Group Listening

Contact Details:

27-29 Headingley Lane, Leeds, LS6 1BL


Leeds Inspired

Group Listening

9th June 2024

Musical collaborators for the past decade, Paul Jones and Stephen Black are together known as the woodwind-and-key-wielding, sculptural-papier-mâché-hat-wearing Group Listening.

Following renegade reinterpretation records Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol. 1 (2018) and Vol. 2 (2022), which pulled apart, pondered, and re-shaped cult ambient classics by the likes of Robert Wyatt, Arthur Russell and Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Walks (2024) — a shining modernist monolith buried deep in the woods — is their first volume of completely original compositions.

Walks draws from the field recordings of Ernest Hood; the abstraction of Harold Budd; the saxophone of Sam Gendel; the “heightened naturalism” of a Martin Parr photograph; the clarity and site-specificity of Japanese ambient, environmental & new age music of the 80s and 90s, and, prominently, Robert Walser’s pseudo-biographical novella The Walk — an appreciation of the philosophical space gifted by walks to walkers.

An ode to the gently psychedelic potential of wandering around in some place, any place, every place: the places in one’s own mind, Walks invites you to listen and think; to slip through the fabric of time a little or a lot, depending on how long you’ve got. Over all, to paraphrase Walser, it invites you to glow and flower yourself in the glowing, flowering present.

‘Exquisite neo-classical work’
Electronic Sound Review

‘Supremely serene’
Uncut Magazine

‘Hazy, bright and sleepy – a dreamtime soundscape.’
Elizabeth Alker, BBC R3

‘Inspired…brimming with life’
Aquarium Drunkard

‘These are the artists and artworks the world needs….they have produced something golden.’
Louder Than War

‘Canonical ambient works sublimely re-arranged.’
**** MOJO

‘It’s too easy to talk about how immersive ambient music is, but experiencing Group Listening live is an immersive experience….. the music is practically otherworldly.’