The Wire

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Listen: Ken Hyder music

January 2014

Listen to two tracks featuring percussionist and drummer Ken Hyder. Hyder wrote the Epiphanies article in The Wire 360.

In his article, Hyder recalls: "It was the early 1970s. Charles Mingus mentioned in an interview that he thought of jazz as an urban American folk music. Why, he asked, didn’t European musicians use their own roots to produce their own jazz, instead of modelling themselves on American jazz players?

At the time I was fairly new to London – I had grown up in Dundee and gone on to play post-bop jazz in Edinburgh. I was being taught by the pioneering drummer John Stevens, and he was opening me up to all sorts of things from Marvin Gaye to Pygmy chants. On one occasion he blind-dated me with a track which I thought was North African women singing. It turned out to be a Hebridean waulking song that women would sing as they worked the tweed. I thought I knew the music of my own people, but my knowledge was clearly incomplete. So Mingus’s suggestion came at the right time."

The first track is from the K-Space album Black Sky, recorded live in Sicily, and out on Setola Di Maiale Records – with Hyder on kit, and Tim Hodgkinson and Gendos Chamzyryn on dungur shaman drums.

The second is a new version of Hyder's Talisker ensemble, with Hyder, Maggie Nicols (voice and piano), and Raymond MacDonald on alto sax, performing two Robert Burns songs: "Ae Fond Kiss" and "Ye Banks And Braes O' Bonnie Doon" (as yet unreleased).

Hyder's new ebook, How To Know: Spirit Music – Crazy Wisdom, Shamanism And Trips To The Black Sky, is available here.


Beautiful music, my friend raven!!! Corvo Lello

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