The magic of the guitar captured by Stuart McCallum

Published: Friday 17th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Hull Jazz Festival has commissioned two pieces to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Alternative-jazz artist and University of Hull student Stuart McCallum and Hull-based Revenu will take to the stage to perform the new sounds this evening in the Hull Truck Theatre Studio.

Revenu has created ‘Where to Build in Stone’, a short film, made by Joseph Bird accompanied by a live soundtrack. It narrates a journey across Hull, highlighting some of the unnoticed acts of normality that happen every day in the city.

Meanwhile, Manchester-based McCallum has produced a piece focussing on his love for the guitar. We spoke to the musician, lecturer, composer and Ph.D. student to find out more about his exciting work for the festival.

“The thing I love most about the guitar is its versatility. You can expand the range of sounds with the use of an effects pedal,” Stuart explains. “This is reflected in the piece that I have created for Hull Jazz Festival, as I have combined traditional elements of the instrument with electronic sounds.”

The track fits in well with Stuart’s back catalogue of music, which frequently blurs the lines between genres to create a distinctive melody.

“I am currently studying for a Ph.D. in Composition for Ambisonics at the University of Hull. The piece is highly relevant to this research into developing new techniques in 3D surround sound that open up a world of sonic possibilities,” he adds.

Stuart has been playing the guitar since his teenage years and rose to prominence writing and playing with the Cinematic Orchestra. Since then, the talented artist has released an impressive eleven solo albums and created seven commissions, including ‘Guitar in the 21st Century’ for Hull Jazz Festival.

“I’ve had quite a varied career that has allowed me to collaborate with a number of electronic artists, such as Jordan Rakei, James Zoo, Richard Spaven and Bjork percussionist Manu Delago. I’ve also performed with Jose James, John Surman and Kenny Wheeler,” Stuart tells us. “On top of this, I’ve recorded with several American jazz artists, such as Ari Hoenig, Ira Coleman and Dan Weisz.”

Hull Jazz Festival takes place at venues across the city until Saturday 18 November, bringing the best of local and international jazz to Hull’s doorstep.

“People should come down if they love hearing new music for the first time. Jazz is admittedly a bit of a hard sell – it’s instrumental and experimental. But if people want a taste of something different, then be sure to pop down. It is set to be a wonderful evening of music.”

You can catch Stuart McCallum and Revenu this evening. Tickets are £12, whilst students and those under 26 can get in for £6. More information can be found on the Hull Truck Theatre website.

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Published: Friday 17th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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