Tuesday 8 July 2014

Bill Mudge - Skylight - album inspiration

The original skylight drawings
Since releasing his debut album Skylight, Bill Mudge and his music have taken on an cult status. Mudge is one of the quieter members of London‘s Jazz circuit but he hasn’t gone unnoticed by discerning fans and critics alike. In 2011, the same year as his debut, he played alongside Kit Downes, Lewis Wright, Paul Booth, Tom White and Piers Green on Paul Jordanous’ debut ‘And now I know’.

He was raised in the beautiful town of Lymington, near the New Forest in Hampshire, and his compositions reflect this close relationship with nature. He now lives in London but remains true to his roots and has established a plentiful kitchen garden adjacent to his property. He is truly a renaissance man and regularly draw upon his time as an arts student in Bath, UK for his inspiration.

Bill Mudge Trio
“My main intention is to convey an emotion through each piece of music. When writing I’m generally inspired by books, films or people, using them as the subject matter to develop the idea, whilst considering how the group might play and interpret the music.“

As The Crow Flies
Bill Mudge Trio
He is active as a musician and composer despite earning a reputation as the Bobby Fisher of Jazz. His self imposed exile from many social media platforms has meant that this album doesn't receive the kind of background noise you expect nowadays. This of course means it's all the more impressive when you track it down. It's back to the days of trawling through record shops although if you get in touch with him on Twitter - @mudgery he might have one last copy in his studio.

Big Al's Story - Bill Mudge Trio
Skylight artwork
The album artwork came from a film we made together, named after the title track. I cold-called Bill in 2010 abut using his music and he kindly agreed. I started the drawings during a rain delay at the first Test Match between England and Bangladesh (Lords 2010). Instead of cricket I visited the ceiling of the courtyard at the British Museum. Bill's music inspired me to create these spiritual pyrotechnics.

The concept being - if we could send our fireworks high enough, what would the results be?

Rejected ideas
Imagery and title came together with Skylight but we also considered three other designs for 'Fenced Patrol', 'Big Al's Story' and 'As The Crow Flies'. The latter making it onto the CD body, inside and back cover.

Fenced Patrol - Bill Mudge Trio
Sleeve Notes
The personnel on Skylight are -

Bill Mudge: Hammond B3 Organ
Kevin Glasgow: Guitar
Chris Nickolls: Drums
Piers Green: Alto Sax (Tracks 4,6,8)

Bill Mudge's main thrust nowadays is his involvement with improv trio Toy Rokit alongside Chris Nickolls and Mark Rose. They have produced a series of recording in their short collaboration and you can purchase & download their debut CD at  - http://toyrokit.bandcamp.com/album/toy-rokit-cd1-out-now as well as get your hands on a physical entity.


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