Outward Sound Ensemble : Thunder in a clear sky 2005


Chris Meloche – electroacoustic guitar / Herb Bayley – trombone with Nick Robinson – guitar, electronics / Martin Archer – software instruments / Charlie Collins – vibraphone, metal / Mick Beck – bassoon

rehearsing with Chris Meloche 2006
rehearsing with Chris Meloche 2006

I’ve known Chris for several years, a contact made through my brother, who released Chris’ “Impossible Shapes” on his label English Electric. Whilst our backgrounds and approaches differ, we share a willingness to experiment and so when Martin Archer organised a gig for Chris in Sheffield, I was one of the collaborators. We opened the set (July 3rd 2005) at the unique “Nether Edge Social Club” as a duo, Chris then continued to play with various combinations of the musicians. The set was recorded, after which Herb, the other member of OSE, added his contributions using the trombone (not that you can identify it as such!). On the release, our piece was edited down from 28 minutes to 5 & 7 minute tracks in order to get a part from every piece on a single CD.

Chris “played” an old guitar of mine – I was slightly taken aback when he placed a large circular saw on it, but the results were fascinating. The photo left shows a brief soundcheck earlier in the evening. I knew a few of the faces in the audience, but they were all clearly ready for (indeed expecting) something unusual.

The performance itself was quite a tense affair as I locked myself into the “mantra” feel Chris was creating, and I’m not used to a) performing with the audience sat a few feet away from me and b) playing at such low volume, but I think it worked. I have more gigs lined up this year with Chris and look forward to building on what we established here. Here’s a couple of reviews of the CD, which you can buy here.


And here’s a video of a gig 10 years later in my brother’s house, with Chris and Martin Archer.