Madwort’s Mechanical Mindset

After spending the past year or so establishing the Madwort Sax Quartet (where ‘madwort’ is an anagram of his name), Tom Ward has recruited a rhythm section and is exploring his music in a more stripped-down lineup of sax, keyboards (Dave O’Brien, of F-IRE Collective), bass (Spencer Brown, of Deathray Trebuchet) and drums (Olly Blackman, of Quadraceratops). Tom composes using Steve Coleman-esque number sequences as a starting point, and the result is intriguing groove music that transports the listener in unexpected directions.

Tom Ward – Alto/Tenor Saxophone (Madwort Sax Quartet, Porpoise Corpus, Quadraceratops)
Dave O’Brien – Keyboards (Porpoise Corpus, F-IRE Collective, Shadow Writing, )
Spencer Brown – Electric Bass (Porpoise Corpus, Deathray Trebuchet, )
Olly Blackman – Drums (Hackney Colliery Band, )

“The main thing I’m working on with the compositions for this project is an idea that has come up in several places – notably Slonimsky via Coltrane, but also Wayne Krantz’s iOS and elsewhere – of exploring ways of enumerating possibilities in order to stretch your intuition as a composer. Of course, some search spaces are too large to be enumerated (such as the universe), so, I’ve been using a couple of simple algorithms based on prime numbers & symmetry to derive little grains of ideas, little points in the search space. I then grow these ideas organically, filtering them through my own personal listening history, taste & intuition, until they gradually develop their own personality, their own character as tunes. I think the sonic palette they take on reflects things that I’ve been listening to in recent years, which includes Steve Coleman, Alas No Axis, MF Doom, Tim Berne and others.”

For the latest news & recordings of this group, please go to the Mechanical Mindset News Category

Mechanical Mindset Harrison

Madwort's Mechanical Mindset group photo