David Ryan



Birmingham Improvisors Orchestra






John Edwards and David Ryan

John Edwards and David Ryan




CD Cover for Milano, Popolla, Ryan, Scettri, Trovalusci








CD Cover for 'Excursions'








Music file 1; ‘Zonal’ 2007, Birmingham Improvisers Orchestra, recorded at CBSO Centre, Birmingham, 2007 ‘Zonal’ was in response to a request for a piece by Mike Hurley and Bruce Coates, organisers of the Birmingham Improvisers Orchestra. The work was conducted by myself, and this extract features the second half of the piece. It attempted to provide contrasting solos, blocks of chordal material and a background continuum; these aspects constitute the different zones of the piece.


Music file 1



Music File 2 and 3: Duos - David Ryan: Bb clarinet and bass clarinet John Edwards: bass Recorded by Richard Beard at Oxford House, Bethnal Green, London, Dec 2006 John Edwards and I have been playing duets over the last 3 or 4 years and, I think, have a particular affinity with each other’s playing and general sensibility. Although there may well be a ‘chamber jazz’ feel to some pieces, generally, they organically grow wherever they want to go without anything being ruled out – textural playing, melodic or lyrical motifs or whatever, without anything predetermined. We both have an admiration for a broad range of music: from jazz to contemporary composers such as Xenakis or Lachenmann, and hopefully this comes through.
Music file 2
Music file 3



Music File 4: ‘Ligeia’ - Leonardo Milani, piano; Alberto Popolla, bass clarinet; David Ryan, clarinet; Federico Scettri, percussion; Gianni Trovalusci, flute and bass flute, recorded at studio V38, Rome, 2007 ‘Ligeia’ was composed in response to a request from Alberto Popolla. In many ways it was a homage to those strange fusions of new music and free jazz that occurred in the late 60s and early 70s, such as certain compositions by Tony Oxley or Jimmy Lyons for example. In keeping with this, the piece is angular and austere in its sound-world – it also took its name from Poe’s tale ‘Ligeia’ and has the following directions to the players: ‘cold and abstract.’


Music file 4




Music File 5; Excursion 3 (from ‘Excursions’) – Vinny Golia: Bb clarinet, soprillo, and sopranino saxophones; David Ryan: bass clarinet; Steve Beresford: piano; Jeremy Drake: electric guitar; Joe Williamson: bass; Eddie Prevost: drums. Recorded by Mick Ritchie at Barefoot Studios, Brixton, Nov 2005 ‘Excursion’ brought together a broad range of improvisers – each, in fact, playing more or less untypically. In my own case I have been best known for performing experimental indeterminate music, that of Christian Wolff, Earle Brown and Cornelius Cardew, to name but a few. But I have also been very interested in more jazz-inflected approaches, and the LA based composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia provided a push in this direction during his rare visit to the UK in 2005. Jeremy Drake is a fellow improviser from the LA scene – and one of the most inventive guitarists around to my mind (although always with understatement and subtlety as here). Steve Beresford, Eddie Prevost and Canadian bassist Joe Williamson need no introduction. But perhaps I should add that this recording was the first time this particular ad hoc group had played together.


Music file 5


David Ryan