Steve Lewis creates songs by taking fragments from leftfield pop, African, folk and jazz, channelled through a sextet of instruments rarely heard in jazz (hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, overtone vocals) and setting found texts from across science, literature and history: riffs and drones, curious and stirring.
“Deep Cabaret began in 2005 with an mjf commission: Top Ten Sex Tips. The project has kept developing and morphing ever since. The latest version curates the musics that fascinate me most: jazz, improv, African, folk and leftfield pop, and uses that music to set mash-ups of text from novels, journalism, scientific and spiritual and other texts that have things to say about being human.
The flat empty distances of Morecambe Bay have been a recent inspiration too. Internalising all that space, I can feel myself expand. Breathing becomes deeper, more relaxed. If each of those breaths becomes a held note, a drone emerges. Time seems held, then expands. As the drones layer, they make a Rothko-like aural shimmer. Similarly, a groove can captivate both emotional and physical experience to elasticate time. And this sense of a dissonant sea-desert has resonated with my love for desert blues and sub-Saharan music, and led to music improvised around African grooves and folk sounds, glistening riffs and muddy drones.”
Steve Lewis - voice, guitar
Jayson Stilwell - overtone vocals
Matt Robinson - clarinets
Maja Bugge - Cello
Paul Sherwood - Hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes
Ben McCabe - drums, vocals