Once upon a time … there was a lighthouse
On England’s north east coast, just before the Scottish border, on an island near Whitley Bay, stands a gleaming white lighthouse - St. Mary’s Lighthouse - which ascends into the sky. The five hundred metres between the tiny island and the coast can only be crossed at low tide. When Tim Garland took on a job as composer-in-residence at nearby Newcastle university he decided to buy a house - near the lighthouse. “You enter this space and the first thing you notice is the special acoustics. It's totally hollow inside. When the tide is in, the lighthouse stands in water and is cut off from the land and then all you can hear and see is the sea.” For the CD “If The Sea Replied” Garland recorded several bass clarinet solos in the lighthouse which he later orchestrated. During his work he had the idea of presenting the project live and for this he needed fellow musicians - and the Lighthouse Trio was born.
Garland taught Gwilym Simcock at London’s Royal Academy of Music. To talk of the pianist as a kindred spirit would be typical British understatement. The Welsh pianist whose awardwinning solo album “Good Days at Schloss Elmau” finally gave him star status forms, together with Garland, one of the most productive partnerships around. Alongside Lighthouse, they also work in Malcolm Creese's 'Acoustic Triangle' - a drum-less trio which regards resonance as the fourth band member and prefers giving concerts in churches and cathedrals.
The Israeli conjurer of sound - drummer and percussionist in one - Asaf Sirkis quickly became one of the most interesting trendsetters of the jazz and world music scene after his move to London, including work as hand drummer in Gilad Atzmon's Orient House Ensemble. But it was for the Lighthouse Trio that he developed an especially composed drum set which is tailored for music full of rhythmic surprises, and perfect to showcase his ability to create unusual sounds. Garland, Simcock and Sirkis sound out all imaginable possibilities of this unusual instrumentation. A miniature orchestra that unites skillfully interweaving melodies, complexity and groove, and yet, in doing so, works astonishingly effortlessly. There is both the air of a sonorous countryside idyll, a reflective sea mood, but also an urban, pulsating energy which ignites one flare after the next.