Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes is a powerful, positive force. She released her debut album Tangent on Basho Records in 2010. It is a wide-ranging record, featuring Gwilym Simcock on piano, as well as a string orchestra with arrangements by Clowes herself. A follow-up album has been recorded recently.
Like many in the British music scene, she seems to see no issue with blurring genre boundaries - Dave Gelly has commented that she “composes luminous music that inhabits that intriguing world at the ill-defined edges of jazz and contemporary classical music.”
This luminosity will be exhibited at “Emulsion”, a mini-festival she has organised this for Saturday 19th May at the Vortex.
Funding from the PRS for Music Foundation has facilitated four brand-new commissions from her mentor Iain Ballamy, trumpeter Rory Simmons and Luke Styles, the Glyndebourne Young Composer in Residence, plus a new work from Clowes herself.
The festival brings together three disparate ensembles – Clowes' 'Tangent', Simmons' 'Fringe Magnetic' and Ensemble Amorpha, a contemporary classical group. As if that wasn't intriguing enough, electronics and visual art will also have their place.
Cross-genre or multimedia collaborations can seem shallow, twee or forced, but these three ensembles and four composers share a common vision that will make this a compelling and convincing evening of art and music.
Perhaps that is because they do not inhabit separate generic slots, but rather coexist in a broader, comfortably open space where the big picture of good music - of good art - is the only guiding narrative.
ADVANCE BOOKING VIA VORTEX WEBSITE. Sat 19th May, 7 30 pm.