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Colour Beginnings

Artist: Tim Whitehead

Date of Release: 24/09/2010

Catalogue no: 1871

Label: Homemade Records HMR 052

Price: £12

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

night into dawn

1.59

2

 

daybreak

1.42

3

 

venice sunrise

4.23

4

 

sun rising over wet sands

1.51

5

 

dunstanburgh castle

1.42

6

 

landscape from the lausanne sketch book

5.19

7

 

tower on a hill from a river

6.41

8

 

cilgerran castle

3.15

9

 

tower on a hill at sunrise

4.42

10

 

skies sketch book page 3

9.26

11

 

thanet skies

2.21

12

 

dancing in the sky

6.00

13

 

to be understood

4.20

14

 

to be understood

1.20

15

 

to be understood

1.01

16

 

the sun is god?

0.29

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Liam Noble

Colour Beginnings is music composed by Tim Whitehead from transcribed improvisations which were originally recorded in front of, and inspired by JMW Turner's watercolour Sketches, while he was artist in residence at Tate Britain in 2009.

 

Reviews

 

01/01/2011 Barry Witherden/BBC Music Magazine 5 stars *****(recording)4 stars****(performance)

In 2009 Tim Whitehead was the first musician to be artist in residence at Tate Britain.Since 2006 he had been considering a project inspired by a collection of JMW Turner's watercolour sketches known as Colour Beginnings.The roots of the music on this CD were improvisations he recorded in front of the sketches,before transcribing them and making compositions , which earned him a 2010 British Composer Awards nomination.The concept was to respond to colour tonality with sound tonality , and these luminous sketches were an ideal start.translating one art form to another is a dubious business, but if any visual medium lends itself to being evoked by contemporary jazz it's Turner's instinctive seeming sketches.Whitehead and his quartet of long term associates encompass the impressionist, expressionist and abstract with panache , but there are also fine lyrical, linear pieces as well as stirring, conventional post bop.

 

12/12/2010 Clive Davis/ The Times 3 stars ***

Programmatic music always has its pitfalls.When Stan Tracey brought his Genesis Suite to The Proms last year for instance, any biblical allusions were hard to discern amid the typically Monkish turns of phrase.
The Saxophonist Tim Whitehead- the first musician in residence at Tate Britain- ventures into equally treacherous terrain in this sequence of improvisations inspired by his passion for the work of the painter JMW Turner.At their best, though, the glancing horn phrases, cushioned by a rhythm section led by pianist Liam Noble, do mirror the impressionistic strokes in the watercolours and sketches reproduced in the sleeve booklet.

 

03/12/2010 John Fordham, The Guardian 4 stars ****

You don't need to know that UK saxophonist Tim Whitehead has been a fan of Turner's paintings since he found himself crying in front of one many years back. Nor that injury in 2006 gave him the time to ponder a musical tribute to the painter. Nor even that this project made him the first musician to be an artist in residence at Tate Britain. No, Whitehead's music always stands on its own feet. His bands are consistently fine examples of attractively song-rooted composing and cutting-edge postbop improv, and his collaborations with Liam Noble inspire some of the gifted pianist's most memorable recorded playing. But the triggers here are transcribed from Whitehead's original solo improvisations recorded while viewing Turner's work – particularly the painter's fastest and most intuitive sketches and watercolours. Some of the music unfolds in twisting, long-lined themes, some in softly exhaled solo-sax reveries; there are skittish dancing melodies and speculative group conversations that suggest Wayne Shorter's musings. Noble often echoes Whitehead or plays in unison – and, like all the performers, he plays as deeply inside these pieces as if he were as personally involved as their originator.

 

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