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Tim Garland

Moment of Departure

Release date: 3 May, 2024
Tim Garland - Moment of Departure

Since the very dawn of the music over a century ago, there’s always been a balance in jazz between composition and improvisation. This equilibrium has been a constant source of inspiration and experiment for Tim Garland. Several of his ensembles have explored that relationship, but Moment of Departure charts the latest stage in the twenty-year journey of the group that has most consistently done so, the Lighthouse Trio. Named after the Lighthouse in Whitley Bay, near Newcastle University where Garland was a Fellow in Composition, the building’s resonant acoustic offered a soundscape ripe for exploration. Themes taken from Garland’s solo improvisations in the building were woven into his composition ‘If The Sea Replied’, (a collaboration with the Northern Sinfonia). The sixth track here, ‘Moment of Departure’, shows us the very latest stage of that process, because both on the record and in an accompanying video, the trio’s actual improvisations are woven into the fabric of the piece, played with the Britten Sinfonia.

Garland’s historical journey continued with 2013’s Songs To The North Sky, and reviewing its premiere in Gateshead, what stood out for me was “some truly tour-de-force playing by Garland himself, at times so quicksilver dazzling that it seemed well-nigh impossible to play.” He’s set himself a similar challenge here, on ‘The Impossible Self’, ably paced by Gwilym Simcock’s more than nimble piano. Over its life, the Trio has made a feature of collaboration, and its guest here on ‘Sub Vita’ is trumpeter Yazz Ahmed, who perfectly chimes with the other three players to create a moody, at times sombre, landscape. And this landscape is just one aspect of the album’s underlying motif of travel and journeys, inspired by the artwork of Turkish artist Esra Kizir Gokcen in a series of paintings called Sail To Hope, and represented visually by the cover image. It is also apparent in the rhythmic texture of ‘No Horizon’, which draws on Turkish rhythms, particularly teased out in Asaf Sirkis’s small but effective percussion kit.

The second group of tracks contains a different balance between improvisation and composition. While the first seven pieces took improvisation as starting points, each of this set explores what the Harvard Dictionary of Music describes as the “supplementation and variation of written compositions”.  Extended improvisation by soloists was part of the language of Baroque music, and there’s an explicit link here with that era in ‘Approaching Winter’, using thematic ideas from the Winter section of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. This features the strings of the Britten Sinfonia, the Lighthouse Trio and violin soloist Thomas Gould. But then the compositional practice comes full circle, with Tim’s suite ‘The Forever Seed’. He doesn’t play on this but conducts the London Session Orchestra strings (plus harp and cimbalom) for what is in effect a concerto for Thomas Gould. There are nods to Vivaldi again, but only as a “Moment of Departure”.

Moment of Departure is released on Ubuntu Music in association with ECN Music.
Tim Garland:
Ubuntu Music: &
Ubuntu Music, a division of Ubuntu Management Group, is a progressive recorded music label that is committed to bringing quality, accessible jazz and related music genres to increasingly wider audiences. Our approach includes collaborative efforts with an array of performing artists who have a passion for jazz and who possess unique and diversified talents. 
Distribution through The Orchard:

Album Launch
Thursday 30 May – King’s Place, London

Other tour dates

21/05/2024 York, NCEM
21/05/2024 York, NCEM (workshop)
24/05/2024 Manchester, Jazz Fest @stoller
30/05/2024 London, Kings Place (album launch)
18/07/2024 Edinburgh, Jazz Festival @ St Brides
20/07/2024 Hastings, Battle Festival
21/07/2024 Lincoln Jazz Festival
30/08/2024 Ambleside Jazz Festival (& Yazz Ahmed)
06/09/2024 London, World Heartbeat
26/10/2024 Cardiff, RWCMD
15/11/2024 Poole, Lighthouse Theatre
16/11/2024 Rochester Cathedral Festival (& Britten Sinfonia) 
17/11/2024 Leeds, Jazz at Howard Assembly Rooms
19/11/2024 London, EFG London Jazz Festival (& Britten Sinfonia)
20/11/2024 Cambridge Jazz Festival (& Britten Sinfonia)
23/11/2024 Nottingham, Peggy’s Skylight24/11/2024 Newcastle, The Glasshouse


Ubuntu Music
Ubuntu Music

Release date:
3 May, 2024

Catalogue number:

Digital, CD, Vinyl


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PR, Creative, Funding Support