Tim Hodgkinson - alto saxophone, clarinet, voice, keyboards. Ken Hyder - drums, percussion, voice.
Since 1979 Hodgkinson and Hyder have been playing together in a project which has taken them to Siberia to study shamanic music and throat-singing as a part of their duo's development. From their different backgrounds - Hodgkinson with the progressive rock band, Henry Cow, and Hyder with the Celtic jazz band, Talisker - they put their existing influences in the pot.
But they needed more, and their interest in shamanic music took them half way round the world to where shamans first appeared. On their first trip to Siberia they played with Russian improvising musicians, and folk performers like throat-singer Anatoly Kokov in the Altai mountains. But they found no shamans.
The next year, they played and recorded with Russia's two most impressive avant garde singers, Valentina Ponomareva from Moscow, and Sainkho Namtchylak from Kyzyl, Tuva. In 1992 they went back to Siberia, playing with Sergei and Marfa Rastarguev, Sakha folk musicians from Yakutia. On the shores of Lake Baikal they learned about purifying rituals from a Buryat shaman.
In Tuva, on the Mongolian border, they studied throat-singing, and played with the extraordinary shamanic-rock band from Kyzyl, Biosynthesis. After another trip to Tuva in the winter of 1994, Ken and Tim went back to Siberia for a summer-long field trip in 1996 where they travelled to Olkhon - a holy island in Lake Baikal. They also journeyed through Tuva and the Altai Republic studying shamanic music with practising shamans and playing with throat-singers including Gendos Chamzyryn and Bolot Biryshev.
In Akademgorodok they met with two scientists, professors Vlail Kaznacheev and Alexander Trofimov who have been studying the techniques of shamans and have been conducting distant viewing experiments using hypo-magnetic chambers. The American magazine, Boston Rock said in its review of their CD with Ponomareva : "They have the conversational aspect of lively improv, and often the trio transcends even that to achieve a sense of inevitability, a ritualistic completion of each other's gestures."
Reviewing the duo's live album,"Shams", David Ilic wrote: "Shams is about rediscovering the source, the great learning, the essence of music making. Every nuance of artifice stripped bare the music is nothing more than the creative act itself, the communication of two people in sound ... there is a mutual tempering of the individual urge - it's obvious by the sheer control and harmony of their playing that both men are listeners as well as players, editing with their ears, controlling the flow from second to second."
Tim Hodgkinson studied anthropology before immersing himself in experimental rock and improvisation. As a composer, he has scored numerous pieces for contemporary music groups performing at Nancy Musique Action, Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte di Montepulciano, and Trondheim Nordlyd festivals. As a multi-instrumentalist performer he has toured all over theworld, recently playing in the Hermit Foundation symposium at Plasy, Bohemia in collaboration with Boris Bakal from Zagreb.
Ken Hyder is a Scottish drummer/vocalist who pioneered European folk- jazz with his Celtic jazz ensemble, Talisker. Then he went on to play and record with South African, Irish, Brazilian and Russian musicians on 16 records and CDs. He has performed throughout Europe, North America and Asia with Siberian shamans, and Japanese Buddhist monks. He also studied khoomei overtone singing in Tuva, on the Mongolian border.
Simon Lucas makes computer-based interactive artworks using sound, image and text.
"I try to create compositional systems that structure the viewer's (listener's) experience but that are also interactive. These pieces take the form of spaces or narratives. Form aside, I want to achieve a balance between poetry, interactivity and algorithm in my work."
Simon Lucas studied fine art (photography) and artificial intelligence. He is a research associate at Kingston University and works as a designer and programmer in interactive media. He started producing his own cdrom-based artworks two years ago, combining his interests in visual art, sound and programming.
Born 49 years ago in the pre-Disney world of Central Florida, Daved, while studying art restoration and art history at the Boston Museum School, founded the legendary punk / dada band, The Girls, in the late seventies. David Thomas produced their seven inch vinyl masterpiece, Jeffrey I Hear U, for his Hearpen label. Mr. Hild has collaborated as a singer, lyricist, accordianist and drummer with David Thomas and the Wooden Birds, Ralph Carney, Kramer, Marc Ribot, Garo Yellin and played with musicians from Sonic Youth, Pere Ubu, Tin Huey, Beck, Sean Lennon, Tom Waits, Shockabilly, Mission of Burma, Come, Combustible Edison and Curlew. Mr. Hild hopes to soon complete the mix of a long overdue studio project with Pale Boy Keith Moline' and former Bongwater guitarist Randy Hudson called RUMBAJAZZSTUNORGAN. Some of his other projects are currently available on the Shimmy Disc / Knitworks record label in the US.
The Girls Jeffrey I Hear U / The Elephant Man (Hearpen HR106, single, 1979). The Girls (Brasch Music BR102, lp, 1986).
Carney-Hild-Kramer Happiness Finally Came To Them (Shimmy Disc 07, lp, 1985) and (Shimmy Disc Europe 9027, cd, 1987). Black Power (Shimmy Disc 077, cd, 1994).
Robert, 53 years old, founded 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band) 31 years ago in Kent, Ohio. 15-60-75 is lyric-based experimental music with eclectic influences. (Their 1975 album, Jimmy Bell's Still In Town, has recently been re-released by Glitterhouse to rave reviews.) Other than working with David Thomas on the Mirror Man project, Robert has also worked with Anton Fier and the Golden Palominos. Jack Kidney has been playing harmonica, sax, keyboards, guitar and percussion in 15-60-75 since 1973. His harmonica playing is special: passionate, fluent and original.
(Percussion, Electronics, Lyricist, Composer) At the start of the seventies, he co-founded The Ottawa Music Co. with Dave Stewart, a 22 piece rock composer's orchestra, and eventually joined British experimental group Henry Cow, with whom he toured, recorded and worked in dance and theatre projects over the next eight years. He went on to co-found a series of mixed national groups: Art Bears, News from Babel, Cassiber, The (ec) Nudes, P53 and The Science Group and was a permanent member of American bands Pere Ubu, Hail and The Wooden Birds. Apart from a succession of special projects he works regularly with Jon Rose, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, David Thomas, Iancu Dumitrescu, Peter Blegvad and Stevan Tickmayer - and performs widely as a soloist with his extended electric kit. He has produced works for radio, galleries, theatre and dance. He also founded and runs the independent label and distribution service ReR/Recommended, edits the New Music magazine Unfiled and is author of the theoretical book File Under Popular - as well as numerous articles and papers published in 14 languages. He lectures intermittently on theoretical and music related topics and has appeared on over 130 recordings. URL: www.ccutler.com
Bob Holman is a poet who's written six books (most recently, "The Collect Call of the Wild," published by Holt), edited three anthologies, and created poetry television for the Public Broadcasting System (The United States of Poetry). His first CD, In With The Out Crowd (Mouth Almighty/Mercury), was produced by needle-drop wizard Hal Willner. Backed by Chris Spedding, Wayne Kramer, and Bobby Neuwirth, the album is shot through with urgent humor and what can only be called, "poetry." Lou Reed says it is "an astonishing achievement." Robert Creeley has proclaimed it "A hit!" And David Thomas allows, "Exceedingly groovy." URL: www.bobholman.com
Jackie Leven is a remarkable songwriter, a natural raconteur, an unusual guitarist, but, above all, a singer of rare beauty and passion. It's been said that Jackie "sees the extraordinary dreams of ordinary people." His childhood and teenage years were spent in the dying coalfields of Fife in Scotland in the 50s and 60s-- a time when he had to artfully reconcile his emerging musicality, and his enduring love of American and Russian poetry, with the need to be "hard." He left Scotland aged eighteen to became a wanderer with a guitar, living in Berlin, Madrid, the west of Ireland, and Dorset. The result of such itinerant brooding was five albums by Doll By Doll, a rock band of uncompromising live intensity that made surprisingly elegant records in the late 70s and early 80s. Following serious illness Jackie returned to recording in the 90s with a series of highly acclaimed solo albums. His 19th album all told, Creatures of Light & Darkness, is scheduled for release July 2 on Cooking Vinyl.
Linda Thompson is a legendary British singer, and partner to former husband Richard Thompson in a series of essential recordings from the 70s & early 80s. "Her voice, with its grave, lucid poise and its disarming candor, conveyed a timelessness, a sense of ancient and modern, that allowed Richard and their musicians to create something that tied together many strands of British music, much as The Band had done with American vernacular music a few years earlier" (Richard Williams, "The Linda Thompson History"). She was named Best Female Singer of the Year in 1982 by both Rolling Stone and Time Magazine. Her first solo album resulted in an appearance at The Grammies. Last year she appeared in the Royal National Theatre production of Tony Harrison's "The Mysteries." A new album is nearing completion.
With Richard Thompson I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (Island, 1973). Hokey Pokey (Island, 1974). Pour Down Like Silver (Island, 1975). (guitar, vocal) (Island, 1976). First Light (Chrysalis, 1978). Sunnyvista (Chrysalis, 1979). Shoot Out The Lights (Hannibal, 1982).
'Solo' One Clear Moment (Warner Brothers, 1985). Dreams Fly Away: A History of Linda Thompson (Hannibal, 1996).
Designer / Professor of Theatre at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, Danny Grace has designed over 100 productions for the stage. He holds an MFA in Design from Case Western Reserve University. His bands, The Rockin' Guys and Frontier Circus, record for Ironic Records.