An early highlight of Hull's 2017 tenure as City of Culture, will be a mind-expanding three-day event under the banner of Mind on the Run: The Basil Kirchin Story, which takes place from 17 to 19 February at Hull City Hall. This genre-splicing weekend spans jazz, improv, electronica, classical and art-rock to celebrate and reflect the diversity of work of experimental post-war drummer/composer Basil Kirchin.
Born in Blackpool, Lancashire, in 1927, Kirchin's early life included stints with his father's jazz orchestra but he soon moved into more experimental music-making when the rise of skiffle and rock 'n' roll ended the big-band era. Recognised by Brian Eno as a pioneer of ambient music thanks to his 1960s "soundtracks for unmade films", and his library music with the likes of Jimmy Page and Mick Ronson, the Mind on the Run concerts explore legacy in suitably diverse ways. Key concerts include the opening night's Sun Ra-meets-Stereolab inspired Sean O'Hagan & Friends, and a late night screening of cult British horror film The Abominable Dr Phibes with a live soundtrack played by organist/pianist Alexander Hawkins.
This is followed on 18 February by a night of electronica-meets-improv with a double bill Journey to the Unknown: Hidden Orchestra plus Spring Heel Jack with Evan Parker, the latter a former Kirchin collaborator. While Sunday 19 February features Specials/Spatial AKA founder Jerry Dammers performing a special afternoon library music DJ set, followed by Goldfrapp's Will Gregory with the BBC Concert Orchestra performing specially commissioned works by the likes of Jim O'Rourke and St Etienne's Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, with an opening set from acclaimed pianist Matthew Bourne.
All events take place at Hull City Hall, with daytime talks held in the venue's Mortimer Suite and Victoria Bar.
– Mike Flynn
For full details visit www.hull2017.co.uk/mindontherun