ConnectsMusic is very proud to announce a new fantastic album from alto-saxophonist and long time friend of this site, Marcus Joseph.
‘Beyond The Dome’ is produced by Nache Edward and features the likes of Sheila Maurice-Grey, Theon Cross, Ife Ogunjobi, Tony Kofi and Randolph Matthews to mention just a few!
This incredible body of work explores themes of personal and external limitations, the idea of what binds us to who and where we are and the transcendence of perceived obstacles to become our authentic selves.
‘Beyond The Dome’ will be released on 12th February via the pioneering Jazz re:freshed label which has been at the forefront of raising the profile of the UK’s best young jazz musicians.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Marcus to hear more about his inspirations behind Beyond The Dome and aspirations for his ever flourishing career.
Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate that. I’d like to thank Jazz Refreshed, Sound & Music, Eddie Hick and all the musicians involved, without their help this work would not have been possible.
We’ve loved watching you play and flourish on the scene for a number of years, what was your introduction like into the world of music?
My parents introduced me to the world of music, so I owe everything to them, they always had music playing in the house and car. My dad is a woodwind technician and saxophonist and my mum a singer, they were part of a Bob Marley tribute group and I would always attend their rehearsals and shows.
What drew you to the saxophone?
My first memory of seeing a saxophone was my Dad at the top of the stairs playing this shiny instrument and wondering what it was and how he was making those sounds. It was the look and sound of the instrument that drew me to the Saxophone. I wanted to learn the Saxophone right there and then but instead my Dad gave me a Clarinet and told me to learn that first.
Who and what have been your main influences throughout your musical life?
My parents musical tastes have now become my musical taste. Jazz, Reggae, Motown and Soul were the sounds I grew up on and now love more than ever. My friends introduced me to Jungle, Drum & Bass, Hip-Hop, UK Garage and Grime. These sounds influenced me heavily, they were a backdrop to my life and a way to express myself at that time through my Dj’ing and Mc’ing.
What were your inspirations for starting the album? Was it always intended to be an album project?
The inspiration came from my theatre production piece ‘Paradigm Rhymes’. I created the music with the intention of capturing a world where the protagonist Khyia wants to express her creativity freely but can not due to her surroundings and restrictions from the state, so she does this in secret in the confines of her own imagination. The music was well received and I was always asked if the music is available. So I decided to turn it into an album project and build on what I had created.
You say this work explores themes of personal and external limitations, can you tell us a bit more about the concepts behind the album?
What I thought started as just music from my theatre piece turned into a self-reflection of my journey as a human being and how I navigate myself through this world. It’s about chipping away everyday at myself to find the real me and to truly express what is going on within myself whilst battling and eventually overcoming my external limitations. Each piece of music is complimented with a Haiku which captures the mood in 17 syllables, essentially capturing a snapshot of what my music is about. How can I say, create and express myself with the little time, knowledge and resources I have at my disposal right now, is something that I feel is translated in this album. I like to think that the album is multi-layered and evokes different meanings to those who listen to it.
The album features some incredible names. How was it to work with such amazing artists on your work?
It was a pleasure and honour to work with these incredibly talented artists and I feel privileged that they worked with me on this album.
They made it easy for me and just got the music right away.
It was a fun experience and an experience I’d love to re-create some day soon.
What are your aspirations for this album? Where do you hope it will take you in the near future?
That people get it and gravitate toward my sound and musical journey. I’m hoping it will take me to places I’ve never been before, whether that be touring or exploring my music through use of XR technologies.
We have no doubt that this work will touch many. What do you hope people will take from this album?
Thank you I hope so too! Well I hope it takes them on a musical journey like it did me into a world of their own imagination. Also I hope it makes them think about what their own personal and external limitations are and inspires them to find ways to battle and overcome them.
You’re probably in the thick of your current release plans but have you got any further plans or aspirations for your music you’d like to tell us about?
Yes, My plan for the music is to do something cool with virtual reality and create a world where you can explore the music and become a part of the Dome story (any XR people reading this get in contact with me). I’ve also got a collaboration digital/broadcast project ‘Dome Radio’ coming later in the year which prequels Beyond the Dome with Alison Carter of Diverse Arts. I’m working on a debut album with my band Major Ruse, we’re set to release it after our residency at Sage Gateshead this summer.
‘BEYOND THE DOME’
Album release: 12th February 2021
For his sophomore album, alto saxophonist Marcus Joseph, presents a project entitled Beyond The Dome, a body of work that explores themes of personal and external limitations, the idea of what binds us to who and where we are and the transcendence of perceived obstacles to become our authentic selves.
The album moves between genres from spiritual jazz to hip-hop. Puzzle Paradigm, echoes the uplifting peace of predecessors like Pharoah Sanders, whereas the energetic Challenge Day featuring contemporary luminaries Sheila Maurice-Grey, Nathaniel Cross, Tony Kofi and Theon Cross evoke a dynamic sense of pushing through regardless. Joseph breaks the convention of softly delivered positive affirmations, by delivering Morning Affirmations as driving hip-hop with himself as the MC.
Hailing from Leicester and of Afro-Caribbean descent, classically trained Joseph started playing clarinet at the age of seven. He originally gained airplay on BBC1Xtra as a hip-hop DJ and MC. He was subsequently inspired to pick up the saxophone and study jazz at universities in Leeds, London and New Orleans. Never one to be bound by location, he spent a period of time living in Barcelona.
Having supported such artists as Oscar Jerome, Blue Lab Beats, and the legendary Blackbyrds, he has also appeared at Love Supreme and We Out Here festivals.
Beyond The Dome is released on the pioneering Jazz re:freshed label which has been at the forefront of raising the profile of some of the UK’s best young jazz musicians and contributing to the celebrated UK jazz revolution in recent years. The Jazz re:freshed philosophy of challenging preconceptions about jazz, gels perfectly with Joseph’s concept of thinking outside of the box and beyond the dome.
Arrival Of The Giants
Beyond The Dome
Marcus Joseph – Alto Saxophone; Vocals
Sheila Maurice-Grey – Trumpet
Theon Cross – Tuba
Eddie Hick – Drums
Lorenz Okell-Osengor – Keyboard
Wayne Matthews – Bass
Nathaniel Cross – Trombone
Tony Kofi – Baritone Saxophone
Benjamin Kwasi Burrell – Arranger
Ife Ogunjobi – Trumpet
Randolph Matthews – Vocals
Sophie Cameron – Cello
Jan Regulski – Violin
Carol Hultmark – Viola
Deidre Cooper – Violin
Blasio Kavuma – String Arranger
WATCH AND LISTEN selected music videos