The group with Bill Bruford and Johnny Kalsi
Network of Sparks was formed in 1998 and has since travelled the world collaborating with traditional music groups and musicians. The project features
Pete Lockett on world percussion,
Simon Limbrick on balafon/samplers/midi mallets, Nana Tsiboe
on congas/djembe/thumb piano/vocals/African percussion
and integrates musical styles and traditions from every part of the globe.
Collaborations have included trips to
India, Nepal, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Sudan, Malaysia and Hungary, integrating their respected and rich traditional styles with the Afro-Euro-Eastern-Contemporary basis of the trio. Highlights have included collaborations with Rock legend
Bill Bruford and then a tour of India with Indian percussion masters
Selva Ganesh and Viku Vinayakram.
The idea behind the project comes from the very essence of multicultural and ethnically diverse Britain. Living in
has been exposed to music from many different traditions, from
Vietnamese to Azeri and Indian to Japanese; Brazilian and Cuban to Turkish and Chinese. Ever intrigued by the marvels of these traditions he slowly began studies of percussion from different cultures, culminating in what could only be described as an open minded and
hybrid musical approach. The obvious thing then was to bring these styles together, not only in his own playing, but also in the very make up and structure of the group.
The first manifestation of Network of Sparks featured mainly
UK based musicians, including
Ghanaian Nana Tsiboe,
Bhangra group ‘The Dhol Foundation’, famed Rock drummer
Bill Bruford (Genesis/Yes/King Crimson), classical Western percussionist
Simon Limbrick and
Pete on World percussion.
The result was indeed varied and difficult to pigeonhole. They released their first album One, featuring Bill Bruford and the Dhol Foundation in late 1999 and toured the
UK with the Contemporary Music Network, supported by the
Arts Council of England. The tour was virtually sold out and the album received much acclaim in
Europe and the States.
Wtih Nana in Nepal
Pete with Bill Bruford
From then on the idea of collaborating really took hold and with the help of the
British Council, different manifestations of the group were flown around the world to places with rich musical heritage to collaborate with local musicians. The format would usually involve a period of rehearsal followed by a tour of the country, also taking time to give educational clinics and workshops.
The second album was released on the ARC
record label and features musicians from Ghana, Japan, Pakistan and the UK. The album was recorded in London and Lahore, Pakistan where Pete struck up a very positive musical relationship with ‘Hariprasad-esque’ Bansuri player,
Muhammad Ashsan Papu. Also featured on the album is the haunting
Shakuhachi of Japanese Real World artist,
‘NOS’ could best be described as a dynamic journey through the diverse world of percussion and traditional acoustic music. It juxtaposes instruments, traditions and sounds and challenges our concepts, going from ambient textures of vibes and Indian tabla to the driving grooves of Africa, the powerful rhythms of Arabia and the solid beat of the drums. It is a manifestation of what multiculturalism is all about. It is not merely juxtaposition, but a much deeper integration and cross fertilisation of ideas, traditions and influences. All parties search for the common ground where relationships become that little bit deeper and intense. The trip for ‘NOS’ to India marks a great landmark for the group and will certainly result in a very searching and challenging musical mixture.
Pete and Simon at the WOW festival UK
MODERN DRUMMER MAGAZINE ‘Each track is fresh and inspiring, and the performances by the drummers, hand drummers, frame drummers, hand percussionists, and malletists are emotive and challenging’.
WAX MAGAZINE ‘it is a remarkable hommage to the art of the drum and will keep you spellbound with a considerably lower jaw-line for the whole concert’
Pakistani flautist, Muhammad Ashsan Papu
NANA TSIBOE BIOG
Nana Tsiboe is a Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist who has worked with the likes of
Oumou Sangare, Ali Farka Toure,
Marvin Gaye, Paul McCartney and the great
Fela Kuti. Nana received his basic musical training from the Ashanti Cultural Centre in Ghana. Hailing from a family of musicians, he was socially involved in traditional music as a child prodigy drummer from the age of nine years, when playing for the elders and on festive occasions. After being educated in
America and England he later found that music became a natural and obvious means of expression for him. He has performed as the leader of the Master Drummers of Africa and plays a whole variety of African percussion instruments including congas, djembe and balafon, besides the Ghanaian thumb piano (m’bira) and vocals. His own project is the West African Quartet which explores the expansive musical elements in west Africa. Nana has been working with Pete for some years now on various projects, including collaborations in
Thailand and Nepal. His input and enthusiasm is a valued and indispensable part of the Network of Sparks project.
SIMON LIMBRICK BIOG
Simon contributed as a member of cult groups The Lost Jockey and Man Jumping. In 1990 Simon completed his MA in Electro-acoustic Composition at City University. He is in demand as a percussionist with Nash Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Endymion Ensemble, Gemini, and the Composers' Ensemble, and has been guest principal with the LSO and recorded as soloist for radio and TV in many countries. As a composer, he has created pieces for many artists, including Ensemble Bash and
Roger Heaton , dance companies and installations. Simon has performed world premieres of work by many composers, including
James Dillon, Andrew Poppy and
Frederic Rzewski. He has released two CDs, Steam and Debris.
PETE LOCKETT BIOG
Pete Lockett is the mastermind behind Network of Sparks and has studied Hindustani (Tabla) and Karnatic (Mridangam, Kanjira, Natuvangam, Konnakol) traditions, as well as Japanese Taiko, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Irish, African, Brazilian, Cuban, and Western drum set amongst others. He has recorded and/or performed with
Jeff Beck, Björk,
Peter Gabriel, Afro Celt Sound System, Nitin Sawhney,
A R Rahman, Bill
Bruford, Texas, Transglobal Underground,
David Arnold, Mel
C, Bedlam, Beth Orton, Robert
Plant, Kulu Shaker and Vanessa-Mae to mention a few. He has also worked extensively in the film industry, playing on the three most recent Bond movies, Die another day, Tomorrow never Dies and The World is not Enough, as well as the City of Angels, Moulin Rouge, The Insider, Plunkett and Maclean, and the
Guy Ritchie movie Snatch. He has also taught and lectured in Britain and the USA including at The Royal Academy and Guildhall School of Music in London, and continues to run workshops and lecture all over Europe.
after show in Chennai with Viku Vinayakram, Selva Ganesh and Mrigya
Review from: RHYTHM
Review from: LOVEWHIP.COM
Review from: THE NEWS - PAKISTAN
Review from: DAWN - PAKISTAN
Review from: WAX
from MODERN DRUMMER
from: AMAZON.COM Review
two from: RHYTHM UK