duration: 19 minutes


photo of IMP (clockwise, from top left):
Matthias Strassmueller, Robert Mackay,
Glyn Williams, Huw McGregor,
Stelios Giannoulakis

The Imp is a free improvisation group started by Rob Mackay, Huw McGregor and Stelios Giannoulakis, three electroacoustic composers and instrumentalists based in Bangor, Wales. After years of solitary endeavours in tape and instrumental composition they have come together in this playful experimentation, trying to merge musical experiences and intuitions in a joint process of instant sonic creation and structuring.

They use cello, flute, didgeridoo, percussion, prepared piano or keyboards, electric guitar, amplified African monochords and the VCS3 analogue synthesizer. Played in any possible way, these instruments provide a wide palette of sound that is enhanced further by the acoustic properties of space. They plan as little as possible about what is going to be played. The instruments they have chosen function as boundaries to be respected and explored, while various conscious or subconscious musical predilections serve as something to challenge and refer to.

Glyn Williams on drums and Matthias Strassmueler on classical guitar have joined successfully recently.

About the members of the group:

Stelios Giannoulakis (b.1971 ) is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Electroacoustic Composition at the University of Wales Bangor under supervision of Dr.Andrew Lewis, while teaching Recording and Editing Techniques, looking after the Music Department's studios, as well as playing and producing a wide range of musical styles.

He uses instruments and the electronic music studio to integrate many different types of sound material into his works as part of a rich musical activity. His works are regularly performed in international festivals and conferences, as well as on the radio.

Robert Mackay (b.1973) is lecturer in Creative Music Technology for the University of Hull, Scarborough Campus and is pursuing a doctorate in musical composition at the University of Wales, Bangor under the supervision of Andrew Lewis. His work has gained international recognition in the form of prizes at Bourges and elsewere, and his pieces have been performed and broadcast across the world.

As well as composing in various genres, he is an actor, singer and instrumentalist. He has performed in productions all over the UK, and has made several radio and television appearances. He plays and writes in a number of bands and ensembles, including IMP as well as the Welsh Hip-Hop collective 'Tystion'.

Huw McGregor (b.1976) gained his diploma in performance on the cello at the Welsh Collage of Music and Drama. He was presented with the Grace Williams Memorial Award for composition at the Urdd National Eisteddfod (1996). His work was broadcast nationally on S4C and was subsequently commissioned to write for Cecilia Smega in 1998 by the Cilcain Festival.

Huw takes an active musical role in the community playing in-groups, from modem improvisation to popular music, as well as teaching cello. Huw has also gained notoriety as a sound engineer recording for Alexander Baillie and festivals such as the Llangollen Intemational Music Festival. Performed live with the Duke Quartet the premier of Stephen Montague's string quartet no.1 (for string quartet, live electronics and tape)

Matthias Strassmueller, composer and guitarist, has performed with several bands in Germany and Wales since 1990. He plays electric, acoustic and bass-guitar in a wide range of styles, extending from Jazz and Folk Music to Experimental Fusion Rock and Afro-Cuban Dance Grooves.

He has in the last couple of years found his way back to the classical guitar and performs as a free improviser with the ensemble IMP. He is currently studying for a Masters in Composition and Music Technology. He composes in a variety of media, including electroacoustic music as well as instrumental pieces with or without electronics.

Glyn Williams (b.1956) is a self-taught rock drummer. He played in many bands on the Liverpool scene in the 70s and 80s, and recorded a John Peel session for BBC Radio One in 1981 with The Balcony.

Glyn is now following an MPhil programme in pop music composition. His main interest now are composition, and he has recently completed his third CD.

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