Ten years ago – almost to the day – I joined a band called The Winter. Or, really, what actually happened…I met up with two guys for a jam, they were both experienced improvisers. I was not. Around this time I’d taken an interest in a few sorts of free and experimental music – free-jazz scared the shit out of me at first. Sometimes – if it’s doing its job right – it still does. Some improvised music does my head in, some I find profoundly moving.
I wanted to have a go at playing some free/improv.
We met for a jam. I knew Dave, knew some of his solo work, had seen him perform. He invited me to a jam. I wanted to give it a go.
We recorded for an hour or so that afternoon, the winter solstice, 2003. In a flat in Newtown. There was a giant mural of Where The Wild Things Are on the wall. I didn’t know Mike. But I knew straight away that he was a great player. And a great guy.
A couple of months later – and only one other rehearsal/jam – we booked our fist gig at Photospace Gallery. We recorded that as well. A bit later on we played at The Cross. And took a recording of that gig too. From there we built our debut album, Parataxes.
CDRs were labelled up and put in covers and in a very small print-run we had a CD.
It was exciting. And strange. And I couldn’t tell whether the music was any good or not – but I had loved being involved in it. So much so that it didn’t matter what I thought of it.
And then I listened back to it – and I liked it. I barely recognised my own playing. It had been so freeing. And that was the point. That was why I had been interested in accepting the challenge of what went on to become this sporadic project.
We made another album the following year and then there was a big break. Across the last couple of years we’ve met up once or twice a year, always happy to record our efforts for a later playback; every time the instrumentation is just a little different. Every time the sound is completely identifiable as us – to us. I now recognise my own playing in this format. And I always have fun thrashing out some ideas with these guys.
Dave sent me this page last night – it has a link to stream or download the album Parataxes. I thought I’d share it with you – if you’re interested.
I always get asked where my music is – so here is some of it. To you it may not be good – it may not even be music but I listened back to this last night, for the first time in a long time. The Winter, ten years on. It brought back a lot of happy memories. It both seems a lot longer ago than just ten years – and like only yesterday.