Maggie Nicols

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Songs & Compositions

I  have always loved singing songs, my own and other people's but there is no doubt in my mind that my life as an improviser has given my singing of songs new life and more authentic expression.It has also opened me to the world of composition. it is not an accident that most of my favourite composers are also great improvisers. I have composed for workshop ensembles  and bands since the 'seventies but in 1998
for my 50th birthday,encouraged by saxophonist Rob Mills,I assembled a huge 50+ ensemble to play one of my compositions at The Union Chapel in Islington. Although I had written parts, I taught most of it aurally, which meant that the 13 piece vocal section could sing all the horn parts as well as their own and for once it was the horn players who were challenged. Songs and Compositions complement my passion for free improvisation. It's the glorious dance of Spontaneity and Structure. Beautifully designed structures can lead to great improvisation and some of the strongest structures I have experienced have come from totally spontaneous music making. I love telling a story through song with little or no embellishment but if the mood takes me, my improvising skills  enable me to engage in  unexpected variations on a theme! I've also found that improvising over chord changes has become much more of a creative venture.

Cat's Cradle was a joy to sing and play with. We all wrote, individually and collectively for the band. Our rehearsals were full of laughter and abundant creativity. 
Every gig we did was joyfully appreciated but we were too tunesy for the  improvised music festivals  abroad and too unconventional for most of the play safe  promoters in Britain.
Since I've been away from London most of the time,we haven't rehearsed but I miss this group a lot and hope we play together again one day
we are:-
Maggie Nicols - Voice/Keyboard/Tap shoes

Julia Doyle - Double Bass

Ruth Marshall - Violin/Trombone

Ann Day - Drums

Nony Ardill - Guitar

Track Listings

1. Invisible Man - 2. Time and Again

3. Scribbling - 4. Cold Comfort

5. D(S)Cribbling - 6. Raining Down

7. Niagra - 8. Sense of Ourselves

9. One Move Ahead - 10. Dynamite Dream

11. Music Is the Magic - 12. Gift of Time

13. Your Rules 

Yyou can listen to two of the tracks by clicking on the link below. The second track starts with spoons and tap
in case you wonder...

Listen To Maggies Magical Musical Extracts Here!

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Cat's Cradle
Cat's Cradle
Click On The CD to Buy This Music

CD Reviews: 'A captivativing collection, stands out by virtue of its originality .. Makes compelling listening' PETER MARTIN, JAZZ UK

'This is brilliant music by an accomplished band .. Cat's Cradle creates music that is a joyful disturbance'. DAVID LEWIS, CADENCE (NEW YORK)

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Songs and Compositions

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