No Stars, no Solos – just Sound, Motion, and Energy: an Interview with John Gruntfest


Given the ephemeral nature of improvised music, it is easily forgotten after the performance. Despite that, the work of saxophonist, poet, and musical event organiser, John Gruntfest, is almost criminally overlooked. Stretching over four decades, Gruntfest has played saxophone in a huge number of ensembles, as well as collaborating with political art and theatre groups such as the Pageant Players, the Motherfuckers, Bread and Puppet Theatre and the Living Theatre.


Two consecutive days, hearing two choirs from opposite ends of the spectrum of culture. On Sunday Jane Alden's Vocal Constructivists performed four visual scores at V22 in Bermondsey. On Monday I attended John Fisher's 'We Sing U Sing' young people's Gospel choir soloist rehearsal, with my seven year old daughter. They were preparing for their big performance with the full, nearly 600 strong, choir at Fairfield Hall later in the week.

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