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Sam Fendrich: The Trombonist from Shanghai



This piece was composed by Sam Fendrich specifically for Alan Tomlinson. The piece in some respects takes the form of a "conversation" between the trombone and the electronica. The exchange is not always amicable. The electronica of the "backing track" was constructed using the Logic X music program.


Alan Tomlinson is a Manchester-born musician who studied trombone at the City of Leeds College of Music. He has played with many top ensembles, both classical and jazz, including the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and the Ballet Rambert Orchestra. Since the early 1970s he has been a formidable presence on the international improv scene. He has toured Europe, North America and as far afield as Siberia playing with, amongst others, John Stevens, Steve Beresford and Tony Oxley. He has also collaborated with the visual artist Christian Marclay and the comedian Stewart Lee.


Sam Fendrich began his involvement in music at the age of sixteen, playing double-bass in contemporary jazz settings. He soon started to compose and he was forming his own groups up until the mid 1970s. The last of these – his piano-less quintet Broken Biscuits – was disbanded in 1976, when he decided to take a sabbatical from music to pursue his interest in the philosophy and foundations of mathematics. After gaining his PhD from the LSE in 1987, he returned to music as a composer. His work has been described as "eclectic, maximalist and occasionally apocalyptic". He says that he abjures such categories.

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