Blank Canvas present J[a]B[a]W plus The Blank Canvas Octet 19.01.2020

Blank Canvas present J[a]B[a]W plus The Blank Canvas Octet 19.01.2020 photo Ian Simpson

J[a]B[a]W  A free improvisational outfit featuring eclectic, hybrid instrumentation and vocalisation, creating an organic mash-up veering from delicate abstraction through insistent sonic curiosity to strident rhythmic statement.


They first met whilst playing with Mick Beck’s large improvising group The Gated Community. They subsequently went to play together as part of several ad hoc line-ups. They are currently all members of The Merseyside Improvisers’ Orchestra (despite all living in Sheffield).

John Jasnoch (guitars, mandolin) bio
Geoff Bright ( voice, soprano and bass saxophones, novelty instruments)
Gillian Whiteley (voice, violin, accordions, recorder, hurdy-gurdy)


The Blank Canvas Octet is a project exploring free improvisation in music in a large ensemble context. It uses the ‘system 50:50` - where chess clocks are used to bring cohesion to the sound field which can often become cluttered. The result is a dynamic and shifting canvas of sound that allows small discreet sounds to be heard and deeper layers to be felt and expressed. An exciting project to participate in, to witness and to hear.

On system 50:50 “Definitely something with LOADS of possibilities - the reaction in the car driving back was unbelievably positive - no one could remember playing in a large ensemble that was so "open". The openess allowed me to play quietly, which meant the dynamics were incredible for an improvising large ensemble.” - Charlie Collins, improviser, Sheffield.


Another point of listening comes from Simon Ross, Macclesfield. `System 50/50 works well - it’s a really good way to get a group to play effectively without egos , virtuosity , and shyness getting in the way. It is democratic, inclusive. coherent, leaderless, focused, there is room to think and time to listen, choices. It is less competitive more cooperative. Ends well`

The Blank Canvas Octet on this night will feature the following, more or less,

CLAYTON JACKSON, electronics and objects
MARTIN HACKETT, Korg MS - Oxford Improvisers.
PHIL MORTON, accidents and treatments, bio
TIM WISE, reeds

The venue
The Ship & Mitre, 133 Dale Street Liverpool. L2 2JH - The upstairs function room
Date: Sunday 19th January 2020, door 19.45 - Concert starts 20.00
Admission: £5.00 -


read more 01The Blank Canvas Octet needs more improvisers,
if you are interested in music and exploring free improvisation in a large ensemble context follow the read more link, read the notes, and register an interest if this is for you.





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