I don’t do a lot of session work (the pro harpists in London seem to have most of that wrapped up) but I really enjoy it. Getting to meet fantastic musicians and learning new stuff is always fun, but not always glamorous – last Sunday I found myself in an unpromising basement in a dodgy council estate in Dalston for a session with ethno-jazz legend Lloyd Miller.
I played on about 4 tracks for his upcoming album, recorded with the Heliocentrics (I previously played with them on their recent album with Mulatu Astatke – I’m assuming the “Alice Coltrane-style oddness” the reviewer refers to is me…) They were all modal, based mainly on Oriental scales and melodies – one Chinese, two Japanese and a funky South American-type number.
It was an absolute thrill to work with Lloyd, and also with James Arben (flute and woodwinds). The only down-side was that there was a photographer there, and I was wearing my rather slobby weekend clothes – a rugby shirt and leggings – with no makeup. At least I’d brushed my hair, which doesn’t always happen…
Here’s a few pics from the afternoon:
I don’t know when the album’s coming out, but if the session is anything to go by, it’s going to be pretty special. Watch this space!