” I have listened to Radiohead and Thom Yorke’s voice since I was very young so recording this was a brilliant experience. This song was written as part of the soundtrack for the horror film ‘Suspiria’ – it is dripping with melancholy yet it has such a strangely hypnotic and beautiful quality.
In this arrangement by Benjamin Rimmer, the song almost feels like folk music and I absolutely loved trying to replicate the tragic romance of Thom Yorke’s voice. There is a line in the lyrics, ‘all is well, as long as we keep spinning’, that really resonated with me and seems even more relevant in these strange times. I recorded it at RAK Studios with my brand new ensemble! Thank you to Robert, Laurie, Leif and Gabi for playing it so expressively.”
Following her debut album RISE, which reached No.1 in the UK Classical chart, Classic BRIT Award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam releases TIME on Friday 25 September on Decca Classics.
Physical pre-order is available from today and the first single, Luke Howard’s Dappled Light – written especially for Gillam – is available for streaming and download from today. Pre-order and single downloads are available from this link.
Jess Gillam says:
“I am so excited to announce I have a new album, TIME, which is going to be released on 25th September and the first single is out now! I have been bursting with excitement about this project and I am so happy I can finally share the news with you – it has been such a special album and I have recorded my all time favourite concerto Where the Bee Dances by Michael Nyman. This first single is a new commission by the brilliant Luke Howard called ‘Dappled Light’. It’s a stunning musical reflection on early dawn, I felt as though I was echoing birdsong when I recorded the saxophone line! A huge thanks to Luke Howard for writing this piece. I’ve recorded it with a brand new ensemble – the ‘Jess Gillam Ensemble’, made up of some close friends and just all round lovely people and recording with them was one of the best experiences of my life. The whole album is called ’TIME’ and it mirrors the arc of energy in a passing day and the constant orbit of our existence. I don’t think I could be more excited to share it with you so I really hope you enjoy the first single! Thanks to Leif, Elsa, Laurie, Sam and Gabi for playing so beautifully.
Last year I moved to London and quickly became acutely aware of the speed and intensity of life. Everything is in constant orbit: I am orbiting around the world as a musician, there’s the orbit of a day, of thoughts around the mind and I noticed how many people are looking for a place to stop and reflect.
I began thinking about this and wanted to create an album which gives the listener space in which to immerse themselves and perhaps give them a moment away from the world as it is right now. I listen to and love such a huge array of music so the album’s influences range from classical to techno and minimalism to alternative pop!
To me, music can be completely transformative and the experience of watching a live performance or sitting down to listen to an album is one of the only places in modern life where we can completely focus on what is happening before us with no distractions. There are no screens, no instant messaging, just a sense of direct communication. It’s something that requires patience but can be utterly life-affirming.”
Following the uplifting debut of the Jess Gillam Virtual Scratch Orchestra, Classic BRIT award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam invites singers and instrumentalists of any standard once again to come together and play music virtually with her. The second track will be Let it Be by The Beatles: the deadline for video submissions is Wednesday 27 May at 5pm BST and the video will be premiered on Saturday 6 June at 5pm BST. All audios will be used in the final video.
The Orchestra first performed David Bowie’s Where Are We Now? and it was made up of 934 musicians playing a variety of different instruments, from 26 countries with an age range of 6 to 81. You can watch it here.
Jess Gillam says: “I am very excited to launch the second project for the Virtual Scratch Orchestra! I’d like to say a huge thank you once again to all of those who participated in the Where are We Now project, I was extremely moved to see so many entries and I was overwhelmed by the performances and messages of unity.
Our second track will be Let it Be by the Beatles – a song universally known and loved. To me, the message the song holds is very pertinent for the time we find ourselves in; it’s one of togetherness, positivity and love. Paul McCartney had a dream that his mother (Mary), who had sadly passed away, came to him to reassure him that everything was going to be ok and to ‘let it be’. His mum had been a nurse, so I hope that this project can express a deep gratitude to the NHS and all of those working tirelessly to keep us safe.
The Virtual Scratch Orchestra is open to anybody of any ability, any instrument. We have parts specifically designed for beginners and also parts for singers. I really hope you may be able to join us!”
For full instructions and to download parts and click tracks, please visit the ‘Let it Be’ page.
A copy of the latest press release can be downloaded HERE.
Today Classic BRIT award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam launches the Jess Gillam Virtual Scratch Orchestra. She is inviting musicians of any standard to come together and play music virtually with her, giving the first performance online on Friday 17 April.
Jess Gillam said: ‘For me, music is all about people! People uniting, people sharing and people listening. At a very difficult time, when it is not currently possible to be physically together to share and make music, hopefully this is a way in which we can create something together from afar. ‘Where Are We Now?’ is one of my favourite songs by David Bowie. It’s hauntingly beautiful and seems very appropriate as we all reflect on the world and what is happening around us. This is the first song he released after a long period of silence in 2013.’
Find out more here – http://www.jessgillamsax.co.uk/virtual-scratch-orchestra/
“Super exciting news! Recently I met the truly inspirational bassist Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie’s bass player from 1995-2016) for a BBC Radio 4 programme called Only Artists. It is broadcasted Monday 9 March and is available to listen again here.”
“Gail is an incredible musician who has worked with artists such as Suzanne Vega, Bowie, Tears for Fears and is currently touring with Lenny Kravitz. It was amazing to meet Gail, she is such a humble person with an insanely powerful musical voice.”
JESS GILLAM WINS ‘BEST SPECIALIST MUSIC PROGRAMME’ AT THE ARIAS (AUDIO & RADIO INDUSTRY AWARDS) FOR BBC Radio 3 ‘THIS CLASSICAL LIFE’
Thursday 5 March 2020, London – Jess Gillam, chart-topping saxophonist and now award-winning broadcaster, accepted her gold award for ‘Best Specialist Music Programme’ for her weekly radio series on BBC Radio 3, ‘This Classical Life’ at the 2020 ARIAs last night.
Fighting off stiff competition from Gilles Peterson’s Radio 6 Music show and Absolute Radio Stories, Jess joined fellow radio presenters Greg James (Radio 1 Breakfast Show), Emma Barnett (BBC Radio 5 Live) and Mistajam (BBC Radio 1Xtra) as GOLD winners across 23 categories.
Accepting her award from broadcaster Zoe Ball onstage at the London Palladium, Jess spoke confidently and with her characteristic enthusiasm for classical music: “For me, music is about reaching as many people as I can… I’m very passionate about encouraging the next generation, making sure we can keep on sharing this hope and joy that [music] creates. These are the things that bring us hope, and we need them more than ever.”
Speaking after her win, Jess said she was “very surprised and absolutely delighted” to have won for ‘This Classical Life’, thanking her listeners, guests and the production team at BBC Radio 3 for their guidance and hard work.In reviewing the show, The Guardian noted that ‘there are many, more established presenters who lack Gillam’s warmth and impressive ability.’
Decca Classics’ star saxophonist Jess Gillam has released a 3-track EP exclusively on Apple Music. Jess, BBC Radio 3’s youngest ever series presenter, is the first female classical artist to release a Christmas EP exclusively for Apple.
Recorded at London’s Tileyard Studio space, the EP features three classic festive tracks: two new arrangements of evergreen favourites ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘Silent Night’, and a stunning soprano saxophone solo of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, each perfectly showcasing Jess’s “extraordinary, subtle control of tone and phrasing” (Times) and “faultless technique” (Daily Mail).
‘Jess Gillam At Christmas’ will be exclusive to Apple Music subscribers for two months from 15th November. You can find more information here.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Martin/Blane, arr. Elspeth MacKay)
Alto Saxophone – Jess Gillam
Viola – Oscar Holch
Cello – Matthew Sharp
Double Bass – Sam Becker
Piano – Ming Liu
Silent Night (Gruber arr. Benjamin Rimmer/Alex Maydew)
Soprano Saxophone – Jess Gillam
Piano – Ming Liu
Auld Lang Syne ( arr. Peter Riley)
Soprano Saxophone – Jess Gillam
On Thursday 28 November at The HopBarn, Jess Gillam will perform a special concert to raise money for Awards for Young Musicians (AYM). This special event has been offered due to Jess Gillam’s continued support and patronage to Awards for Young Musicians (AYM). Through their means-tested programmes AYM support more than 400 talented young musicians from low income families per year, with funding and other help.
“AYM’s practical support and their belief in me throughout my teenage years was invaluable. Music has the power to transform lives and AYM recognise that.”
For this concert, Jess will be accompanied by pianist James Baillieu, who himself is a celebrated musician and has received numerous awards for his song-writing, whilst performing across the UK, Europe and the US. All proceeds from this concert will go to AYM. www.a-y-m.org.uk
More information is available on the ‘Concerts‘ page.