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BCMCR Research Seminar: Jazz Studies

February 14, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

BCMCR Research Seminar
Jazz Studies: Works in Progress
1600-1730 Wednesday 14 February
P424, Parkside, Birmingham City University
Free registration at this link
Corey Mwamba (BCU) – We all have to deal Gary Burton – representations and turnings away a singular voice in jazz vibraphone performance

Gary Burton is one of the most influential vibraphonists of all time. His eponymous four-mallet grip, pianistic technique, and melodic invention have been used as a performance standard for generations of vibraphonists and percussion educators. There are compelling arguments for a musician’s “sound” in jazz performance displaying individuality through tone. Yet even though Burton is easily identifiable, he has rarely spoken about this aspect of his playing: and he may not even believe it exists. This presentation asks two questions: what makes Gary Burton sound like Gary Burton? and what does it mean to not sound like Gary Burton?

Andrew Bain (BCU)- No Boundaries: An exploration into Free Improvisation & the implications on my teaching methodology
 My final PhD case study featured Peter Evans (trumpet), John O’Gallagher (saxophone) and Alex Bonney (electronics) in a freely improvised setting with no music, no rehearsal and no pre-conceived ideas. We simply played. But what does it mean to simply ‘play’? And how does that manifest in a group improvised context? Primarily aural and physical acts, I submit that simply ‘playing’ is informed by a reservoir of improvisational knowledge, alongside a keen awareness of intelligent transactions in a live context.
I will also discuss the confluence of my performance, pedagogical and research methodologies, and its relevance to my undergraduate jazz students and their own personal evolutions.
Trish Clowes (BCU) – Emulsion – a study in improvisation & participation in new music
Having created a novel performance space for experimentation through my new music festival-come-project Emulsion, I am now examining the types of interaction happening in this space, for both the performers and the listeners. I will explore the boundary between these two groups in the performance space through two case studies in 2018, to better understand the nature of their communications and to discover how permeable this boundary could be. My current challenges are to decide upon the most effective activities for my case studies (considering performance practice and composition technique) and to refine my frameworks for analysis during and after.
About the Speakers
Born and based in Derby, Corey Mwamba’s commitment to jazz and improvised music in Britain and Ireland drives all aspects of his work, whether through composition, playing, or promoting new music. Corey predominantly plays vibraphone; he also plays dulcimer and uses audio processing software. Corey won a PRSF/Jerwood Foundation Take Five artist development award in 2007; was short-listed for the Innovation category in the BBC Jazz Awards in 2008; and received nominations for “Rising Star on Vibraphone” in the 62nd, 63rd, 64th, and 65th DownBeat Annual Critics’ Polls.
A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London and Manhattan School of Music, NYC, Andrew Bain has performed with many luminaries of the jazz world, and in many major festivals, on both sides of the Atlantic. Andrew is Senior Lecturer in Jazz at the Birmingham Conservatoire and Artistic Director of Jazz for the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.
Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes is a recording artist for Basho Records with four critically acclaimed albums. Recent activities include touring with her band My Iris, curating her festival Emulsion and writing for ensembles such as the BBC Concert Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Onyx Brass, as well as starting her new journey as a researcher. For more information see


February 14, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:




Parkside – P424
Cardigan Street
Birmingham, West Midlands B4 7BD
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