I'm Mike Walker and I am Crowdfunding to raise money to record my second studio album 'Ropes' in 2015.
The album will feature my original compositions performed by a 22 piece string orchestra and jazz quintet featuring Iain Dixon (saxophones/clarinet), Les Chisnall (piano), Steve Rodby (bass) and Adam Nussbaum (drums).
(See picture below of the premiere performance of 'Ropes' at the RNCM as part of the Manchester Jazz Festival, July 2008.)
I'm a guitarist, composer and teacher based in the north west and I've been part of the British jazz scene for the past thirty years. I've taught and performed internationally during my career, having worked with many jazz greats including Mike Gibbs, Dave Holland, Steve Swallow, Bill Frisell, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, George Russell and Vince Mendoza. I am currently on tour with the Impossible Gentlemen (with Gwilym Simcock, Steve Rodby and Adam Nussbaum).
In 2008 I was commissioned by the Manchester Jazz Festival to write an original suite of music. The 'Ropes' suite was written for 22 piece string orchestra and jazz quintet.
I chose to write the commission for strings and jazz quintet because a lot of the music I've loved over the years has been written for this instrumentation, from Nelson Riddle to Vince Mendoza. It was like a dream come true for me to write for this ensemble.
When I write music, I write for people in my life, both close and not so close. For me, the music is a reflection of the situations and events that make the beautiful struggle so rewarding. I called the suite 'Ropes' because I became interested in the lines that, musically, spiritually, physically and metaphorically bind us together or pull us apart. There are sea shanties here, cliff faces scaled, folks towed home and freedoms fettered. Ropes can be a help or a hindrance.
The music was premiered at a sell-out performance at the Royal Northern College of Music at the Manchester Jazz Festival in July 2008.
I am planning to record the album in Autumn 2015 and have it ready for release in Spring 2016. The 'Ropes' album will be the follow up to my debut album, 'Madhouse and the Whole Thing There'.
I am Crowdfunding to contribute towards the cost of recording the string orchestra for the album. For more info and to see an interview with me, check out this youtube video -
Some words in support of 'Ropes'….
Mike is a unique talent - one of my favourite musicians and one of the very best on a worldwide level. I was thrilled to be part of this 'Ropes' project and would love to see this documented so others can share in its beauty and grace.
- Adam Nussbaum, drums
It is imperative that this incredible artist, musician and human being is given all the support he needs in this large scale work - 'Ropes'.
- Iain Dixon, saxophones / clarinet
Mike is a composer of immense depth and vision … music pours from him. I feel most strongly that 'Ropes' fully deserves to be made available to a much larger audience than the privileged few who were lucky enough to catch the single concert performance of the work at the RNCM in 2008.
- Bass Line Audio
Mike's playing, for those who don't know it, is one of the greatest joys of British jazz.
For any further information about the project, please contact us.