Behind the Mist – new album

a collection of improvised music
for solo vibraphone


Sleeve design by Maria Hayes using Martin’s own photography.

The first nine pieces are all inspired by tales of faeries from the British Isles:

  1. “Niamh of the Golden Hair” – A faery princess from Irish folklore

  2. ”Yarthkin” – A creature living in the bogs of the Fen Country, crying out with the voices of the dead.

  3. “Behind The Mist” – A place you might find faeries

  4. “Asrai” – Water faeries who dissolve into liquid if captured

  5. “Spriggans” – Small mischievous faeries

  6. “Changeling” – A faery child substituted for a stolen human baby

  7. “Will o the Wisp” – a dancing light that leads night time travellers off the path, then vanishes.

  8. “Hildaland” – A mist shrouded faery island that appears off the coast of Orkney

  9. “Hollow Hill” – Faeries are often thought to live in such places

  1. As a coda “Song for Grace Melbury”, based on a tune Martin recorded with his trio Busnoys, is inspired by The Woodlanders, one of Thomas Hardy’s tales of all too human tragedy in rural Wessex.

All tracks are unedited single takes, and tracks 3, 6, and 9 use some real time electronic processing. The music is mostly very quiet and should not be over amplified.


Martin Pyne has had a long and broad ranging career in contemporary music, as a vibraphone player, drummer, percussionist, improviser and composer. After early work with a variety of contemporary classical ensembles, in the 1990s he co founded the improvising trio Dangerous Kitchen, alongside fellow percussionist Simon Allen and British jazz legend Stan Sulzmann. Their eponymous album was the first release on Tall Guy Records, a label set up by Pyne with his wife, broadcaster and pianist Sarah Walker. He now leads the trio Busnoys, who play his own compositions drawing on Jazz, Improv , Americana , Electronica and beyond. The band have featured on Radio 3’s Late Junction. New projects include the improvising trio Kepler Orbit, with guitarist Ed Riches, and bass clarinettist Tom Ward, and a new duo with noted improvising pianist Stephen Grew. Martin recently composed a new work for the debut of the large improvising group LUMEKESTRA at the 2016 London International Jazz Festival. He has also recorded two albums of what Jazzwise Magazine described as “organic jazztronica”, some of which was featured on Stuart Maconie’s BBC 6 Music show The Freak Zone.

Martin has a longstanding involvement with contemporary dance, including collaborations with choreographers Zamira Kate Mummery, and Sheron Wray. Other regular collaborators are silent film pianist Stephen Horne, and visual artist Maria Hayes. He also has a duo with fellow vibraphonist Corey Mwamba.

Martin decided to record an album of solo improvisations after playing in a couple of improv sessions organised by Cath Roberts and Dee Byrne of LUME music. As with many of his compositions he decided to focus on a literary stimulus, on this occasion tales of Faeries from the British Isles. The resulting music is mostly delicate, ephemeral, and intimate. Martin feels this is probably the most “naked” musical statement he has recorded to date.

tel: 07951 046064