celebrating new music & improvisation

Founder & Curator: Trish Clowes

Artistic Director: Tom Harrison (new member of the team!)

Everyone has their own take on where the improvised music scene is going, Emulsion offers up a few ideas, things to think about… as well as bringing together different audiences and reminding people of how important it is to challenge one’s expectations, and how exploring and listening to new music is exciting not daunting.

In 2012 Trish Clowes decided to combine the musical strengths of several musicians she admired in contemporary Jazz and contemporary Classical music into one project. Some artists were her own peers, some more established. The first Emulsion festival took place on May 19th 2012 at the Vortex Jazz Club where four new commissions were premiered, funded by the PRS for Music Foundation. Emulsion II saw us visit Kings Place in May 2013 with a concert curated by composer Luke Styles, including a new work by Christopher Mayo for French Horn, Cello and Clarinet. This time the focus was placed firmly on existing contemporary classical works that had been influenced by different approaches to improvisation.

In 2013-4 the Jerwood Charitable Foundation supported four separate workshops for the eight musicians at the heart of Emulsion, designed by the musicians themselves. They provided unique training opportunities to aid skill-sharing between the Jazz and Classical disciplines for both performers and composers, and the development of new skills as new pieces were written and experimented with.

In May 2014, Emulsion III – with support from Arts Council England and PRS for Music Foundation – took the form of a two-night festival at the Village Underground in Shoreditch. Food, the duo of ECM artists Iain Ballamy and Thomas Strønen, headlined the festival. Also performing were Clowes’ Tangent, Luke Styles’ contemporary classical group Ensemble Amorpha, contemporary vocal group Juice, Dan Nicholls’ Strobes+ByramArt (big beats/electro-improv/integrated visuals) and a set from the Emulsion Sinfonietta.

Subsequent events have included a Cheltenham Music Festival Residency in 2015 (Emulsion IV), Emulsion V (2017) at the mac Birmingham and two forthcoming festivals in 2018. The Emulsion Sinfonietta is central to all events (a happy by-product of several Emulsion festivals/events) and has to date premiered 15 commissioned new works (two more to come in 2018).

Musicians of Emulsion (an expanding list…!):
Trish Clowes – saxophones | Chris Montague – electric guitar | Calum Gourlay – bass | James Maddren – drums | Louise McMonagle – cello | Tom Lessels – Clarinets
Lauren Weavers – Oboe/Cor Anglais | Iain Ballamy – saxophones | Thomas Strønen – drums | Luke Styles – composer | Freddie Gavita – trumpet | Donald Grant – violin | Alex Munk – guitar | Chris Mayo – composer | Percy Pursglove – trumpet/bass | Tom Farmer – bass | Juice vocal ensemble | Joe Cutler – composer | Max Welford – clarinet | Ross Stanley – piano, organ | Catriona McDermid – bassoon | Mandhira de Saram | Alex Fiennes – sound


Supporters of Emulsion:

Jerwood Charitable Foundation | PRS for Music Foundation | Musikfondene | Arts Council England