with Howard Riley Trio
Improvisations are forever now (1977) Vinyl VS 113 – with Riley & Wachsmann
Improvisations are forever now (1977-79), Emanem 4070; re-issue of Vinyl LP with extra tracks from 1979 – with Riley & Wachsmann
Endgame (1979), JAPO Records 60028 – with Riley, John Stevens and Trevor Watts
Facets (1979), Impetus 38002 – with Riley and John Stevens
Organic (1979), Jazzprint JPVP115 – with Riley and John Stevens
With Bob Downes Open Music
Diversions (1969), Openian 001
Hell's angels (1970), BDOM 003
With Tony Oxley
Die jazz werkstatt (1970), NDR – on "Saturnalia" by Tony Oxley
Ichnos (1971), RCA Victor SF 8215 – with Tony Oxley Group
Tony Oxley (1972), Incus 8
Tomorrow is here (1985), Dossier ST 7507 – with the Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra
With Iskra 1903
Buzz Soundtrack (1970-71), Emanem – with Paul Rutherford and Derek Bailey
Iskra 1903 (1972), Incus – with Rutherford and Bailey
Reissued as Chapter One 1970-1972 (Emanem, 2000) with additional material
Goldsmiths (1972), Emanem – with Rutherford and Bailey