Born: June 29, 1946 Primary Instrument: Drums
KEN HYDER, drums, percussion, voice, has been playing and composing music for over 40 years. In that time he’s produced over a couple of dozen albums of original material.
He began playing jazz in his native Scotland before moving south to London where he studied under John Stevens himself a renowned workshop leader and innovator. Hyder formed Talisker and went on to make six albums with this pioneering and proto-type Celtic jazz group.
In the 1970s he began moving away from jazz and into collaborations with musicians from different musical backgrounds including Irish, South African and South American players.
Later, he became interested in exploring spiritual aspects of music with spiritual practitioners like Tibetan and Japanese Buddhist monks, and Siberian shamans.
He has conducted improvisation workshops, and also workshops dealing with improvisation and folk musics, and with spirit in music.
In London he has worked at the Royal Academy of Music, Community Music and Music Works.
Elsewhere he has run several workshops in Russian conservatoires (Moscow, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Kyzyl); France, Italy, Germany, Holland and Finland.
“He has provided a blueprint for the increasing number of European musicians who have been incorporating elements of folk music into their jazz.”
The Guinness Who’s Who of Jazz
“Ken Hyder's drumming always appears connected to the world beyond narrow musical concerns. It comes with a context, picking up on place, the past, people met and local practices.
“At the same time he favours strong, well-defined musical statements, entirely free from ornamental excess and fuss.”
Julian Cowley, The Wire
Doug Schulkind, WFMU
In a recent interview, Hyder remarked that shamanistic drumming has nothing to do with timekeeping; it is a means of accessing spiritual energy. Beyond all expectations, this recording actually touches that energy source - it is charged with visceral yet transcendent vibrations. Simply awesome.
Bill Tilland, BBC
Hyder has one of the strongest strokes in jazz, deployed with an astonishing technique. Not for a moment does his polyrhythmic machine falter, his four limbs continuing to beat with an implacable precision.
He propels his players with a frenzied energy and passion that's breathtaking.
Fanfare, New York
K-Space's new disc really offers something extraordinary… This is not a disc for background or for simple trance induction, although every moment is spellbinding. It's a disc that merges the technical prowess of free jazz's aftermath with the dreamiest ambience, all expertly shot through with field recordings and a startlingly and fluidly complex take on 'the beat.' The resulting sonic landscape would be a muddle without brilliant compositional aesthetics at work.
When beats emerge, they are temporary, disjunctive and almost immediately absorbed again into the miasmic swirls, poignantly beautiful and somehow unsettling, that permeate the album. It's too cool for IDM (Intelligent Dance Music), too hot for trance, too formlessly simple for jazz and too formal and structured for improv. Maybe that's why I enjoy it so much.
Marc Medwin reviewing Going Up
Dusted Magazine (USA)
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