Saturday, 30 November 2013

Art Jazzed Up, up and away

Mike DiRubbo & Duncan Eagles
Photo: Chetna Kapacee
It has taken three weeks but the dust has settled at last on the opening night of the Art Jazzed Up exhibition at the Shaw Gallery, Croydon. With 80 artists showing their 250 artworks on the walls of the gallery it proved a monumental task all round. The Shaw Gallery hanging committee did a fantastic job with bringing the work together and providing the platform for the musicians to entertain us. A special thank you to Alan Carlyon Smith for curating and Trinity School for hosting us with plenty of refreshments.

Art Jazzed Up Submissions in their CD cases
 Photo:Melanie Ezra
The night itself saw a strong and inspiration performance from the musicians Mike DiRubbo, Duncan Eagles, Max Luthert, Dave Storey and Bill Mudge who spent most of the evening behind 3 giant paper canvases. I was on their side of the huge paper wall too, with the unsuspecting audience on the other side as they watched the drawing slowly appear.

This was a celebration of our creative community and a truly
 international event with artists of all ages from England, Wales, Scotland, Serbia, USA, Portugal, Germany, Austria, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Ukraine and Bulgaria participating. It was only fitting that the Private View climaxed with Mrs MacDonald, the Trinity School potter and Chris O’Brien from the Upper 6th joining myself for a live drawing finale as the band played out. Along one wall of the gallery hung the framed shortlisted artworks and it proved a difficult decision for the curator to decide the overall winner of the Album Art Award. Well done to Chris Holley who bagged this accolade and there were also prizes awarded to Louie Stoneman and Lilian McCann from Trinity School.


Dan Redding - left
Alban Low - Centre
Musicians - Mike DiRubbo, Duncan Eagles, Max Luthert,
Dave Storey and Bill Mudge from left to right
The whole event was filmed by Jazz filmmaker Dan Redding and the music recorded by Nick Pugh. As soon as I get my hands on this footage I will post it up here. A special thank you to everyone who took part and came along on the night, braving the driving rain and the travel chaos of Croydon. Two intrepid Welsh artists made it all way from Swansea, Melanie Ezra and Judith Parry we salute you. Read about Melanie's adventures here.

Check out all the artists who participated by visiting Exhibition Artists page.


Friday, 8 November 2013

Award Shortlist - Art Jazzed Up

Peter S Smith - Inspired by the music of Mike DiRubbo
There have been some furrowed brows in South London and New York City over the past 3 weeks. Straight after the deadline for submissions all 250 artworks were sorted into their relevant categories and sent to the 5 musicians concerned. Each player had to choose 3 favourite images that were inspired by their music, some were influenced purely by personal taste and intuition but others considered the image's relevance to the music.

Dean Reddick - Barra
Bill Mudge had a particularly difficult assignment, with 4 tunes completed as part of the Murder Minutes project he had to decide upon 12 artworks in total. He said "It was so exciting, I got down to 4 or 5 in each section and then it got harder work to whittle it down to my top 3".

In the Barra Category he selected -
Wojciech Antoni Sobczynski
Pavel O'learo
Dean Reddick

Tracy Boness - Dancing
In the Dancing Category
Jovana Mitic
Effra Aye-Maung-Hider
Tracy Boness

Monika Fischbein - Murder 1
In the Murder 1 Category
Monika Fischbein
Ann Kopka
Sharon Read

Teodora Nitslova
In the SchoolRun Strut Category
Wayne Sleeth
Teodora Nitsolova
Effra Aye-Maung-Hider

Despite being on the road with jazz trio Partikel, both Duncan Eagles and Max Luthert wired in their choices from deepest Scotland. Luckily they'll be back in time for the Private View on the 11th November. It has been a particularly busy period for bassist Luthert, with a visit to Clown's Pocket Studio to record his debut album.

Malc Dow
Max Luthert's Top 3 -
Malc Dow
Chris Holley
Ella Penn

Duncan is one of my favourite players & composers on the scene and so I especially valued his opinion, after all I've worked on at least 3 album covers for him in the past 2 years. He wrote to me "They're all looking good but I would go for the Mark Lomax, Tracy Jones and Ann Kopka. Nice one!"

Ann Kopka
Duncan Eagles Top 3 -
Mark Lomax
Tracy Jones
Ann Kopka

I have some bad news concerning the exhibition on Monday, we will be without Peter Ibbetson because he is currently on tour and unable to fly back to Croydon. During one of his downtime moments he got in contact  "This is really astounding stuff, i feel very humble that this is happening!  thanks for getting my music involved in this." So thank you to all the artists that were inspired by him and congratulations to the 3 below.

Sharon Read
Peter Ibbetson Top 3
Gwen Black
Sharon Read
Chris Holley

Finally we have the choices of New York alto player Mike DiRubbo who arrived in the UK on Monday for his European Tour. On Tuesday he played Ronnie Scott's in Soho followed by an absolutely cracking night at Twickenham Jazz Club with the Bill Mudge Trio. He has found the whole experience very flattering and was impressed by the creativity from all four corners of the globe. As I write this he is riding the London Eye but he'll have his feet firmly on the ground for the exhibition/recording on the 11th.

Francesca Centioni
Mike DiRubbo's Choices
Peter S Smith (Top image)
Francesca Centioni
Jill Smith

Today I dropped off the huge bespoke drawing frames ready for the live drawing at the Shaw Gallery. It's huge task to hang all 250 artworks and the gallery was a hive of activity. The Hanging Committee were deep in discussion and we all agreed to enlarge the shortlist to reflect the role of the Artist (rather than all Musician choices) in this exhibition. The hanging group of artists decided upon 3 more shortlisted works which are by......

Hanging Committee Choices
Lilian McCann
Louie Stoneman
Jamie Rogers

Thank you to all the artists who have contributed to the exhibition. It has been really hard work but worth it. When I create these exhibition I hope to inspire my fellow artists and enjoy rubbing shoulders with them artistically and sometimes physically. It is a little like gambling, a throw of the dice to see whether we win with our publicity, sales or friendships. Wish me luck on Monday night when we turn the tables and see how Music is inspired by Art. I'll be drawing on huge paper canvases while the band play along to my tune for a change. It is being recorded by sound engineers and film makers so I'll be able to post up the evidence in the following months.

Alan Carlyon Smith is considering his overall winner at the moment and we will announce this on the 11th November, when we'll be handing over £100 in cash to one of our shortlisted artists.


Monday, 28 October 2013

Art Jazzed Up Catalogue

We have designed and printed a simple pamphlet style catalogue.
Measuring 21.6cm x 9.5cm when folded and 21.6cm x 28cm when opened out.
It contains information about the project and exhibition on the front.
We have managed to include every artist and a piece of their artwork on the fold-out inside section.
Front Catalogue - Art Jazzed Up

Inside - Fold out poster

If you would like a copy then the simplest way is to pick them up for free at the exhibition.
11th November 2013, The Shaw Gallery, Trinity School, Croydon. 6.30-8pm

Monday, 21 October 2013

Submissions closed - Judging begins

What started out as the Murder Minutes project and turned into the Sound Sight Exhibition has now been renamed Art Jazzed Up by curator Alan Carlyon Smith. The work will be safely in his hands for the hanging and private view.

80 artists listened to the music and submitted 250 artworks to the exhibition that will open on 11th November 2013 with a Private View at The Shaw Gallery, Trinity School, Croydon.

Before that, the images have been sent off to musicians, Mike DiRubbo, Bill Mudge, Peter Ibbetson, Duncan Eagles and Max Luthert so they choose their 3 favourites. Time permitting these will be printed at a larger scale for the exhibition. The 24 shortlisted artists will also go into the pot for the £100 prize that will be awarded at the Private View.

I hope you can join us some live music and drawing on the 11th November, 6.30-8pm.


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The oddments of Ella Penn

Ella Penn - Inspired by Mike DiRubbo's 'Introspection'
We've had such a variety of entries already from artists, all listening to the same pieces of music but finding such different imagery and inspiration. An exciting time in itself, comparing the different responses from the artists but sometimes it is the pleasure of seeing such a broad range from just one.

Ella Penn - Inspired by
Bill Mudge 'Murder 1' music
Ella Penn, the Brighton based photographer, has given me many surprises since I first received her submission for the Brighton Open exhibition in 2011. True to the nature of the subsequent exhibitions we've been involved in, she has revealed further snapshots of herself and her work. Here once again for Murder Minutes she presents 4 vignettes, teasing us with the opening lines of narrative.

Ella Penn - inspired by Bill Mudge 'Dancing'
These images are very much consistent with Penn's wider Fine Art work. A trawling of the urban environment, playing with light when its loneliness is the only beacon in a sea of black.
There are forays into landscape and abstraction but it's her documentation of us, the human animal, our scratches, detritus and narratives where she is most powerful.

Ella Penn - Inspired by
Max Luthert 'Murder 3'
Her submissions to Murder Minutes possess both strong design elements and the music's themes and rhythms. I can see the repetitive mechanical swirls in Bill's Mudge's 'Dancing' and the ambiguity and threat in Max Luthert's 'Murder 3' but the romance of Mike DiRubbo's flows through me like that shock of pink, exciting and indulgent.

Half Way Between Normal and Isolated, 2013
Ella Penn
Art:Language:Location Cambridge
The magpie tendencies of Ella Penn are not just contained in her bright and shiny eye but in her mind too. Before we see her at the Shaw Gallery on November 11th she will be showing a body of work at the conceptual thoroughbred Art:Language:Location exhibition in Cambridge. Penn's active mind is trained on the 'Oddment' or simply "Items or pieces left over from a larger set". She spent a day in the city photographing found, fragmented pieces of language and documenting these urban canvases where people's interactions leave their mark.

Ella Penn 'Oddments' is showing at the Norfolk Street Project Space, Cambridge from 17th October to 3rd November 2013 as part of Art:Language:Location

There is nothing too odd about Ella Penn herself I might add, but you can make up your own mind about that. Visit


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Melanie Ezra - Swansea Scissorhands

Melanie Ezra - Inspired by Duncan Eagles
The high priestess of blades has sent an early submission to the Murder Minutes project in her own swashbuckling style. Melanie Ezra is a ferocious exhibitor, most recently beaching her spiked realities on Welsh shores but with regular raids across the Atlantic to breach U.S. defences.

The Ezra Art recipe book is a tapas styled affair, plenty of snappy dishes with a generous sprinkling of artistic flair. Her latest creations are currently being served in the solo show, 'Small Worlds' at The Brunswick, Swansea until the 7th December 2013.

Small World -
Melanie Ezra
Each world starts with a photograph which is spliced and diced as she takes apart her memories and time itself. After this is a period of reconstruction, slotting in sentiments and anecdotal evidence that has become nestled in her brain alongside the freeze frame moment the original photograph was taken. I have to tell you that for her entry to this exhibition she's added some extra ingredients to spice things up. The main dish is a reconfigured photograph of a dead rat seasoned with charcoal ash and incense.

Melanie Ezra on Hasting's Pier, 2011
I first met Ezra in 2011 at the Rarities exhibition on Hasting's Pier and I thought to myself, here's an artist who goes the extra mile. I don't mean just metaphorically but geographically too. She had set out from Swansea that morning and traversed Wales and England to make the grand opening of this outdoor show. She's never far from a pair of scissors, and she was on hand to hold the ribbon as it was cut (left).

Once again she's shown true dedication and will be negotiating the national train networks to be with us on the 11th November for the Private View of this exhibition. So come down and meet her at the Shaw Gallery, Trinity School, Croydon and view her cutting edge art. Don't be scared to shake her hand though, our Swansea Scissorhands will be leaving her artistic shears at home.

If you can't wait until then, you can find Melanie Ezra at


We currently have 138 submissions to the exhibition (either entered or spaces reserved), so there are still over 100 places left if you would like to submit work.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Mark Lomax - The Artist's Hand

Mark Lomax - Inspired by Duncan Eagles' Eternal Art
The first submission arrived at Murder Minutes HQ last night just a few hours after the call-out was launched to artists worldwide. Scotland was quickest off the blocks with artist Mark Lomax dipping on the line to win the photo finish.

If this is your first visit to the project then here's a brief synopsis. We have invited artists and writers to make an image/text that draws its inspiration from a piece of music. They will be exhibited at the Shaw Gallery, Trinity School, Croydon on 11th November 2013. Links to the eight pieces of music and all the other details are on the Submit page.

Mark Lomax - Peel
Mark Lomax is no sprinter when it comes to exhibitions or album art, more a Mo Farah of assemblage. Although best known for his composite photography and gridded visions of road markings and other urban forms, he recently has experimented by creating a world of blue china metamorphosis.

Ephemera by Attirtion
Artwork - Mark Lomax
It is his past life that rears back into view with his latest submission to the Sound Sight Exhibition. Lomax was the artist behind 9 album images from 1984 to 2010 by the experimental ambient group Attrition. Whose dark waves of sound emerged from the 1980's post-punk world of an unforgiving industrial Coventry. His most famous album cover was his hand for Attrition's Ephemera album (1995) which became their haunting calling card for years to come.

Once again Mark Lomax holds his hand up and is counted. This time he was inspired by saxophonist Duncan Eagles film score, who recorded this composition with guitarist Leo Appleyard for the Murder Minutes project.
If you would also like to be inspired by it then give it a listen. So thank you Mark for firing the starting pistol on what we hope will be an inspirational exhibition.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sound Sight Exhibition - Submit your art

Jaume Gispert's next album artwork
As a young man I always dreamt of creating the art for an album. Now it is part of my work portfolio and a thoroughly enjoyable experience that allows me to think and work creatively. First I listen to the music, then make notes and start developing a range of responses. Now its your turn to see what you would create and show it in an exhibition.

So, it is with great pleasure that we're launching the Sound Sight Exhibition today and hope you will get involved. Follow the instructions on the Submit page to find out how to take part. It's very straight forward. Send a square image to me at
It's totally FREE.

Alan Carlyon Smith - Cuartor
at the Shaw Gallery
Deadline 11th October 2013 (Midnight) although we do operate a 'first come first served' policy and will close submissions early if necessary.

We'll be opening the exhibition on Monday 11th November 2013 at the Shaw Gallery, Trinity School, Croydon. At the Private View 5 musicians will be performing and I will be drawing live as we collaborate with a generous amount of improvisation. We'll also be announcing the winner of our Album Art Award, chosen by the musicians themselves, along with Curator Alan Carlyon Smith. I'll be handing over a cash prize of £100 to the talented artist or writer.

The musicians working on the project include Duncan Eagles (Tenor & Soprano Saxophone) and Max Luthert (Bass) both from trio Partikel. Peter Ibbetson (drums) joins us from the cutting edge S.E. Collective, and finally Bill Mudge, the mysterious Hammond Organ player.

Joining the quartet will be Mike DiRubbo (alto sax) from New York City, USA on his first ever visit to The UK. As part of his UK tour DiRubbo will be first playing Ronnie Scott's and then following onto the Shaw Gallery.
Find out more about these performers on their designated pages (right).

Any questions email me at . We would love to see your artwork and make this exhibition a special one.

Alban Low

Monday, 1 July 2013

BFI Simulated Minds Shortlisted for award

Eternal Art of the Simulated Minds at the BFI
Here at Murder Minutes HQ we've just had the most wonderful news that our film 'Eternal Art of the Simulated Mind' has been shortlisted for an award at the 4th Walthamstow International Film Festival.

We're especially fond of this film festival and once again they've done us proud by having a celebratory screening of all the shortlisted films at Britain's home of cinema the BFI South Bank on the 8th July 2013. The judging panel meets before the screening but announces the winner of the various categories and overall winner afterwards. The judges this year include Noel Goodwin, head of youth education at the BFI; Barry Bliss, Walthamstow-based film director of international success Art Is; rising video-art star, Georgina Starr, whose installations and experimental films have been shortlisted in the Turner Prize and Ska legend, actress and presenter Pauline Black, who originally shot to fame with The Selecter in the 1980s with hits including 3-Minute Hero.

If you would like to see all the entries then the film festival will screen a programme of international three-minute shorts at The Stow Film Lounge on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14.

Entrance is free, from 2pm to 5pm.

Alban Low (Images), Duncan Eagles (Music) and Harvey Wells (Producer) will be there and we'll report back with all the news. Unfortunately we will miss Leo Appleyard (Music), who can't be with us on the day.

Fingers Crossed.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Eternal Art in Walthamstow and Kingston

July is going to be a busy time for the Murder Minutes project with our latest film, Eternal Art of the Simulated Mind, reaching out into the wider community. First we premiere at one of our favourite festivals the Walthamstow International Film Festival.

Screening at....
Vestry House Museum
Community Room
Vestry Rd
Walthamstow, London E17 9NH
020 8496 4391
on the 13th-14th July.

I'll take some pictures and do another blogpost in due course.

Our second outing in July will be at Kingston University on Thursday the 25th.
It will be screened as part of the exhibition of the same name.
The exhibition documents two days on the simulated mental health ward at Kingston University. It was a unique experience and I felt privileged to be granted access to this high octane environment where students from the School of Nursing at the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, hone their mental health skills.
Although no stranger to sketching live performances, nothing could prepare me for this emotionally charged assignment. The artwork reveals what makes this programme so special and why it won Teaching Innovation Of The Year at the Student Nursing Times Awards 2012. warned! It is a strong film with sharp edges and has a very powerful score by two young bloods of the contemporary Jazz scene in London, Duncan Eagles and Leo Appleyard. Luckily we've had psychotherapist Harvey Wells as our Producer on the film so we've been in safe hands.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Schoolrun Strut wins Twickenham Film Festival Animation award

Accepting our award
photo credit -
We had a fantastic night out at Twickenham Film Festival last Friday (26/04/2013) and yes we are proud to announce we walked away with an animation award for our film Schoolrun Strut. Held at Twickenham Stadium's Live Room and attended by members of the local Twickerati, including the Richmond-Upon-Thames' Mayor, it was slick affair with a broad palette of subject matter and genres.

Bill Mudge who wrote the score couldn't unfortunately be there so I accepted the award from Maria Walker of Twickenham Studios with the two stars of the film, my daughter's Effie and Jess.

I was really chuffed to receive this recognition and I rather embarrassed myself by doing a big Rocky style victory salute with the trophy thrust skyward I did some rapid fist pumps. Luckily they didn't let me anywhere near a microphone so I couldn't make a complete fool of myself.

The Trophy
 The film is already on Youtube but will also be carried by the Twickenham Alive Film Festival. They are launching the 2014 Festival right now, so if you would like to submit your film CLICK HERE.

In the absence of a trophy cabinet for the Murder Minutes project the award is currently taking residence on top of my Planar 3 Turntable surrounded by Barbie's and Action Men.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Alban Low & Duncan Eagles' Eternal Art

Eagles and Low's latest film
It's all in the bag.
After several weeks of work we've finished our film 'Eternal Art of the Simulated Mind'. It documents 6 hours spent by Alban in the simulated mental health ward at Kingston University.
A unique experience that is the closest that the project has got to documentary.
It will be screened as part of Alban's exhibition at Kingston University, Frank Lampl Building, Kingston Hill Campus, Kingston on Thursday 25th July from 4-6pm. Come along!

Although it's only 2 minutes long it has a raw edge to it, so be prepared. There's an original score composed by Duncan Eagles and performed by himself and Leo Appleyard. We've added a bit about Leo now on the pages to your right.

A special thanks to psychotherapist Harvey Wells who helped produce the film.

Friday, 22 March 2013

SchoolRun Strut - Twickenham Film Festival Award Nomination

Bill Mudge and I were bowled over this week with the news that our short film SchoolRun Strut has been nominated for an award at this year's Twickenham Film Festival.

Its great to be coming home after screening SchoolRun Strut in venues further afield. As you know I'm a Twickenham resident and this is a gentle film about my walk to school with my daughters. Every day is different when you walk to school, a strange shadow, the marks left in the road after roadworks, a view over a railway bridge. Of course it helps if the sun is shining!

Not everything is perfect and I hope the film represents that sometimes I'm absolutely knackered hauling my 40 year old bones along South London pavements.

If you would like to join us at the Award Ceremony and Screening evening the tickets are free and you can get them at HERE
Friday 26th April 2013, 7-9.30pm

Be warned that our film is seriously short, only 90 seconds long, so blink and you'll miss it.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Dancing Mackerels in Aabenraa, Denmark

Last November (2012) I was commissioned by fellow artist Eskild Beck to make a film for the Danish town of Aabenraa.
I've worked with Eskild on exhibitions since 2010 but have never met him or even spoken by phone. As he explained the brief in a series of emails I wondered if this was some bizarre hoax or just another artist's pipe dream.

He didn't quite have any specifications or measurements or deadlines for me but he had a VISION!
In this apparition he saw that the 30 foot silos in his native town would be bathed in light and colour. These harsh totems dedicated to an industrial god would be transformed into a carousel of fun and dancing Mackerel.....

Now just wait a minute.....did he just say 30ft Dancing Mackerel.

Now me and Mudge looked at one another. Was this guy for real. This sounded like a chance of a lifetime or it could all end in a Quixotesque oblivion. So for the next 3 months we bounced ideas and emails back and forth, between London and Aabenraa. We relentlessly watched those gritty murder dramas that have defined Denmark here in England over the past year or so. Our Danish improved a little but our nerves we're frayed.
In the end we delved back into Aabenraa's glory days as port and it picturesque architecture.
Eventually it all came together and we sent it off, not thinking for one moment that it would ever make it onto those huge silos. Just a few days ago we got a surprise, a video and stills with our film in full flow.

Aabenraa Silos

We've made it as part of the Murder Minutes project and hope to perform it live sometime in 2013 with a quartet of Bill Mudge, Duncan Eagles, Max Luthert and Peter Ibbetson.

AL 2013