Recent Reviews

Warning There now follows some ego-massaging. Warning

Last month I had a really nice time on some gigs, specifically the first two performances of my new ensemble Article XI (commissioned by the Manchester Jazz Festival to who I am eternally grateful) and my first time playing at the Cockpit Theatre in London for Jez Nelson’s Jazz In The Round gig. Anyway, some people came along and said some nice things…

Andy Cronshaw in the Manchester Evening News reckoned that the “Results panned out beautifully into a suite of eight arrangements”, with special mention to “trumpeter Graham South’s breathtaking solo, full of poise and invention.Full review here.*

Rachel Maby wrote on the MJF blog… “Last night I heard a completely new side to Hunter: a musical complexity that mixes his love of free improvisation alongside tightly composed and structured contrapuntal instrumental writing. I was amazed by his ability to combine both composition disciplines so successfullyFull review here.

In Adrian Pallant’s round-up of the festival for the London Jazz News blog, he called the suite “A triumph for creative jazz”. Full review.

Ian Maund wrote of the Vortex gig “the Article XI gigs have showcased an outstanding quality of ensemble and improvised playing.Full review here (although I think the site gets updated on the 1st of every month, so the review may disappear).

A couple of the people I paid to be there (the musicians) also said nice things online. Cath Roberts had “a fantastic time” and Sam Andreae said “Great tunes, heroic leadership and good times all round.” Both of them will be booked next time the band gets a gig.

I also did some chatting to the PRS For Music magazine and made a playlist of a mixture of bands that inspired me to play music, and composers who made me want to write for large groups.

And as for the Jazz In The Round gig, Mike Hobart wrote in the Financial Times “empathetic and appealing guitar trio minimalism over a pitter-patter pulse.Full review.

Some people took some nice photos too, here’s a selection of images, some from Peter Fay’s Facebook page, some from my dad, and some from Cara Courage on Flickr.

That’s all for now. The future hopefully brings new opportunities for the Article XI band (and in fact we’re hopefully announcing the next concert shortly), so keep your eyes peeled!

*They also seemed keen to highlight that “It was a great event and a good example of arts patronage at its best.” Now, I’m not overly sold on the idea of sponsorship in music, or rather, there are tricky moral arguments to navigate, but for what it’s worth, both MJF and the sponsors stayed out of the way and let me get on with it this year.

Article XI

So I’m nearly there. I’ve been working on my MJF Originals commission for Manchester Jazz Festival since January, and in little over a fortnight it’ll all be over. It’d be really nice if you could join me, there’s still a few tickets left for Manchester, but if you miss out on that, there’s always The Vortex in London a couple of days later. If you want to read more about the band, I’ve been blogging about each member over here. And then, as a nice little bonus before I go on holiday, I’ll be playing with my trio at the Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone for Jez Nelson’s ‘Jazz in the Round’ night.

Thursday 24 July – Article XI @ Manchester Jazz Festival
Sunday 27 July – Article XI @ The Vortex, London
Monday 28 July – Anton Hunter Trio @ Jazz In The Round, London

Right, get back to typing these scores up Anton…

New Voice! Some gigs!

Hello, I am a New Voice. For the next 12 months, Sound And Music have taken me (and whole host of musicians and composers from a wide range of backgrounds) under their wing. It’s nice to be in such good company and, if the first residency in Cornwall was anything to go on, I’m really looking forward to working with Sound and Music for the year. Myself and Cath Roberts (Ripsaw Catfish) have got a small amount of funding from them to do a series of gigs in the Autumn too, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

On that note, I’ve just updated my gigs page with some upcoming things in the next few months. I’m pretty excited about my first visits to The Vortex and Brecon Jazz Festival, as well as, well, all of them really. A couple more to be announced in the coming weeks too.

Here’s a picture of my face that Jon Tipler took recently. I definitely felt happier than I look here.

Wooda Weekend

I’ve just got back from a long weekend in Cornwall at the stunning Wooda Farm. It was the first of two weekends organised by Sound And Music under their Portfolio banner, and I’m pleased to report I had a great time with Seth Bennett (bass), Shaun Blezard (electronics), Julie Kjaer (alto sax & flute), Shelly Knotts (electronics) and Rachel Musson (tenor sax).

The weekend was spent improvising in different combinations (from solo to septet), listening to records, discussing all aspects of playing, all under the direction of Steve Beresford, who’s knowledge of improvised music, it’s creators and archivists seems to be second to none. Thanks no doubt to our hosts Max and Gary, the whole weekend seemed simultaneously very relaxing and very productive. Having space and time to explore this music is a real blessing, and I’m looking forward to our return visit in June already, not least because hopefully it won’t quite so stormy and I can play more outdoors.

Here’s a gif of us (click on it if it’s not moving).

And a picture of some ducks.

Exciting things in 2014

So I’ve got some things to talk about already this year, if you’ll indulge me for a minute or two.

First up, I’m pleased to be able to announce that I have been commissioned by the Manchester Jazz Festival to write a new work entitled “Article 11″ for a brand new 11-piece band, to be premiered at this year’s festival in July under the MJF Originals scheme. More details will follow, but safe to say there’s going to be plenty of improvising involved from the word go. And I’ve got a great band, more info on everything in the coming weeks.

Next, I’m off to Cornwall next week for the first weekend retreat with Steve Beresford under the Sound And Music’s Portfolio scheme. Together with 5 other musicians, we’re all decamping to Wooda farm to improvise and talk about improvising. There will be a performance or two in June, so keep your eyes peeled for that too.

And last but not least, I’ve got a brand new band again! Ripsaw Catfish is a duo with the excellent London-based saxophonist Cath Roberts. If you don’t know her Quadraceratops band, you need to hear them now, although our duo sound nothing like that. We’re a bit noisy, quite improv-y and occasionally plays things together that we’ve written. But don’t take my terribly-written description as the be-all and end-all, come and see us at one of these gigs…

Tuesday Feb 11th – Fizzle @ The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham (with Bruce Coates & Trevor Lines)
Wednesday March 26th – Freedom Principle (with Trio Riot), somewhere in Manchester
Thursday March 27th – Lume, London (with Steve Beresford & Julie Kjear)
Sunday April 6th – One Note Sunday, Derby

That’s all for now, hope you’re well, and I’ll let you know when there’s more to tell about anything.

Large Ensemble Score – ‘Surface To Air’

Written during my composition masters. This is the start of me trying to build more freedom into large ensemble writing, but, here at least, still starting from a more “traditional” starting point of a melody and harmony. There’s some effects in this I really enjoy, and I think both Ben and Graham’s solos are particularly awesome in this recording. Oh, and the title came from the news that surface-to-air missiles were installed on residential towerblocks during the London Olympics. Who know whether the music accurately reflects my feelings on the subject, but just for clarity, I thought that was a bad thing.

Recorded on 23rd August 2012 at Salford University, by me.

Drums – Johnny Hunter
Bass – Dave Tompkins
Guitar – Anton Hunter
Alto Sax – Kyran Matthews
Tenor Sax – Sam Andreae
Baritone Sax – Ben Watte (solo)
Trumpet – Graham South (solo)
Trumpet – Lucian Amos
Trombone – Ed Horsey
Bass Trombone – Paul Strachan

Download the Surface To Air Score.

If you want to perform it (not that I would be so bold as to assume you might, but just in case), feel free to contact me and I can e-mail you the parts.

Multi Instrument Score – ‘Burrowed’

About the piece:

Originally written for myself and Sam Andreae to perform, and features on the HAQ album ‘Walking Walking Falling’. Since then I’ve performed the piece with guitar, cello, flugelhorn and clarinet (with the 265 Quartet), as well as arranging it for saxophone quartet, and it various other duos. I was inspired by reading about William Burroughs’ cut-ups method of writing, and started thinking about how that could relate to my music. In theory there are many different combinations of how to play this piece (10079 to be precise) but some sound better than others. On this version here we play 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 for the melody and improvisations, and then 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 for the reprise of the melody.

Download the score in four different versions, so you can mix and match your instruments as you see fit.

C score Bb score Eb score Bass clef C score

As ever, if you are so moved to contribute to my daily existence, please visit the shop :-)

Saxophone Quartet – ‘TRS-Q’

I’m tentatively putting some scores on here for people to use as they see fit.  I’m going to start with a saxophone quartet piece, as it is the first thing I’ve written to be performed in my absence.

    About the piece:

Alto/Tenor/Tenor/Baritone piece, written during my MA Composition at Salford University. As with most of my composing, there’s a great deal of freedom for the individual players, making it a rarity in saxophone quartet music. It was inspired by my good friends Trio Riot, and has been performed by the esteemed Madwort Saxophone Quartet, and a version of it made it onto my trio album, but here is the original recording, performed by Sam Healey – alto sax, Simon Prince – tenor sax, Anthony Brown – tenor sax, Ben Watte – baritone sax. (Recorded Jan 6th 2012 at Salford Uni).

 

Download the score here

If there are any other of my tunes you would be interested in seeing the scores for, please do get in touch, or leave a comment below. Please let me know how you get on if you try playing it.

There’s no charge, but if you do want to contribute, why not pay to download something from my shop

Oslo + Stavanger

Last week I got to visit Oslo for the first time, thanks to Oslo Jazz Festival and Fiona Talkington bringing Beats & Pieces back together with Norwegian band Ensemble Denada.  We were very lucky to have the chance to work together for three days, building on our London Jazz Festival gig from November to put together a show that I think worked even better this time, with more integration (for example, my ‘Jazzwalk’ became a duel with Jens Thoresen – he won).  The next day I was able to catch a fantastic lineup at the Blowout! festival, held at Cafe Mir and featuring Trio Riot’s Mette Rasmussen and a whole host of other phenomenal players.  Bizarrely enough I ran into improv-photo-journalist extraordinaire Andrew Newcombe, so he’ll have some better photos on his site soon no doubt.

After that I travelled to Stavanger to catch up with saxophonist Inge Breistein and further our “Hunted By Weather” duo.  I arrived on the Friday and was fortunate enough for his landlord to offer a lift to a small festival about 50 mins drive along the coast.  Great vibe, a wide mix of music, free home-brewed beer on tap and stunning views.  Over the weekend we hung out, caught up, played a bit, and talked about synthesisers a lot.