Rituals for Orchestra Entropy

RITUALS is an extended work for ten improvisers presented on two hand drawn panels. This language score consists of various open notations, graphics plus two trio sub-pieces titled skelf (electric guitar, double bass and drums) and antiphon (violin, viola and double bass) for the performers to decipher. The intention is to sculpt the improvisations so that the music develops and transforms along an ancient elemental journey, with the composer not as a totalitarian figure of authority, instead giving the performers the guidance, the licence to explore and discover who they are within it.

Orchestra Entropy is the large ensemble edition of Matt London’s Ensemble Entropy, a dynamic new music ensemble / group / band exploring the space between composed contemporary music and free improvisation. 

RITUALS for Orchestra Entropy was shortlisted for a 2018 BASCA British Composer Award in the Jazz Composition for Large Ensemble Category. 

Discus Music // Bandcamp

Matt London’s Orchestra Entropy perform an extended work for improvising ensemble, based on two hand-drawn panels which provide indeterminate notations, graphical cues and two interpolated trio pieces, “skelf” for guitar, bass, drums, and “antiphon” for violin, viola, double bass. 

Entropy is a dangerous metaphor, often misunderstood, certainly overused and not in any way the most lasting impression of this music, which has a quietly determined trajectory, like stages in a pilgrimage or holy office, but with the apparent purpose of allowing each player to find her/his own voice within the collective. Sarah Gail Brand is masterful at this. Every improvisation she puts out conveys a sense of highly collected and purposive playing, but with a freedom that few of her male colleagues ever reach. 

Strings are once again a regular and unsurprising feature of improvising groups, in Britain as elsewhere, and Rebecca Raimondi, Benedict Taylor and Seth Bennett have discovered ways of playing that suggest technical mastery but don’t any longer sound like orchestral players slumming. Leader Matt London isn’t widely known as a saxophonist, but has a commanding voice that cuts through when it needs to. 

The Discus catalogue is now large and incredibly varied. This is one of its finest moments. – Brian Morton, JAZZ JOURNAL