Time for that personal touch, I think...
While much of my work involves either writing about music or educational activities, I'm increasingly being called upon as a musician and/or media/instrument technologist. I've been fortunate enough to work with some very fine performers.
As a jazz percussionist and improviser I've had the opportunity to perform with some superlative musicians, initially with the East Midlands Musicians' Collective in the late 70s, then with the London Musicians' Collective in the 80s. I subsequently performed with the late Harry Beckett, singer Maggie Nichols, saxophonists Simon Spillett (a BBC Jazz Award winner) and the late Lol Coxhill (with whom I was reunited several years later as Executive Producer of his solo recording 'Looking Back Forwards') and The Millennium Jazz Orchestra, with whom I recorded a CD ('The Second Millennium') and performed at venues such as the 100 Club in London's Oxford Street. I've been known to to play in the percussion section of my local orchestra and mostly get away with it, performing with soloists such as David Pyatt and Nicola Tait. I've also occasionally picked up a guitar or bass or stood behind a keyboard to play anything from mainstream rock to theatre music.
Having enjoyed free improvisation and experimental music for many years I've participated in performances and workshops run by Butch Morris, Philipp Wachsmann, Eddie Prevost (of the seminal improvising group AMM), the late Paul Rutherford, John Russell, members of the original Scratch Orchestra (performing the work of Cornelius Cardew), Hannah Marshall/Ricardo Tejero and David Bedford (a performance of 'Balloon Music 1' at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London which received a standing ovation!).
I seem to produce some sort of 'composition' roughly every ten years, which is about the limit of my capacity and probably quite enough anyway. Early pieces include Quiet but Complicated, an instructional piece for improvisers which was performed at the City Lit, and Smear Campaign for improvisers and visual artists which was performed at Morley College, both in London, while a more recent composition, entitled Then Three Come Along at Once (for sampled bus sounds and live digital processing) was premiered during the 2009 Spitalfields Festival in London. However, I remain primarily attracted to improvisation as a means of making music. I devoted several months during 2010 to researching and developing SARAH (Semi-Autonomous Reactive Accompanist Hardware), an assemblage of devices which can improvise alongside a live musician in a way which is attentive but neither repetitive nor chaotic (see link above).
I also run an occasional performance-based experimental music course at the Bishopsgate Institute in London (see links page), which explores pieces by Cage, Stockhausen, Cardew, Yoko Ono, Terry Riley (see below), Fred Frith and many other composers. A CD-R single featuring the group can be downloaded by clicking this link: https://files.me.com/rogerthomasjuk/w8pma4