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Jonathan Eato backnextcomposer index

Some info

My interest in both Contemporary Jazz / Creative Music and Contemporary Classical music makes this sort of thing (and explaining oneself at parties) rather difficult.

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Biographical Notes

Since leaving Goldsmiths' in 1993, I have been working as a saxophonist and composer.

As a performer I have worked in contexts as disparate as Icebreaker and NYJO; from orchestras and classical ensembles to my own groups such as the saxophone quartet Marcel's Mules and The Very Vear Trio.

These differing approaches to music have all informed my own music in some way but it should be pointed out that I am not interested in attempting a form of fusion.

In writing for The Very Vear Trio (drums, bass and saxophones) I have become very interested in writing music for performance with film. My Wiggins Trilogy (Narrow Squeak, Jolly Batey and Wiggins' Drawback) brings together films by Alice Corps, Elena Näsänen and Pekka Sassi, and was inspired by a Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore sketch.

As a member of the trio, whose roots are in Jazz and improvisation, I have also taken an interest in the minature form. Our cameos deconstruct Jazz Standards which then get re-assembled in an attempt to say all that we would normally wish to over the length of a performance in the space of one chorus'

My interest in the AABA form of Jazz Standards can also be seen in my second saxophone quartet A Quick One With You Steven, written for Marcel's Mules and performed by the Delta Saxophone Quartet at the 1996 Huddersfield Festival


A feature of my recent work has been commissions for dance.

Solo, Approximate Measures and Plane Measures having been performed at the Bonnie Bird Theatre, Chisenhale Dance Space and the Cochrane Theatre. I am also working on a commission from Leicestershire Arts for a dance score based on the Seven Deadly Sins.

A lot of my thinking has been given over to ideas for installation music, combining elements of live performance to film and video images with the notion that any audience member contributes to their own experience, as well as that of the other audients, by being an integral part of the work rather than a passive observer.

My solo piano piece III was conceived of in this manner and is awaiting realisation. There are also future plans for a large scale New Orleans project.

As far as more traditional concert pieces go my quintet Old Flimsy's Forecast was recently premiered at the Djangoly Recital Hall in Nottingham by Willard Welsford and The Ensemble and my first saxophone quartet was also premiered in Nottingham by the Delta Sax at the University Concert Hall. Everyone Sang, a setting of Siegfried Sassoon for tenor voice and piano is scheduled for performance later this year.



sound clip A Train

The sound clip is from A Train, a cameo written with Craig Vear for the Very Vear Trio (Jonathan Eato, saxophones; Craig Vear, drums; Joe Peet, bass). I have chosen this example to represent my music as it hopefully conveys an attitude which I regard as important within my work in quite an immediate manner.


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