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© Keiko Yoshida: orkney mainland, scotland 2006.

Nigemizu | Winter Gardens | Bell Trove Spools | Resonant Spaces | The Geometry of Sentiment
Horn_Bill | Cavern with Nightlife | Invisible Ear | Fixations (14)
London & Cologne | 13 Friendly Numbers | Trace

Inner Compass - Tokafi
Resonant Spaces - WIRE - (photos)
Solo Flights - Jazz Times
Site Specific performances.

I first played solo in 1982 at the Workers' Music Association, Notting Hill. To quote from a 1998 Rubberneck.

"After a few concerts I'd learnt a lot about making connections - but had also noticed recognisable pieces beginning to develop. I quite liked this, but worried about what it meant for long-term solo work. For a while, I almost envied composers; able to wrap up a piece, send it out into the world, and move on to the next. But a lot of the pleasure in giving solo concerts is connected to the hope of finding, spontaneously, some music you didn't really know about beforehand.
Playing pieces is too close to playing routines and a concert is an opportunity for much more. As a live performer, improvising usually just feels better - less acting, less theatre, and more chance for a little magic. By way of a bonus, this means engaging with what Derek Bailey described as a "search for whatever is endlessly variable".

Whilst still close to my feelings about solo concerts - another side has been to develop compositional ideas for CD: from the 1992 multitracks on Thirteen Friendly Numbers to the microphone-based work on Invisible Ear.
Live multitracking was explored with Stephen Moore's 15 speaker system at Issue Project Room.
Since the mid 1980s I have also utilised saxophone controlled feedback.

Site-Specific Solos

john butcher utsunimiya stone museum photo
Oya Stone Museum, Japan  - © osamu enomoto
Over the last 15 years I have made many pieces for unusual acoustics and locations - such as inside the giant Oya Stone Mountain in Utsonimiya.
The 2006 Resonant Spaces tour visited northern UK sites chosen for their extraordinary atmospheres.

Other highlights include Oberhausen's 200m high gazometer, James McGee's The Hill in the West Texas desert (review), Southampton's medieval vaults (review), and Newhaven's 19th century Fort.


Live in Japan 2013.

Shimanouchi Church, Osaka & Hall Egg Farm, Fukay.

Wire | The Quietus | soundofmusic (Swedish) | Dusted | skug | free jazz
Hatena Blog (Japanese)

Winter Gardens

winter gardens
Vinyl LP, live in London and Milwaukee 2011.

all about jazz | still single | Boston Hassle | le son du grisli
The Watchful Ear | Musicworks | Free Jazz

Bell Trove Spools

Tenor solos: Dan Flavin Gallery, Houston - 2010
Soprano solos: Issue Project Room, Brooklyn - 2011

tiny mix tapes | burning ambulance | all about jazz (1) / (2) | London Jazz
freq | The Watchful Ear | Point of Departure

Resonant Spaces

Now available as a Download for the first time.

Included is a 16 page PDF with colour photos from the Arika tour of Scotland and the Orkneys.
Also an introduction by Barry Esson, Biba Kopf's original liner notes and an essay by Stuart Broomer.

Originally released on CD (2008) by Confront and on LP (2017) by Blume.

"Everything about this release is beautiful and intriguing:
the music, the photographs, the notes and the story they tell."

john butcher solo LP
LP re-issue of 2006 CD.

Includes colour Obi/insert documenting the Scottish and Orkney locations visited.

ATTN:magazine | Radio Free Midwich

john butcher solo cd
Live location recordings from Scotland and the Orkney Islands - 2006

Sleeve notes: Biba Kopf

WIRE | Dusted | Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (D) | Point of Departure | all about jazz
Jazz Word | soundofmusic (SE)

The Geometry of Sentiment

Live in Japan (2004) and Europe (2006)

Acoustic and amplified/feedback saxophone

Sleeve notes: Stuart Broomer

all about jazz 1 | all about jazz 2 | Dusted | exclaim


horn_bill cover
order CD via Matchless
One of 5 solos from this all reed ONGAKU concert.

John Butcher
Nathaniel Catchpole
Kai Fagaschinski
Lou Gare
Evan Parker
Seymour Wright

KFJC | bagatellen | jazz word

Cavern with Nightlife

Live in Japan - 2002

Solo inside the Oya Stone mountain
+ Duo with Toshimaru Nakimura.

WIRE (1) | Dusted | One Final Note | Sandszine | WIRE (2) pdf

Invisible Ear

Reissue of 2003 fringes edition.

Saxophones: acoustic, close-miked, amplified, feedbacking, solo, multitracked.

Sleeve notes: David Toop

Musicworks | Dusted | Squid's Ear | Paris Transatlantic | all about jazz
Cyclic Defrost | the Jazz Mann | point culture (FR)

Fixations (14)

Live in USA and Europe (1997-2000)

allmusic | Jazz Times | CODA

London & Cologne

Live solos (1994-1996) - plus one studio multitrack.


13 Friendly Numbers

13 friendly numbers cover Saxophone solos and multitracks (1991 reissue 2004).

Paris Transatlantic | Dusted | MOJO | Penguin guide to Jazz | BBC


john butcher cassette cover
Trace (cassette).

Side A: Solo saxophone concert: Paris, 2009
Side B: Studio recording for feedback-sax and piano: London, 2010.
Limited Edition of 250.


SOLD OUT: Digital Download available at Bandcamp