Mark Wastell - violoncello
Simon H. Fell - double bass
improvising string trio
Formed in 1995, IST use acoustic string instruments, including extended techniques and preparations, both to create improvised music and realise experimental composed music. The members are all noteworthy figures in the current London Improvised Music scene, and either individually or together are members of The London Improvisers Orchestra, Evan Parker's String Project, Butch Morris' London Skyscraper, Derek Bailey's Company and Chris Burn's Ensemble. Between them they have performed with many of Europe's key improvising musicians.
Trio activities/performances have included a UK Arts Council Tour in 1998, S4C Television, London's Barbican, New York's Tonic, the Total Music Meeting in Berlin, Contemporaneamente 2002 (Italy), London's Freedom of the City Festival and performances in Marseille, New York & London as part of Derek Bailey's Company.
Although primarily concerned with creating music through improvisation, IST's repertoire includes several compositions commissioned and/or premiered by the group, including Sowari For Ist (Phil Durrant), Cubism and Icons (Simon Fell), X-ist (Guto Puw) Sweet And Lovely (Philip Clark) and Ritmico (Mark Wastell). The trio has also performed pieces by Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen, Earle Brown & Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Their first album Anagrams To Avoid
was released in 1997 by SIWA Records (U.S.A.)
Their second album Consequences (Of Time And Place) was released in 1997 by Confront Recordings
Their third album Ghost Notes was released in 1998 by Bruce's Fingers
Their fourth album Lodi was released in 2006 by Confront
Their fifth album Berlin was released in 2013 by Confront
Their sixth album London: Conway Hall was released in 2014 by Confront
Their seventh album New York [featuring John Zorn] was released in 2015 by Confront
They have also contributed tracks to the following compilation CDs: TOTAL MUSIC MEETING 2001 : Audiology - 11 Groups Live In Berlin (All 2002) and FREEDOM OF THE CITY 2003 : Small Groups (Emanem 2004)
"IST operate at such a pitch of invention they transcend the divide between art and science." Ben Watson HIFI NEWS & RECORD REVIEW
"Anagrams To Avoid is an extraordinary record. This is truly collective music, beautifully self-contained and perfect as it is." Nick Smith AVANT
"IST play gorgeous realtime realspace musique concrète. Subliminal sensitivity to scratch and distortion produces ear-fixating suites." Ben Watson HIFI NEWS & RECORD REVIEW
"IST have developed into a leading force in improvised and creative music, pushing the limits of acoustic string music beyond existing boundaries." Graham Halliwell RESONANCE
"Ghost Notes will become an "instant improvised classic"! Impressive enough to rate a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer." THE IMPROVISOR
"Most captivating of all is the bewitching set played by IST, eleven minutes of hushed chamber improv that might as well be played by the creatures in the rafters of Conway Hall." Jason Bivins ONE FINAL NOTE (reviewing Freedom Of The City 2003)
Davies - harp
Welsh harpist Rhodri Davies first came to the attention of the London improv scene as a member of the Simon Fell Septet, performing at the Unsung Music Festival in 1996, shortly after he had joined the string duo of Fell & Wastell to form IST. Since that time Rhodri's star has risen with breathtaking rapidity, and he has subsequently worked with every key British improviser, in both European and International contexts. His arco and prepared harp techniques are quite literally revolutionary, and are rewriting the history of this instrument.
Wastell - violoncello
Much of Mark's relationship with his chosen instrument is concentrated on the tactile, textural and sonic possibilities of both violoncello and bow. He is increasingly interested in working purely with extreme frequencies and pitch. As a soloist he has played at the Micro-classical Festival (London 1996), LMC Festival (London 2000) and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (2000). He has also worked extensively with electro/acoustic composer John Wall. Mark has toured Europe with various groups, performing in France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Greece
H. Fell - double bass
Simon Fell is a composer and double bassist active in free improvisation and contemporary jazz and chamber music. He has worked in small or medium groups with John Butcher, Peter Brötzmann, Lol Coxhill, Billy Jenkins, Joe Morris, Keith Tippett, John Zorn, Derek Bailey, Joey Baron, Elliott Sharp, Billy Bang, Christian Marclay and numerous others, and is a founder member of London Improvisers Orchestra. Other regular groupings include SFQ, Mick Beck's Something Else, Hession/Wilkinson/Fell and many more. He has presented compositions for improvisers at the LMC Festival, the Termite Festival, the Frakture Festival, Leo Records' Unsung Music Festival, Freedom of the City Festival and on many other occasions. His discography includes over 100 recordings. "A major contemporary musician" - The Penguin Guide To Jazz On CD.
photo © Roger Parry 2001
For further information on IST, or details of fees, availability, etc, contact:
Bruce's Fingers, c/o Simon Fell, 29 Teillet, 23400 St. Dizier-Leyrenne, FRANCE