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Artist Interview: Altimeter

Artist Interview: Altimeter

Chris Sharkey and Chris Bussey, the two minds who brought you trioVD are coming to Marsden Jazz Festival on Saturday 12th October at 2pm on our New Stream Stage. From subtle ambient soundscapes to room shaking grooves, their performance promises to be one that will encourage its audience to explore the boundaries of jazz music and will be a great afternoon performance for all music lovers!

We caught up with Chris Sharkey to find out a bit more about Altimeter and what you can expect from their performance at this year’s festival…

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Altimeter is Chris Bussey and Chris Sharkey. We used to play in a band called trioVD which ceased to be in 2012. Now we do all kinds of different stuff from commercial recording projects to experimental sound art but haven’t worked together for a pretty long time.

Q: This collaboration is pretty new – can you tell us more about how it came together?

I (Sharkey) was asked to play a show at The Golden Lion in Todmorden and was given free rein. I thought hard about what would be the most fun thing to do and dropped Bussey a line to see if he’d be up for just turning up and playing along to some beats and loops that I’d make on the computer. In my head it was going to be something like the Oren Ambarchi record ‘Hubris’ but it ended up sounding more like minimal 90’s techno like Basic Channel or Pan Sonic.

Q: Give us your Altimeter elevator pitch – or tell us how you would describe Altimeter to someone who hasn’t heard of you before

It’s futuristic-sounding, polyrhythmic, improvised club music with occasional, utterly inappropriate, guitar solos

Q: Where does the name Altimeter come from? What does it mean?

We settled on it quite quickly without too much discussion. I think it represents the driving, soaring nature of the music and its relationship to machinery and technology.

Q: What can people expect from your performance at Marsden Jazz Festival?

A hypnotically rhythmic experience. We would like everyone to come right to the front and dance for the entire duration of the set. I promise that if you do this, and focus very carefully on what you are hearing, you will be transported away and return, an hour later, with fully-functioning superpowers.

Q: Have you been to Marsden Jazz Festival before either as audience members or as artists? What is unique about Marsden Jazz Festival?

I’ve played at Marsden many times and love it wholeheartedly. Jazz festivals that take over entire cities and towns are very common in Europe (Molde in Norway for example) but not so much in the UK. Marsden is one of those festivals and it makes a huge difference to the vibe. Plus, Marsden’s New Stream programme sets an example to other festivals that the world keeps turning and new music needs to be supported and championed.

Q: What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?

That’s a question for the audience to answer, not me.
I can tell you that I really enjoyed a Roller Trio set at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds in July where we improvised for 90 minutes non-stop without any discussion in front of around 200 people.
I also really enjoyed the solo set I did the day after at Leeds College of Music where three quarters of the audience left.
‘Best’ is subjective.

Q: Who is an artist that you really admire right now?

Keiji Haino, Mika Vainio, The Necks, Julia Reidy, Eliane Radigue, Kevin Drumm, David Toop, Phill Niblock, Jim O’Rourke
I really admire tenacity.

Q: What is the last song you listened to?

I just listed to Jack Wylie’s (Portico Quartet) unreleased solo album that I’m not even sure I can tell anyone about. Keep and ear out for it, it’s amazing.

Q: Is jazz dead? Discuss.

No, it just has a new Post Code.

2-3pm, Saturday 12th October
New Stream Stage at the Royal British Legion

£10 general
£5 age 17-29
£1 age 16 and under


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