Howard Skempton and The Merseyside Improvisers Orchestra. 26/4. The Capstone Theatre.w

The Merseyside Improvisers Orchestra’s list of collaborations continues! This next one features the composer Howard Skempton. Howard was one of the founders of The Scratch Orchestra and a pivotal figure in English experimental music from the 60s. For this new collaboration, Howard will be playing with the orchestra and premiere a new piece especially commissioned by us for the occasion.
Howard Skempton was born in Chester in 1947, and has worked as a composer, accordionist, and music publisher. He studied in London with Cornelius Cardew from 1967, which helped Skempton to discover a musical language of great simplicity. Since then he has continued to write undeflected by compositional trends, producing a corpus of more than 300 works – many pieces being miniatures for solo piano or accordion. Skempton calls these pieces “the central nervous system” of his work.
Skempton’s catalogue of works is also as diverse as it is long, ranging from pieces for solo cello (Six Figures, 1998), and guitar (Five Preludes, 1999), to the Chamber Concerto for fifteen players, the Concerto for Hurdy-Gurdy and Percussion, and Lento, premièred by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in 1991, and performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov at the 2010 BBC Proms.F83D1FD0-F18E-4712-965A-4D9395BDD724


Steve Beresford and The Merseyside Improvisers Orchestra. 19th March. 7.30pm. The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool.

Steve Beresford and The Merseyside Improvisers Orchestra. 19th March. 7.30pm. The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool.

A concert featuring the brilliant pianist, improviser, composer and conductor, Steve Beresford, directing Liverpool’s radical and experimental ensemble The Merseyside Improvisers Orchestra. Also on same night legendary saxophonist Trevor Watts and pianist Stephen Grew.

Tickets through The Capstone Website.

Steve Beresford has played with a huge number of improvisation’s most famous and prodigious musicians, such as Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, John Zorn, Otomo Yoshihide, David Toop and Hen Bennink. He was also a member with Gavin Bryars and Brian Eno in the Portsmouth Sinfonia. He has collaborated extensively with artist/musician Christian Marclay and is an active member of the London Improvisers Orchestra. He has also worked with a number of pop musicians and reggae artists including Ray Davis, The Slits, Prince Far I, Frank Chickens and Ted Milton. He was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for artists in 2012.

The Merseyside Improvisors Orchestra was formed in 2016 by saxophonist Ged Barry and is the meeting place for Merseyside’s adventurous, creative, musicians. The orchestra is dedicated to improvised spontaneous and indeterminate music making, playing conducted improvisations, free improvisations and open form and experimental compositions.


Concert at FACT, Liverpool. 13th March. 6.30pm.

Come and listen to the orchestra as part of The Open Circuit Festival for Interactive Traces, a live performance at FACT in Liverpool, featuring technological visualisations that accompany real-time musical composition. The performance includes dynamic visual scores, game-like interactions, and visualisations of human physiological data taken during the performance. Free, but booking required.

Open Circuit Festival is University of Liverpool’s festival of new music and audio visual performance.