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Veryan Weston and Phil Minton backnextcomposer index
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Veryan Weston and Phil Minton have worked together as both performers and composers since the mid-1980s.

8 Improbytes (Weston)



Veryan Weston
was born in 1950. He moved to London from Cornwall in 1972 and began playing as a freelance Jazz pianist as well as developing as an improviser at the Little Theatre Club.

He accepted a fellowship with the Digswell Arts Trust in Hertfordshire in 1975 who commissioned him to revise his book on piano improvisation which he was able to do through a subsidy from the Arts Council of Great Britain. During this time he co-founded and composed for Stinky Winkles. With the group he was voted a Young Musician in 1979 by the Greater London Arts Assoc. and won three major awards in France, Spain and Poland.

Whilst at Digswell he also collaborated with visual artists giving exhibitions/solo performances in the V and A Museum (1979) with potter Liz Fritsch and at Hammersmith Jazz Festival (1980) with visual artist Stephen Cochrane. During this period he composed/performed music from a range of films and documentaris, most notably with Lol Coxhill for Derek Jarman's Carravaggio (1985).

This interest in music/media collaborations led to a degree in Performance Art at Middlesex University where a 1st Class Honours was gained. In 1990 he gained a Masters in Music Composition from Goldsmith's College University of London. These qualifications then led to a brief period as a part-time lecturer at Bretton hall and Middlesex University.

Throughout the 80s and early 90s he worked primarily with Eddie Prevost Quartet, Trevor Watts Moire Music and duets with Lol Coxhill and Phil Minton (as well as other ensemble projects with Minton) giving performances in venues of various shapes and sizes. Major festivals include Zurich, Berlin, Nicholsdorf, Karlsruhr, Warsaw, Wroklaw, San Sebastian, Bombay, Vancouver, St Etienne, Aukland, Nevers, Washington, Lille, Houston, Le Mans, Strasbourg and Victoriaville.

Locally he has been playing from 1995-96 in a rhythm section for Changes jazz club in North London, with a number of top British jazz artists.


Phil Minton
moved to London from Torquay in the early sixties and played trumpet with the Mike Westbrook Orchestra.

He spent the latter part of the sixties and early seventies in Europe as a singer with a variety of different bands and orchestras. For the past twenty five years he has been based in London.

As well as making many guest appearances with European groups and orchestras, he is a member of the Mike Westbrook Band, (an involvement going back over twenty five years) as well as Lindsay Coopers OH MOSCOW, the Grubenkland Orchestra, the Dedication Orchestra and sings with the string quartet HARBIN'S BED. He gives solo performances and has improvising duos and trios with Peter Brotzmann, Michel Waisvisz, Roger Turner, John Butcher, Radu Malfati and Phil Wachsman and toured with Veryan Weston.

In 1987 he was voted number one male singer in Europe by Jazz Forum Magazine's top people poll. He co-founded, with Maggie Nichols and Julie Tippets, the vocal group VOICE and has performed with many of Britain's experimental theatre companies.

He has toured in Russia, the USA, Australia as well as Europe and has performed at major Arts and Music Festivals including Victoriaville, Adelaide, Edinburgh, Moers, Berlin, Zurich, Britain Salutes New York, Actual, Warsaw, Willisau, Vancouver, budapest, Saltzburg, Ars Elecronica Lintz and Musica 87, 88 Strasbourg.

Together with Veryan Weston, he received a commission from Le Mans Festival to compose and perform SONGS FROM A PRISION DIARY, a composition for 22 voices. This was performed at Musica 91 Strasbourg and was awarded the Cornelius Cardew Composition Prize. He has also been a awarded an Arts Council bursary to compose and perform NAMING THE ANIMALS with Veryan Weston and Adrian Mitchel.



Selected Works - Weston



Some selected recordings are:
Underwater Carol - this first solo album is a document of development from 1972-87, a period when composition interested him (Matchless 13)
Playing Alone (1996) - the second solo album is an example of work purely as an improviser (Acta 9)
Joy of Paranoia (Ogun 525) Digswell Duets (Random Radar 005) The Inimitable Lol Coxhill (Chabada 0H9) are with Lol Coxhill while both at Digswell (79-84). Continuum (1983) with Eddie Prevost Quartet (Matchless 7)
Trevor Watts Moire Music (1985) has some features for the pianist (Arc 02)
Fruitful collaborations with Phil Minton have yielded:
Ways (1987) and Ways past (1992) which are acclaimed duets (ITM Records) Songs from a Prison Diary (1990) for 25 singers was awarded the Cornelius Cardew Composition Prize in 1991 (Leo 196) A Mouthful of Ecstasy (1996) is by the Phil Minton quartet and uses texts from Finnegans Wake by James Joyce (Victo Records)


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