August 6 – IMOO #161: Raymond MacDonald and Guests


Raymond MacDonald is a saxophonist and composer who plays in many collaborative free improvisatory contexts where his roots in jazz and pop music can also be heard in his playing and writing. Working with musicians such as Evan Parker, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, David Byrne, Jim O’Rourke, he is a founding member of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, and has released over 60 CDs (including many with Scottish guitarist George Burt) and toured and broadcast worldwide. He has written music for film, television, theatre, radio and art installations and has a long standing collaboration, Scarecrows and Lighthouses, with artist Martin Boyce and film maker David MacKenzie.  Much of his work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. He is also Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation at Edinburgh University and lectures, publishes and runs workshops internationally.

 “MacDonald’s playing is absolutely stunning, in pitch, timbre, variation, and he also demonstrates his skills for circular breathing on the last two tracks. The interaction between these two stellar musicians grab the listener’s attention from the start until the very end : intensity, suprise, beauty and creative collisions” All about jazz

“Exhilarating music. It eliminates the boundaries not just between composition and improvisation but between cultures and idioms” Sydney Morning Herald
“These are radically differing soundscapes, all delivered with great emotional intensity and a strong sense of the importance of the moment. Risks have been taken, and the Sextet plunge and rise between Hades and Heaven, grinning madly all the time” Jazz Review
“mighty and glorious” Jazz Wise

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