James Hesford began performing in his early teens as a blues and soul guitarist, touring the UK and Europe. At the age of 19 he moved from Yorkshire to London where he established himself as a leading jazz musician. In 1980 he won the Arts Council’s GLAA Young Jazz Musician of the Year and soon after moved to New York. In the two years that followed he performed all styles of jazz from bebop to free atonal improvisation as well as playing in punk bands.
It was here that he developed his own voice as a composer/performer and a chance meeting with producer John Leckie resulted in James returning to England to record an album at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios.
After a period of experimenting with new ideas for the cello James formed Cellorhythmics (cello quartet and percussion) with the leading classical cellist Alfia Nakipbekova (Bekova). His vision for the Instrument as a jazz/ non-classical/ improvising medium is fully explored in this context.
James’ keen interest in Theatre/Film/TV music resulted in many commissions throughout his career - from mainstream TV shows -“National Lottery Theme”, Michael Parkinson etc. to fringe theatre. He is currently Musical Director for Pop Up and has recently completed a score for David’s Almonds play Heaven Eyes, that received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival 2005.
His output as a composer also includes chamber music commissions that have been performed at major venues throughout Europe and the UK.
James is currently completing commissions for the Little Angel Theatre and Mardi Brass Quintet at the same time as working on his current project CAP (Please See Below).
CELLORHYTHMICS ACOUSTIC PROJECT
CAP is a monthly series of 10 (unamplified) concerts – "Episodes", devised by the Cellorhythmics' founders composer/multi instrumentalist James Hesford and a classicall cellist Alfia Nakipbekova in collaboration with film maker/designer Chiara Ambrosio.
Each performance features a new composition and a new instrument is added to the ensemble. As the series continues the group will grow organically from a quartet to a small orchestra. The final performance will launch a CD featuring the new works.
The concept of synchronicity and chance plays an important part in the creative process. Like using found objects in sculpture, harmonic and rhythmic material, titles and even additional instruments are sourced from whatever presents itself as a "happy accident". The theme for each Episode is derived from the title ("a found object") of a new composition.
Chiara Ambrosio is showing her work as a part of each Episode, using her short films within performance and as part of her installations, as well as designing the performance space. Each new composition generates the theme for a new short film, which is completed and showed at the following concert.
The Project is open to an additional creative input from artists of different disciplines - dance, physical movement, spoken word.
POLKA THEATRE – “The Monster Under the Bed
POLKA THEATRE –
“Ghosts in the Gallery” – Nat Portrait/Polka Collaboration
BAC - 4 Shows
including collaboration with Gecko "Raising Cellatina"
LYRIC HAMMERSMITH -
"Shabnan" with Asian Womens' Theatre Naach
David Almonds "Wild Girl Wild Boy"
LITTLE ANGEL THEATRE –
“Jelly Bean Jack” Fairy Tale meets
Marx’s revolutionary theory.
POP-UP THEATRE 6 shows
including David Almonds "Heaven Eyes" & “Wild Girl Wild Boy”
THE DOOR - Birmingham
Rep - Improvising Cellist - "The Seamstresses Revenge" Michael
improvising Cellist - "Falling Across" Michael Ackra/Jon Nichols
FUTURE SHORTS -
"Dream of Elephants" Composer/Performer
CONTACT IMPROV -
TV/Film (See Clips Left)
OLIVER CHEETHAM - “Measuring The world” (Promo)
OLIVER CHEETHAM – “The
Universe” – An animated one shot film of a journey from Earth the the Edge of
MANJINDER VIRK – “ Forgiven” (Short film about father and
sons’ difficult relationship)
BBC 1 - "Talk
Show Story" - Michael Parkinson
BBC 1 - "It seemed
like a good idea at the time"
GRANADA FOR CHANNEL 4
- "The Drop Dead Show"
ALL CHANNELS -
"Trips and Falls" Public Info Film
ALL CHANNELS -
"Children and Bottles" Public Info Film
BBC 1 - Wednesday
night Lottery Show "Dream World"
DISCOVERY - "The
Bushman's Trail" Doco - SCOT HILLIER
DISCOVERY - "The
Bison Trail" Doco - SCOT HILLIER
CHANNEL 5 - "Fly
on the Wall"
"Merseybeat" - David Lowe - (Cellist)
BBC 2 "Poetry on
Two" - David Lowe - (Cellist)
BBC RADIO ONE -
AL ARABIA TV "Daily News" - David Lowe -
CHIARA AMBROSIO -
"The Crrossing" - composer/sound
BBC 1 -
"PANORAMA" - David Lowe - (Cellos)
Chamber Music - Commissions
3 CAPRICES FOR CELLO -
LEAPS" - Brass Quintet - Mardi Brass Ensemble
Saxophone Quartet – Kintarmani
ABANDON" - Piano Trio - The Bekova Trio
SKUNK (INDUCED PSYCHOSIS) - Fidelio Piano Trio
Brass Quintet – Mardi Brass Ensemble
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