SIMON THACKER'S RITMATA
Simon Thacker's Ritmata is the musical laboratory of one of Scotland's most distinctive and compelling musical figures. Distilling a musical lifetime defined by unstoppable forward momentum, Simon creates primal and multi-layered sound worlds.
See Ritmata live in March 2022, details here.
Simon Thacker (classical guitar) joins forces with three of Europe's leading improvisers in Pete Johnstone (piano), Andrew Robb (bass) and Stu Brown (drums) and creates music that pushes at collective boundaries with its compositional intricacy and improvisational telepathy. Simon's Quadriga in 5, written for Ritmata's Tàradh album, was nominated for the 2019 Ivors Composer Awards, the most prestigious composition awards in the UK.
The first ensemble Simon founded as a vehicle to explore other possibilities and inspirations beyond those of a classical guitarist. the evolution of Simon Thacker's Ritmata has been a very public manifestation of his own journey as a musician. All of Simon's music for Ritmata seeks to express universal truths, alter our reality, transcend our limitations and expand our experiences. He does this through both expansive compositions and alchemical frameworks to spontaneously create and interact. Drawing on inspirations from Native America, Indian music and philosophy, medieval alchemy, Sephardic music, flamenco, Moroccan traditions and Ancient Roman mythology, each piece has its own distinct soundworld, its own methods of circumventing boundaries and its own emotional quintessence.
Their album is Tàradh, a term from Gaelic witchcraft which describes the premonitory sound caused by an absent person’s shadow, in the place of their imagination. Simon considers the way that music suddenly appears in his mind or externally through his fingers to be his tàradh, a portent of where he wishes to and should go. He is also a conduit, as these sounds are the tàradh of the uncountable influences that feed his inspiration, heard and not yet heard. Tàradh also features special guest Ángeles Toledano, one of Spain’s greatest young cantaoras (flamenco singers) on Simon's stunning reimagining of a long forgotten Sephardic song. Simon Thacker’s Ritmata invites you and your Tàradh on a journey of musical revelation.
Tàradh was released in Nov 2019 to universal acclaim. ORDER NOW
"The Scottish guitarist and composer is the owner of a visionary kind of lucidity." Touching Extremes (Italy)
"Musical transcendence in action." FabricationsHQ
"From the ancient Americas to pre-Renaissance Europe, from Mogul India, Pakistan and music from Azerbaijan so old it is simply accepted as “traditional” (the moving Bana Bana Gel), this was a journey through space and time." Elsewhere (New Zealand)
"Simon Thacker is a musical alchemist...Simon Thacker’s music carries with it the ingeniousness of a first vision of things, but it also carries, of necessity, the almost demonic and deep surroundings of groundless spontaneity itself." World Music Report (Canada)
"You could call it soul music, though not in any conventional sense. As eclectically-inclined classical guitarist Simon Thacker explained, the aim of his Ritmata quartet is to take music from various parts of the globe, strip it down to essentials and render it new, sometimes echoing ancestral beliefs and emotions. This they do with surprising, often spectacular, results." The Scotsman
"A shapeshifting tour de force...Thacker’s considerable gifts as an improviser, composer and synthesist more than carry the day." Jazz Journal
"A shape-shifting essay in intensity, elevating and energetic melodies driven by percussion and Thacker's exceptional playing" Elsewhere (New Zealand)
"The masterful player used his guitar in ways seldom heard in New Zealand and peppered the performance with humour and history." Taranaki Daily News (New Zealand)