Martin Mayes


Photograph copyright Roberto Masotti.

Born 6 May 1952, Dumfries, UK, horn.

Born in Scotland but now resident in Turin, Martin Mayes started his career on the London experimental music scene of the seventies, where he was a founder member of the London Musicians' Collective as well as a performer with street theatre and visual arts groups. He was attracted at a very young age to the music based purely on sound rather than pitch of Stockhausen and Cage and the writings of Cage in books such as Silence exerted a strong influence on the development of his ideas in general.

He studied classical and contemporary music and it was while at university that he came into contact with the Music Improvisation Company of Derek Bailey and Evan Parker. He has played and recorded with several important European orchestras lead by Radu Malfatti, Franz Koglmann, Georg Graewe, Cecil Taylor and Hannes Zerbe. In addition to improvisation and electronic music he is interested in mediaeval and early classical music with particular emphasis on the traditional repertoire for the "natural" (valveless) version of his difficult instrument, whose history and character he has studied in some depth. All these different facets of his artistic personality are portrayed on his first solo record, Unique horn 1997. Bach, handhorn, his self-invented "dopp-le horn", echoing spaces and the use of words all create a listening experience that is incorporated live in his solo concerts.


1975, Plus equals, Emanem 4062. Spontaneous Music Orchestra.
1975, Search & reflect, Emanem 5209. Spontaneous Music Orchestra.
1975, SME+=SMO, A Records A003.
1976, Voices and instruments, Obscure/Island. Jan Steele.
1977, Beach singularity, Paradigm Disc 03. Trevor Wishart.
1977, Beach double, Blueprint BP159CD. Morgan Fisher.
1979/1981, Mama Lapato, Bead 20.
1980/1981, Community, Zyzzle 10.
1981, Tetralogy, Emanem 5202. Rutherford brass quartet on this compilation set.
1984, Hannes Zerbe-Blech Band, Amiga 8 56 043.
1986, Ich, hat ART 2039. Franz Koglemann.
1988, Portrait in six colours, Splasc(h). Roberto Ottaviano Six Mobiles.
1988, Alms/Tiergarten (Spree) FMP CD 8/9. Cecil Taylor European Orchestra.
1989, Ci ritorni in ment (per Lucio Battisti), Gala.
1990, Items from the old earth, Splasc(h) Records CD H 332-2. Roberto Ottaviano Six Mobiles.
1991, Live in Verona, ARTIS. University Jazz Project.
1991/1992, Live in Noci and Rive de Gier, Leo CD LR 182. Italian Instabile Orchestra.
1992, Ohrkiste, ITM Classics 950013. Radu Malfatti.
1993/1997, Unique horn 1997, Random Acoustics RA 021.
1994, Moskau-Petuschki, Leo Lab 034. John Wolf Brennan.
1994, Skies of Europe, ECM 1543. Italian Instabile Orchestra.
1994/1997, European concerts 94-97, NELJAZZ 0968-2. Italian Instabile Orchestra.
1995, Thomas Borgmann's Orkestra Kith 'n Kin, Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1081.
1997, Italian Instabile Festival, Leo CD LR 262/263. Italian Instabile Orchestra.
1998, Avorio, Fortuna. Silvia Pellegrini.
1999, Ronin, Splasc(h) CDH 713.2. Gaetano Liguori.
2002, The owner of the river bank, Enja ENJ-9465 2. Cecil Taylor/Italian Instabile Orchestra.
2005, London hymns, Imprint Records IM 015. Italian Instabile Orchestra.
2005, Live in Sant'Anna Arresi, Splasc(h) CDH 888.2. Phantabrass.
2007, Creative Orchestra (Bolzano) 2007, Rai Trade RTPJ0013. Anthony Braxton/Italian Instabile Orchestra.
2008, Play George and Ira Gershwin, Imprint Records iM017. Silvia Schiavoni & Phantabrass.
2010, Scenes from a trialogue, Amirani Records AMRN045. Granularities.
2014, Prossime transcendenze, Amirani Records AMRN047. Gianni Mimmo.

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