Downloads - The Seen – For Sake of Joy : Live

An extremely crisp 2018 live recording of THE SEEN’s tribute to the free improvisation drummer John Stevens, we me doing the spoken word bit.
Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN for over a eighteen years. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.

The origins of this piece date back to the 1st December 1991. I’d attended an all day concert at the Red Rose Theatre in Finsbury Park, London – a benefit gig for Terry Day – featuring dozens of musicians in various groupings throughout the afternoon and evening. One of those musicians was John Stevens. This was my first exposure to John and his music and the beginning of a fascination still very much part of my everyday. John performed three times that afternoon; with his Spontaneous Music Ensemble – comprising Nigel Coombes and Roger Smith later joined by Maggie Nicols and Phil Minton, in a trio with Larry Stabbins and Paul Rogers and in an unaccompanied role, reciting a text composed by himself. He gave no introduction or back story to the piece. It just existed as is. Gone in a few fleeting moments. A couple of years later I secured an audience recording of the concert made by Andy Isham. All of John’s activity that day was on the recording and through repeated listening over the  more


released September 24, 2021

Chris Burn : piano
Stewart Lee : reading
Jennifer Allum : violin
Dominic Lash – double bass
Bertrand Denzler : tenor saxophone
Henry Bowers-Broadbent : electric piano
Mark Wastell : tam tam, harmonium

Words by John Stevens

Recorded at Cafe OTO, London, 3 January 2018