Stephen Chase follows his nose

A listening session and interview with composer / improviser Stephen Chase. Stephen and Josh met at Glasgow’s Tectonics Festival to chat about various works. Listen to Stephen’s works for bells and keyboard (with birdsong), and zither, freezer, and household objects. We discuss intimacy and expansion, improvisation vs. planning and scoring, collage, limited materials, Lamonte Yonge vs. Paul Klee, the sounds of spaces, and following one’s nose. We listen to Captain Beefheart, Clara Levy, Willie Clancy, and Keith Rowe.

Listen to more of Stephen’s music on Bandcamp.

Stephen Chase records water going down a drain
Stephen Chase records water melting (photo Simon Linskill)

Stephen Chase composes, improvises, and walks quite a lot. His work veers erratically between generative ideas and following his nose, exploring, amongst other things, aspects of group interaction, acoustical phenomena, and the passing of time. Co-conspirators and performing comrades have included Exaudi, Quatuor Bozzini, Philip Thomas, Choir Brevis, Red Note Ensemble, Music We’d Like to Hear, CoMA, Ryoko Akama, Patrick Farmer, Ross Parfitt, Joseph Kudirka, Coastguard All Stars, Mick Beck, Taku Sugimoto, piggle, Luke Poot, and Freaking Glamorous Teapot. He is co-editor of Changing the System: The Music of Christian Wolff (Ashgate/Routledge), and convened the occasional performance series, mon se taire truc. After studying Music, English and Philosophy in Northampton he eventually arrived in Sheffield where he studied for an MMus in Composition with George Nicholson and a PhD on improvised music with Eric Clarke. He has lived in Scotland for the past 5 years.

Captain Beefheart was an American musician and artist known for his avant-garde rock and blues work, particularly with his band The Magic Band. Clara Levy is a violinist and composer living in Brussels. Willie Clancy was an Irish uilleann piper and flute and whistle player. Keith Rowe is an English guitarist and painter, known for his contributions to free improvisation and experimental music, particularly with the group AMM.

If you enjoyed this interview with composer / improviser Stephen Chase, you might enjoy the episodes with Natalia Beylis and John Dieterich and Raven Chacon.