F-IRE, in its prehistory over 10 years ago began as a workshop - a group of young musicians met to learn West African dance music, and its theory and methods of communication. They applied their learnings to inform their own compositional and improvisational languages. Timeline was one of the bands that first surfaced from this. Barak Schmool (saxophones, percussion) bandleader of Timeline (Afro-rhythmic jazz) started the whole affair. He was a member of Django Bates' Delightful Precipice and had grown up musically inside the fertile environment around Loose Tubes. He has played extensively with Robert Mitchell's Panacea, Bosco De Oliveira and Nana Tsiboe. As a regular teacher at City University and Royal Academy of Music, it was his experimental pro-community bands Akwaaba drum orchestra, Méta Méta (Cuban batá Fusion) and Rhythms of the City (samba bateria) that were part of the attractive force that pulled people together to form F-IRE. Joining him in these initial creative explorations were (amongst others, notably singer Eska Mtungwazi, Robert Mitchell, drummers Tom Skinner and Iian Pattinson...) Nick Ramm, Tom Herbert, Leo Taylor and David Okumu who formed Timeline... later though their own creative outlets were to be even better known.
TIMELINE is the band from which the F-ire collective was started, originally assembled in 1995 from a set of jazz musicians studying African music together - its music reunites the surprise of jazz with the fire of traditional African rhythms. With a language part contemporary urban, part traditional that allows and invites interaction on many levels, Timeline has been at the forefront of integrated projects with dance and song alongside its complex and humorous compositions. Its members are equally adept in a variety of musical languages, having collectively studied various dance music styles as part of their long formation period.
Barak Schmool: alto sax, percussion
Nick Ramm : keys, xylophone
Tom Herbert: bass
Leo Taylor: drumkit
Ivan Ormond: percussion
A sensory banquet of soaring melodies, colourful South American folklore, lively dances and emotional ballads of longing. Music that creates a rich, emotionally disquieting world that is at once familiar and dreamlike. A world of freedom, of movement, of dusty roads and traveling musicians in shaded market squares whose journey will never end. These are songs of magical realism mingling elements of fantasy, myth, desire and wanderlust in renderings that blur traditional distinctions between what is serious or trivial, melancholic or joyous.
Jonny Phillips: guitar / composer
Ingrid Laubrock: tenor saxophone
Ruth Goller: bass guitar
Ben Davis: cello
Nick Ramm: keys
Sebastian Rochford: drums
Adriano Adewale Itauna: percussion
Panacea is an electro-acoustic sextet formed by Robert Mitchell around 1999 (after years of pre-planning in his head). It was put together to perform originals, arrangements, and to also jam. This music has no rhythmic/harmonic boundaries, and the daringly crafted originals ensure precisely that. The music involves intense challenges in these (rhythmic and harmonic) areas, with the feels coming from the fusion, romantic classical, and experimental worlds (among others).
Robert Mitchell : piano, keys, composition
Deborah Jordan : vocals
Barak Schmool : saxophones
Tom Mason : basses
Richard Spaven : drumkit
Volker Strater : percussion
A dynamic, groovey string quintet with drums.
Their repertoire ranges from the still, vast expanse of "In a Silent Way" to the driving, percussive "Forcefull Beast"... Double-Dares takes inspiration from a Macedonian tapan pattern.
Emma Smith : violin
Jenny May-Logan: viola
Richard Pryce : double bass
Victoria Fifield : violin
Ben Davis : cello
Seb Rochford: drums