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Cut The Sky

 Beautifully expansive. ” – Corey Mwamba, BBC Radio 3

 A beautiful, interesting, great-sounding concert... If you like unusual improvised soundscapes, take the opportunity to hear Roth / Zimpel / Zemler live.  – Sobiesław Pawlikowski,

Alex Roth - electric guitar, field recordings, effects
Wacław Zimpel - clarinets, electronics
Hubert Zemler - drums

Formed as part of a British Council-supported residency its leader undertook at the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków, Cut The Sky brings together guitarist/composer Alex Roth with two of Poland's foremost experimental musicians—clarinettist Wacław Zimpel and drummer Hubert Zemler.

Formerly known simply as Roth/Zimpel/Zemler, the trio dates back to 2018, when Alex relocated from the UK to Poland, reversing a migratory path trodden by his great-great-grandfather over a century earlier. The band's performances centre around field recordings Alex made at sites where remnants of the country’s Jewish history can still be felt: neglected cemeteries, forgotten monuments, former ghetto districts reclaimed by ever-evolving cities.

Following the self-released single "RZZ1" (recorded remotely after coronavirus lockdown prevented the band entering the studio), Cut The Sky's long-awaited debut album is due for release in 2023, supported by a Creative Scholarship from the City of Kraków. As followers of the individual musicians' prior projects might expect, the record references a rich array of contemporary experimental vernacular, from mesmeric trances to ecstatic overdriven drones and incantatory melodies, all woven together through exploratory improvisation.

Wacław Zimpel
Wacław Zimpel has risen to prominence as one of Poland’s most adventurous multi-instrumentalists, composers and producers. A prolific collaborator traversing jazz, experimental electronics, minimalism and folk musics, he doesn’t so much blur boundaries as eradicate them altogether. His tireless search for new musical languages led the New York Times to call him a “musical chameleon”. A classically trained clarinettist, Zimpel made a name for himself playing with some of the foremost figures on the international free jazz scene, including Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake and Joe McPhee. His 2016 solo album Lines, hailed by The Quietus as “a spectacular statement”, incorporated analogue electronic instruments and minimalist influences. Subsequent releases on labels such as London’s state51 Conspiracy and Amsterdam’s Ongehoord Records—plus collaborations with the likes of producers James Holden, Shackleton, and Forest Swords (a BBC Radio 3 commission); Grammy Award-winning Bang On A Can star Evan Ziporyn; tabla virtuoso Trilok Gurtu; gnawa master Maâlem Mokhtar Gania—have cemented his reputation as one of the most exciting artists on the European experimental scene.

Hubert Zemler
A founding member of Warsaw collective/label Lado ABC, Hubert Zemler is a percussionist, composer and improviser. He is involved in countless projects with such diverse collaborators as Ben Frost, Piotr Kurek, Mitch & Mitch, John Tilbury, Evan Ziporyn, Gyan Riley, Resina and Raphael Rogiński. His solo performances range from snare drum improvisations to the music of composers such as Per Nørgård and Steve Reich. As a member of contemporary music groups Kwadrofinik and Hashtag Ensemble he has given many Polish premieres, including Reich’s iconic Music for 18 Musicians. He has also appeared as soloist with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Helmut Lachenmann’s percussion concerto Air and directed a performance of Terry Riley’s seminal In C for Polish Radio. His duo with Felix Kubin, CEL, combines acoustic percussion and electronics, while Opla (with Piotr Bukowski) reinvents traditional Polish folk dance rhythms for electric guitar and drums.

Photo by Ada & Sobiesław Pawlikowscy