Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Weston, Veryan

Weston, Veryan - piano, b. Sussex, UK, 3rd September 1950.

The first name is a village in Cornwall which has round houses in, named by his mother - Rene 'Babs' Weston who had strong feelings and links with her own family who came from this particular area of England.  Born outside Cornwall, the last in a family of one brother and two sisters, Veryan was encouraged to explore any emotional and creative potential on an old battered piano by his mother who had long given up any hope of being an artist herself (having studied Pacific Island and Flamenco dance in London in 1930s) because of her family dedication. His sister Armorel was integral in starting the Little Theatre Club in central London in sixties which helped build friendships between improvised musicians in UK. Groups like AMM, John Stevens, Evan Parker and Derek Bailey worked and developed their music there.

He moved to London in 1972 and began playing as a freelance jazz pianist until he was offered a fellowship outside London in Hertfordshire with the Digswell Arts Trust in 1975. Here he made his first released recordings with Lol Coxhill (also resident) and helped form a band called Stinky Winkles. It was also here that he collaborated with visual artists like Steve Cochrane (who has produced artwork for many recordings), and made music with Lol for a film by Derek Jarman called "Caravaggio".

Throughout the 1980s and early 90s he worked primarily with Eddie Prevost Quartet, Trevor Watts' Moire Music and duets with Lol Coxhill and Phil Minton. He toured extensively with Trevor's group learning the importance and beauty of rhythmic relationships between musicians which is also traceable later in virtually all his work as an improviser.

He met Phil Minton in one of the Moire Music projects, and they decided to develop the concept of broadening song structures within contemporary improvisation, using songs from a diversity of genres as well as co-composing originals. This led to many projects including various 'Ways' duets performed throughout Europe (with recordings) as well as larger groups in projects like "Songs from a Prison Diary" - for 25 singers, "Mouthfull of ecstasy" - with Phil, John Butcher, Roger Turner, that uses text from Joyce's Finnegans wake, and "Makhno" - for chamber choir - 1997.

Solo projects have included "Underwater Carol"(1987), "Playing Alone" (1993) and most recently "Tessellations" (2003) which is a one hour piece based on a series of improvisations devised as an exposition on relationships between closely connected pentatonic scales researched over 30 years and was also linked to a presentation given at the Joint Meeting of The International Society of the Arts, Mathematics, and Architecture and Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Sciencein Granada (Spain) - 2003.

Other vital collaborations have been: a trio consisting of John Edwards (bass) and Mark Sanders (drums/percussion) with a release of two cds - "Mercury Concert" and "Gateway to Vienna".  He has worked with bassist Luc Ex in 4Walls, and most recently Sol5. Also duet collaborations include Caroline Kraabel, Hugh Metcalfe and Jon Rose who create together in a project called "Temperament", improvisations using different acoustic keyboards and violins with "selected tunings derived from science, history and the imagination".

Most recent projects consist of two trios that include cellist Hannah Marshall and Satoko Fukuda (Violin) with a CD "Unlocked" (released 2007) and a trio with Hannah and Ingrid Laubrock (Saxophone).

Contact information:
25 Meadway,
Welwyn Garden City,
Herts AL7 4NQ
UK
00 44 (0)1707 331643

Music theory, links, full discography, images and music samples, can be found on:
www.xanga.com/Veryan_Weston

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