Mark Wastell

Photograph of Mark Wastell

Born 1968; cello.

Much of Mark Wastell's relationship with his chosen instrument is concentrated on the tactile, textural and sonic possibilities of both violoncello and bow. He is increasingly interested in working with extreme elements drawn from frequency, timbre and pitch.

His early activity was consciously and subconsciously influenced by a variety of improvising musicians including John Stevens, Barry Guy, Phil Durrant and John Russell. Subsequent exposure to contemporary composers lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of the works written for strings by Feldman, Cage, Nono, Lachenmann and Sciarrino. The use of live electronics and music concrete by Tudor, Parmegiani, Xenakis and others was another important early influence.

Wastell’s current instrumental material primarily focuses on using abstract principles of space and texture – encompassing elements of new London silence, pro-instrument minimalism, new complexity and electro-acoustics. Because of the very nature of his chosen instrument, he tends to favour ‘chamber’ style ensembles and is a member of a number of regular groups:

Mark Wastell has also performed with many other leading musicians including John Zorn, Keith Rowe, Peter Kowald, Hugh Davies, Roger Turner, Veryan Weston, Lol Coxhill, Mark Sanders, Axel Dorner, Hans Koch, Phil Minton, Max Eastley and Steve Beresford.

As a soloist he has played at the Micro-classical Festival (London 1996), LMC Festival (London 2000) and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (2000). He has travelled extensively with various groups, performing on tour and at festivals in the USA, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Greece. Other work includes the launch in 1996 of his own record label, Confront Recordings. Wastell is also joint co-ordinator of the concert venue All Angels, together with Rhodri Davies.



1995, Icarus, FMR CD15-V1298.
1995, Anagrams to avoid, SIWA #3 LP. IST.
1996, Refraction, Front 01.
1996, Scant, Front 02.
1997, Consequences (of time and place), Front 04. IST.
1997, Little movements, FMR CD Sampler 3. Veryan Weston Trio (one track on sampler CD).
1997, Navigations, Acta 12. Chris Burn's Ensemble.
1997/1998, Ghost notes, Bruce's Fingers BF 28. IST.
1997-1999, Constructions I - IV, Utterpsalm CD4. John Wall.
1998, Strings with Evan Parker, Emanem 4302.
1998, Composition No. 30: Compilation III, Bruce's Fingers BF 27.
1998, Assumed possibilities, Confront FRONT 05.
1999, Company in Marseille, Incus CD44/45. Company.
1999, Spectral soprano, Emanem 4204. One track by London Improvisers Orchestra on this Lol Coxhill CD.
2000, The sealed knot, Confront FRONT 06. Beins/Davies/Wastell.
2000, The hearing continues..., Emanem 4203. London Improvisers Orchestra.
2000, Relay eight, 2:13 Music CD011.
2000, Angel gate, Emanem 4050. Quatuor Accorde.
2000, Davies/Rombola/Davis/Wastell, Confront FRONT 10. London Preservation Series.
2000, Durrant/Davis/Wastell, Confront FRONT 09. London Preservation Series.
2000, Constructions V-VII, Utterpsalm CD5. John Wall.
2001, Freedom of the city 2001: large groups, Emanem 4206. Strings with/without Evan Parker.
2001, Freedom of the city 2001: small groups, Emanem 4205.
2001, Total Music Meeting 2001: Audiology - 11 groups live in Berlin, A/L/L002. One track by IST on this compilation CD.
2001, Still point, Rossbin RS007. Assumed possibilities.
2001, Horizontals white, Emanem 4080. Chris Burn Ensemble.
2001, Surface/plane, Meniscus MNSCS 012. The Sealed Knot.
2002, Meeting at Off Site vol. 2, Improvised Music from Japan IMJ-506. Akiyama/Nakamura/Sugimoto/Wastell on one track.
2002, Foldings, Confront 12. Akiyama/Nakamura/Sugimoto/Wastell.
2002, I've never thought you would have done it..., Rossbin Special CDR. One track on special compilation wedding album.
2002, Derby/Liverpool, Absurd CDR #21. Duo with Matt Davis.
2002, Vault, 06. Belaska.
2002, London duos and trios, Intakt CD 081. Hans Koch.
2002, Done, Quakebasket Qb 24. Broken consort.
2002, Faktura, Absurd CD #34. Duo with Graham Halliwell.
2002, Lodi, Confront Collectors Series CCS5. IST.
2003, open, Erstwhile 032. Davis/Durrant/Wastell.
2003, Small sounds in a quiet round, Hibari Music. Wastell/Unami.
2003, Freedom of the city 2003: small groups, Emanem 4212.
2003, Never give up on the margins of logic, ANTIOPIC AN006. Sakada.
2003, Caressed on the brow by unseen hands, L'Innomable.
2004, London strings, absinthRecords 004. Angharad Davies/Rhodri Davies/Phil Durrant/Mark Wastell.
2004, Unwanted object, Confront Collectors Series CCS1. The Sealed Knot.
2004, Live at AMPLIFY 2004: addition, Confront Collectors Series CCS2. The Scotch of St. James.
2004, A rainy koran verse [UK live], Trente Oiseaux TOC043. +minus.
2004, Recorded delivery, Confront Collectors Series CCS4. Graham Halliwell.
2004, Vibra #2, Longbox Recordings LBT034. Solo tam tam.
2004, Kiss of acid, Monotype Records Mono 033. Mark Wastell/Lasse Marhaug.
2005, Live in Melbourne, mikroton cd 10. Rhodri Davies/Mark Wastell.
2007, A life saved by a spider and two doves, Another timbre at07. Max Eastley/Graham Halliwell/Evan Parker/Mark Wastell.
2007, And we disappear, Another timbre at23. The Sealed Knot.
2008, For Hugh Davies, Another timbre at11. Hugh Davies + Adam Bohman/Lee Patterson/Mark Wastell.
2010, Four4, Another timbre at34. John Cage.

Acknowledgements mp3 clips Bibliography Home page
Distributors and Retail outlets Full text articles/interviews Links to related sites
Non-European improvisors Organisations Scope of this site
Upcoming concerts Video clips What's new