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Veryan Weston

Veryan Weston - pianist, composer, arranger and improviser.

Born in Sussex, UK, 3rd September 1950.

He received a fellowship from the Digswell Arts Trust in Hertfordshire that allowed him to continue his work exploring piano improvisation which included his research in to pentatonic scale relationships. While at Digswell, he co-founded and composed for the group Stinky Winkles who were voted 'Young jazz Musicians of 1979' by Greater London Arts Association. He performed music for film, the most notable being his work with Lol Coxhill on director Derek Jarman's Caravaggio (1986).

Weston's interest in collaborating with artists from other disciplines led him to earn a degree in performance art from Middlesex University and he also earned a master's degree in music composition from Goldsmith's College University in London. In the '80s and '90s, he worked with (among others) the Eddie Prévost Quartet, Lol Coxhill and Trevor Watts.

Trevor’s preoccupation with rhythmic structures and the inclusion of Ghanaian musicians in Moiré Music suited his own interests in the importance and beauty of rhythmic relationships between musicians which is also traceable later in virtually all his work as an improviser. They continue their very fruitful long-term relationship with concerts worldwide that also include other performers. The new Quantum Illusion project involves Veryan Weston on 'keystation' which is a relatively new departure for him in to the world of digital keyboard sound generation. It takes their shared 'Dialogues' project in to new places of exploring improvisation. There is still a jazz feel and sensibility about it, but because of the fact that they are both composers of some note, the improvisations always have a strong sense of structure

In the '90s, collaborations with Phil Minton included: the Ways duos consisting of a sizeable repertoire which has evolved after more than 20 years together; the three “Ways” recording projects has produced a diversity of songs by Schubert, Ives, Dolphy, Sullivan and Elvis Presley, Songs from a Prison Diary choral project commissioned for the Europa Festival in Le Mans which was awarded the Cornelius Cardew composition prize, a Taktlos Festival (Switzerland) chamber choir commission based on the life of Anarchist – Nestor Makhno, a quartet performing extracts from Joyce’s Finnegans wake, and 4Walls with Luc Ex and Michael Vatcher which was a strange synthesis of punk and contemporary jazz but which, like all the projects with Phil combine improvisation with songform. Most recently - Ways for an Orchestra was commissioned by the Angelica Festival (Bologna, Italy – 2017) and included selected material from their Ways projects arranged and composed for a chamber orchestra.

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Album Review
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Raul D'Gama has written of this: "Veryan Weston is one of the most creative musicians in recent times - or, perhaps, ancient times would be closer to the truth, for what is new emanates from the old and what is old gives birth to the new. Weston presides over this conundrum like a medieval apothecary concocting brilliant and powerful and magical potions that take the form of musical scores invented on the spot where time and space collide.” ALL ABOUT JAZZ 2012.

Review by Massimo Ricci of "Make": Among several notable intuitions, pianist and composer Veryan Weston has been working for decades on the concept of tessellation. To quote from his website, "visual interlocking symmetries and geometric shapes are transferred to the audible world of pitches, rhythm and counterpoint, with the spirit and energy of jazz, improvisation and folk music always at the heart of the performance". Nothing rings truer after having lent our ears to this brilliant album, in which Weston presents the newest version of an existing work with the help of vocal conductor Christine Duncan and drummer Jean Martin. Other musicians involved are Felicity Williams and Alex Samaras (vocals), Jesse and Josh Zubot (violin), Anna Atkinson (viola), Andrew Downing (bass and cello), plus two vocal ensembles: Hidden Meanings Voices — a tentet — and The Element Choir, a unit featuring 45 improvising singers.

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Album Discography


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