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Press & Reviews

News, reviews, music and more about Theo Travis.

New Album ‘Open Air’ : 19 May 2017

If you enjoyed any of the 'Travis & Fripp' albums, 'Slow Life' or the Cipher albums, I hope you will be interested in the brand new solo flute studio album recorded in London in 2016 and coming out in May 2017 on Tonefloat Records. Called 'Open Air' it is being released on heavyweight black vinyl. It features mainly atmospheric ambient flutes – alto flutes, bass flute, concert flute and a very cool Native American wood flute.Plus there are some surprises on there too.

I have just 25 copies of the Special Edition which has completely different artwork and a cool burgundy cover. I am personally signing these ones and with these copies as an extra come two exclusive high resolution bonus tracks. For those of you that go for this option, you will also know that these copies are a vital part of making this album project actually possible. Like a sort of Kickstarter/crowdfunding element that enables it to happen at all. So you have my personal thanks and appreciation for your contribution! See ordering page here for ordering info.

The remaining copies of this Special edition are available direct from Tonefloat records at www.tonefloat.com

I also have a limited number of the Standard edition of the vinyl with completely different cover photos and a green cover available on this site, on our shop. I am happy to sign these on request. The album will also be available as a Digital Download. The album features stunning photography by Brighton, UK based photographer Mark Nelson and design by Carl Glover.

Check out the video for a taster.

Thank you! T x



Press Quotes for 'Slow Life'

Despite the complexity of the arrangements, the pieces, each recorded live in the studio, are characterised by a sense of space, freedom and clarity. The overlaid flute loops resist entanglement and the listening experience is almost entirely restful.

The Wire

There are no FX that morph or distort the natural sound of the instrument, but the resulting layered loops do produce an ethereal atmosphere within which the flute can explore, and makes for a surprisingly full sound given the solo nature of the album. The music is generally slow paced, with deep consideration given to each note and phrase.

Aural Innovations (USA)

Sinuous alto flute strands are stratified across contemplative soundspaces by Theo Travis. With dreamlike slowness, layers of flutatious curlicues unfold ... These solo flute compositions are beautiful and thoughtful.

Ambientrance (USA)

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A belated Happy New Year

John Etheridge and Theo front and centre

Welcome to my new website and a belated Happy New Year to you all! The revamped website has been a while coming and I am pleased to launch it so early in 2017. 

I have just returned from a great flying visit to Aberdeen in Scotland with my friend and colleague guitarist extraordinaire John Etheridge. We had a great trip with a gig at the Blue Lamp Jazz Club with drummer Alyn Cosker and double bass player Euan Barton and had a fabulous night. The following morning we took a jazz and improvisation workshop at Aberdeen University and we were impressed with the students who were of a high standard and really engaged with what we had to offer.

My main recent activity has been the preparation for the release of my new solo album 'Open Air' which is being released in a beautiful vinyl package on Tonefloat Records. The album is broadly a follow up to my 2003 album 'Slow Life'. It comprises 10 flute tracks – bass flute, alto flute, concert flute and various wood flutes, often layered in hypnotic loops and largely ambient and atmospheric in nature. 

The mixing and mastering has recently been completed and the artwork now signed off. There will be a special limited edition of only 75 copies for collectors, with completely different artwork and a burgundy cover, as well as the regular edition with a green cover. Both editions feature specially commissioned atmospheric photos by Brighton photographer Mark Nelson. 

The special edition will also feature a link to two additional exclusive high resolution bonus tracks recorded from the same studio recording sessions. 

There will be copies of both the special edition and regular edition available from my website shop (and also www.tonefloat.com) which can be signed on request. In addition to the download code, copies from my site will include an exclusive signed photo. Pre-ordering will open shortly.

I have also been involved in some great but low key gigs on the London jazz scene and planning some more Soft Machine concerts for later in the year. 

Also there has been some really cool activity in my home recording studio working on some new production music - for a company that provides music for film and TV. It has enabled me to work on some really cool sounds and collaborate with some very talented people. I am working on some tracks with Fender Rhodes electric piano, acoustic piano and electronica in a musical soundworld combining Cipher music, the strangeness of Twin Peaks soundtracks and ambient electronica. 

There have also been some discussions and mixes being sent for approval of recordings of concerts from the Travis & Fripp tours of 2009 and 2010. It is a thrill for me to have toured and recorded with Robert Fripp so much and I hope some of these recordings will see the light of day at some time in the future. There is some very cool music there.

But more of that later. So do take a look around the new site, hang around for a bit and feel free to leave any comments you wish to. 

Cheers, 

Theo

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Happy New Year. Hello 2016!

​First of all, apologies for the lack of updates on this site. Very sadly, my friend Phil Smith who built and looked after my website since the beginning suddenly became very ill, and sadly passed away early last year. The website has been rather in limbo ever since, but it is hopefully being sorted soon. My deepest condolences go to his wife and family.

2015 was a good year for me and pretty productive musically. I guested on seven albums – all of which were very well received and a few – like Steven Wilson's 'Hand. Cannot. Erase', and others by the Tangent and Anekdoten appearing in many Best of 2015 lists. It was very exciting and rewarding for me to get back in the recording studio with one of my own bands and record a new album of my own material. 

The Double Talk Band with Mike, Pete and Nic worked really hard on the new material and have been absolutely amazing. I love what they all did in the studio and the new album 'Transgression' is for me a career highlight. It was great of Steven Wilson to fit in the time to mix and master the album and he was absolutely stunning in doing so. I was delighted that Vicky Powell of Esoteric Records came forward and invited me to release the album on that label and I have been pleased how that has all worked out. Great of Tonefloat to release the beautiful vinyl edition too – my first jazz album on vinyl. The album has been very well received (getting in a few Best of 2015 lists too) and it has been great taking the band out on the road – touring the British Jazz Clubs again. We have more gigs coming up this year and I am looking forward to them. I hope you can make it to one.

New Double Talk albumSoft Machine Legacy has continued to tour, though with John Marshall not being well, we have had to use dep's for some of the gigs. Thank you to Gary Husband who stepped in for the Japan gigs (also with Keith Tippett) in March 2015 and to Nic France for the Euro gigs in December 2015. A great job done by both and a pleasure to play with. It looks like we are dropping the 'Legacy' tag in 2016 and we are going to be Soft Machine from now on. I understand we could have all along, but for various reasons it was decided to call the band Soft Machine Legacy.

The surprise of the year was the e mail completely out of the blue I received in August while grabbing a coffee at a motorway services on the way home from a few days away…

"Hi Theo, David Gilmour here. Would you give me a call when you have a moment please?
Best wishes,

David

I was asked at short notice to join David's 'Rattle That Lock' tour for the European dates in September 2015 with some rehearsals in Brighton first. As a fan of his music and playing, and a Pink Floyd fan since being a teenager this was hugely exciting and a real privilege for me. I was to absolutely love the whole experience. The venues were mainly large open air Roman amphitheatres – like in Verona and Florence in Italy, Orange in France and Pula, Croatia. 

They were all stunning, the band fantastic and David Gilmour was amazing. Such a great musician and iconic talent. A gentleman too.

It was great to play again at the Royal Albert Hall in London in September when I guested with Steven Wilson and his amazing band. I also recorded a couple of tracks for his new mini – album '4 ½' .

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Trailer for new album


Recently Theo co-hosted a radio show on Progzilla radio on which he played 4 tracks from Transgression as a special preview and also played tracks from his career on which he features as soloist. These include-

  • JBK – Saday Maday
  • Porcupine Tree – Don't Hate Me
  • Gong – Wise Man In Your Heart
  • Gong – Bodilingus
  • Theo Travis Double Talk – Everything I Feared/li>
  • Nine Horses – A History of Holes
  • Travis & Fripp – So There
  • Theo Travis – The Munich Train
  • The Tangent – DIY Surgery
  • The Tangent – Aftereugene
  • Theo Travis Double Talk – A Place In The Queue
  • Steven Wilson – Remainder The Black Dog
  • Francis Dunnery – Still Life In Mobile Homes
  • Bill Nelson And The Gentlemen Rocketeers – Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape
  • Soft Machine Legacy – Kings And Queens
  • Anekdoten – If It All Comes Down To You
  • Theo Travis Double Talk – The Call

You can download the podcast here-


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New Album – Pre-orders (now closed!)

On 6 July 2015, Theo releases his ninth solo album and his first solo album in eight years, with his band 'Double Talk'.
Transgression was recorded in January 2015 at Koolworld Studio in Luton and Steven Wilson applied his studio skills to the album as he mixed and mastered it in his own No Man's Land studio, just before launching his own 'Hand Cannot Erase' world tour.
Theo says "It is an instrumental, bluesy, progressive jazz album. It reflects many of my influences and inspirations and I think it is both personal and of broad appeal – at least if you are into melody and powerful bluesy electric jazz with a strong 1970s influence. After a recent gig by the band, a member of the audience said to me 'This was the first time I've ever heard you play in your own band. Having heard you live before with Gong, Soft Machine, The Tangent, Steven Wilson, I knew it was going to be excellent – and it was' which was a very pleasing response to the music.
The line-up includes Nic France on drums, Mike Outram on guitar and Pete Whittaker on Hammond organ. "It is very much a live band and the album was recorded in the studio but all playing together live and watching each other intently. I think that immediacy and excitement comes across. I've written most of the music and much of it reflects my love of music from the late 1960s and early 1970s when the boundaries between Jazz, Rock and Experimental music were more fluid, though I think the music we have recorded still sounds contemporary. You might be able to hear the influences of King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra as well as late Talk Talk, and ECM artists such as Terje Rypdal and my friend Palle Mikkelborg."
The album also includes an instrumental version of a track co-written with keyboard player and composer Andy Tillison – the title track from the Tangent's third album A Place In The Queue. There's also a cover of Robert Wyatt's tune Maryan and a track written with Dave Sturt of Cipher and the recent Gong line-up called Everything I Feared. The track Smokin'at Klooks is a tribute to Klooks Kleek the North London Jazz and Blues club open in the late 1960s, which was in a pub near where Theo used to live. A small club – it used to host such names as Keith Richards, Peter Green, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix! A real melting pot and springboard for so many great musicians and so much great music.
Nic France played on Steven Wilson's Grace For Drowning album and also on David Gilmour's Live At The Royal Festival Hall DVD. He also was the original drummer with Loose Tubes and has played with Kate Bush, Robert Wyatt, Alan Holdsworth, and Working Week.
Mike Outram played on two of Steven Wilson's albums as well as with Herbie Mann, Carleen Anderson, Jacqui Dankworth and with poet Michael Rosen.
Pete Whittaker plays regularly with guitarists John Etheridge and Nigel Price and was a touring member of The Wonder Stuff and Catherine Wheel.
The album is released on CD on July 6 on Esoteric Recordings and there will be a vinyl edition on Tonefloat records – a 12 inch album, plus for the first pressing a bonus 7 inch of the remaining tracks.
The release will be followed by a UK tour in the Autumn of 2015. An early London preview gig has already been announced to coincide with the release – July 2 at the Vortex 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ (020 7254 4097) http://www.vortexjazz.co.uk/events/2015-07-02/
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THESE PACKAGES WILL BE ON OFFER FROM THIS SITE FROM MAY 20

'Transgression' Special Package Pre-orders

Exclusive to pre-orders from this website are a very limited number of special packages – 100 CD packages and 100 vinyl packages. See below for details.

CD Special Package
1. CD – signed by all 4 members of the band
2. Exclusive Photo print of the band signed by all 4 members of the band
3 Exclusive Photo print of TT – signed by Theo.
4. Two exclusive Double Talk tracks. High resolution downloads (24 bit /48k) personally e mailed to you
a) Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – recorded live in concert at Teignmouth Jazz Festival Nov 2014
b) Fire Mountain – alternate and longer studio take of storming first track on album composed by Theo. Mixed and mastered by Steven Wilson.

Cost- UK £21 + £2p+p (£23.00)
Rest of world – £21 + £5.50 p+p (£26.50)

Vinyl Special Package
1. Vinyl edition of album – including 12 inch LP plus 7 inch single – signed by all 4 members of the band
2. Exclusive Photo print of the band signed by all 4 members of the band
3 Exclusive Photo print of TT – signed by Theo
4. Two exclusive tracks. High resolution downloads (24 bit /48k) personally e mailed to you
a) Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – recorded live in concert at Teignmouth Jazz Festival Nov 2014
b) Fire Mountain – alternate and longer studio take of storming first track on album. Mixed and mastered by Steven Wilson.

Cost for vinyl package (incl 12 inch plus 7 inch)
UK – - £26 + £4 p+ p (£30)
Rest of world – £26 + £8.00 (£33.00)

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