On this date eleven years ago, Theo Travis arrived at DGMHQ bearing two boxes of cakes, saxophones, flutes and his own looping system, inspired in part by Frippertronics, which he called Ambitronics. With the pastries and confectionary admired and put aside for later consumption, with David Singleton operating the mixing console, Theo, and Robert Fripp began recording.
Theo, who had established a career as a busy saxophonist on the UK jazz scene, had previously worked with artists as diverse as Porcupine Tree, Gong, Anja Garbarek and David Sylvian. Having invited Robert to a Soft Machine Legacy gig Theo was playing toward the end of 2006, the pair set a date for early in the New Year.
The recording on January 5th, 2007 was essentially a one-off session intended for use in Theo’s solo projects. However, the results of the improvisations were impressive enough to both parties, that after some additional overdubs and editing, it was agreed to release the music to the wider world. Looking back on the session, Theo observes “Working with Robert was very easy, which doesn’t go well with a lot of the public’s perceptions of him,” he laughs. “I loved working with Robert…we locked in very comfortably.”
Mixed by Steven Wilson, Thread was released in 2008 on CD and a special vinyl edition.
Fripp recalled that the day was “Most enjoyable, and a privilege to work with a musician of this calibre,” adding, “If you wish to improve your playing, play with better players than yourself.”
In 2009 Travis and Fripp undertook a small tour of churches that included a concert in the magnificent surroundings of Coventry Cathedral. "Working with textural, slow music, Robert is one of the pioneers and playing those concerts in the church environment, it just changes everything," says Theo. "You approach the music in a certain way, the audience listens differently, there’s a certain kind of acoustic particularly in the large places like we did at Coventry Cathedral."
Further touring followed in 2010 with several CD and vinyl releases appearing in subsequent years.
Travis & Fripp albums can be found at Inner Knot (USA) and Burning Shed (UK & Europe). You can also download various performances directly from this website.