Listen to artist’s talk with Francis McKee at CCA Glasgow on 29.11.13

Read article by Helen Petts on making this film commissioned in 2015 for British Music Collection website.

In the British Film Institute collection of artists’ films.  

Available to hire from Lux. 

solo soprano - a portrait of lol coxhill

Solo Soprano 23013 (extract). 30’. 16mm and HD file. 5.1 surround sound.

An exploration of the nature of creativity, artistic integrity, improvisation and time - through an intimate portrait of free improvising soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill, who died in 2011. Specialising in the solo improvisation but also known for his work with soul singer Rufus Thomas, progressive rocker Kevin Ayers, the Damned, and film directors Sally Potter and Derek Jarman - Lol Coxhill was a leading member of the international free improvisation scene. He was a much loved personality as well as a great musician. Originally commissioned by the 2013 Full of Noises Festival, this film features a 30 minute solo from the 2009 Freedom of the City Festival in London, intercut with archive footage from a documentary made in 1972, Petts' more intimate recordings of his solo improvisations and Coxhill's personal archive of music, instruments, toys and ephemera.

Full of Noises Festival 2013.

TUSK Festival 2014.

Cafe Oto Project Space 2014.

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra Festival, C.C.A. Glasgow. 2015

Cine City Festival, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. 2015

All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival, curated by comedian Stewart Lee. 2016.

All footage shot and edited by Helen Petts except extracts from "Coxhill" 1972 directed by Mick Audsley courtesy of the Royal College of Art. Telecine courtesy of Technicolor. Freedom of the City sound recording by Sebastian Lexer and Rick Campion. "Embraceable You" percussionist Roger Turner. Recedents improvisation also features Roger Turner (bowed cow bell) and Mike Cooper (electronics). 

London Improvisers Orchestra conducted by Dave Tucker. 

Final sound master in 5.1 Dolby surround sound by Dave Hunt.

Thanks to Ulrike Coxhill Scholz, Steve Beresford and Martin Davidson.