Mark Lockheart

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Biography of Mark Lockheart

Mark Lockheart

Mark Lockheart is one of the most distinctive and creative musicians on the current British music scene. As a saxophonist and composer, his work often defies categorisation and crosses the boundaries of the jazz, new music and folk worlds.

Mark came to prominence in the mid 1980s with the influential and radical big band Loose Tubes, which he toured with throughout the USA and Europe and recorded with until its demise in 1989. The late 1980s also saw Mark composing and touring his own music, performing three times at Ronnie Scott’s in London, and at festivals in Vienna, Paris and Berlin. Around this same time Mark was seen touring with Annie Whitehead and Roger Dean’s Lysis.

The formation of the co-led Perfect Houseplants in 1992 saw the emergence of one of Mark’s most important projects, which is still very much developing today. Perfect Houseplants has released six albums and is involved in several crossover projects such as its collaborations with the Orlando Consort (Extempore, 1998), with baroque violinist Andrew Manze, and more recently with recorder virtuoso Pamela Thorby (New Folk Songs, Linn, 2002). In 1998 the band represented the BBC at the EBU in Vienna where the concert was recorded and broadcast to 11 European countries. A concert recorded at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival this year was broadcast as a special BBC Radio 3 programme over Christmas and Boxing Day. This period also saw Mark collaborating with Irish pianist and composer Michael O’Sullebhain, and recording a world/jazz album entitled Matheran (Isis, 1993) with guitarist John Parricelli.

In the mid-nineties Mark toured extensively with Django Bates’ Delightful Precipice, performing at many international festivals including Berlin, Molde and Willisau, and recording with jazz, folk and pop artists June Tabor, Billy Jenkins, Stereolab, Jah Wobble, Robert Wyatt, Prefab Sprout, Don Um Romao ,Thomas Dolby, and more recently Anja Garbarek and Radiohead.

As a composer, Mark has a strong and individual voice. In 1997 he was awarded the Peter Whittingham Award to record his semi-orchestral 11-piece group the Scratch Band. This formed the basis of Through Rose-Coloured Glasses, which was released in 1998 to critical acclaim and voted by Time Out as one of the Top Ten albums of 1998.

A commission from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Birmingham Jazz led to a suite of pieces inspired by dance forms, which formed the basis for the Scratch Band’s second album, Imaginary Dances (Staytuned Records, 2002).

Mark has also been active as a commercial writer and session musician. He has composed library music and music for BBC Drama including two Radio 4 plays, Slow Burn and False Fingerings. He is very much in demand for film and television work and has worked with Mike Gibbs and the Oscar-winning composer Steven Warbeck.

Mark teaches at Trinity College of Music and Middlesex University as well as occasional teaching and master classes in composition and saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music.

Current projects include Seb Rochford’s Polar Bear, Roger Beaujolais Quintet and a new Perfect Houseplants /Orlando Consort recording entitled Extempore 2 (Harmonia Mundi, USA) out in 2003.

· 2000 / Imaginary Dances – music commissioned by Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Birmingham Jazz. First performance at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, April 2000.
· 1999 / New Folk Songs – commissioned by Eastern Arts as part of the Andrew Milne Award. New Folk Songs recording (Linn Records) released in January 2001.
· 1998 / Release of album Through Rose-Coloured Glasses.
· 1997 / Peter Whittingham Award – given to Mark to record his 11-piece Scratch Band.
· 1997 / Intersections (with Andrew Manze) – commissioned by BBC Radio 3.
· 1991 / Semana Santa – multi-media piece commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council.


Mark Lockheart - Moving Air, basho records 2005
Mark Lockheart - Imaginary Dances, staytuned records 2002
Mark Lockheart - Through Rose-Coloured Glasses- subtone records 1998
Perfect Houseplants/Orlando Consort - Extempore 2- harmonia mundi 2003
Perfect Houseplants- New Folk Songs- linn records 2000
Perfect Houseplants/Orlando Consort-Extempore- linn records 1998
Perfect Houseplants-Snap Clatter - linn records 1997
Perfect Houseplants-Clec -efz records 1995
Perfect Houseplants- Perfect Houseplants- ah-um records 1993
Huw Warren/Mark Lockheart/Lleuwen Steffan- God Only Knows-babel 2005
Polar Bear-Held On The Tips Of Fingers-babel 2005
Polar Bear-Dim Lit- babel 2004
Mark Lockheart/John Parricelli Matheran Isis, 1993
John Parricelli- Alba- provocateur 2000
Mark Lockheart/John Parricelli Matheran Isis, 1993
Django Bates- Winter Truce (and homes ablaze)- JMT, 1995
Django Bates- Summer Fruits and Unrest- JMT, 1993
Huw Warren- Hundreds Of Things A Boy Can Make- babel 2004
Huw Warren- A Barrel Organ Far from Home Babel, 1997
with Loose Tubes, Loose Tubes LT, 1984
Delightful Precipice LT, 1986
Open Letter EG, 1988
Angel Tiger Cooking Vinyl, 1993
with June Tabor Against the Streams Cooking Vinyl, 1994
Aleyn Topic, 1997
A Quiet Eye Topic, 1999
with Sine Deep Water Dropoff BMG, 1999
with Prefab Sprout Steve McQueen CBS, 1986
with Stereolab Flourences
with Billy Jenkins First Aural Art Exhibition VOTP, 1992
Suburbia Babel, 2000
with The High Llamas Hawaii Sony, 1996
with Radiohead KID A Parlophone 2000

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