F-IRE Collective

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F-IRE Collective is a creative music community founded by Barak Schmool in London. The Collective also has a record label.

F-IRE (Fellowship for Integrated Rhythmic Expression) was named later in 1998 and came to encompass a community of artists whose outlook stretched beyond 'music alone'. Dance, poetry, film and other modes of creative expression were as much a part of their artistic conception as the sound they produced. F-IRE members attempt to cultivate their own directions and transcend categorical boundaries, circus or electronica, free improvisation or classical composition.[1]

F-IRE began as a workshop in 1995 in which a group of young musicians met to learn West African dance music, its theory and methods of communication. They applied these techniques to their own compositional and improvisational languages. Timeline was one of the first bands to arise from this workshop.

Barak Schmool, bandleader of Timeline, was a member of Django Bates' Delightful Precipice and had grown up musically inside Loose Tubes. As a teacher at City University and Royal Academy of Music, it was his experimental pro-community bands Akwaaba drum orchestra, Méta Méta and Rhythms of the City that were part of the attractive force that pulled people together to form F-IRE.

Those joining him in these initial creative explorations included Eska Mtungwazi, Robert Mitchell, Tom Skinner, Iian Pattinson, Nick Ramm, Tom Herbert, Leo Taylor and Dave Okumu. Others were drawn to F-IRE for a variety of reasons; Ingrid Laubrock, Ben Davis and Jonny Phillips through their interest in studying African rhythms; Maurizio Ravalico and Finn Peters through their involvement in the Afro-Cuban music of Méta Méta; Pete Wareham and Seb Rochford through their connection with Tom Herbert; Justin Quinn, Tom Arthurs and Jonathan Bratoeff through their involvement with F-IRE jazz workshops led by Stéphane Payen and Julia Biel through her songwriting partnership with Jonny Phillips.

F-IRE has three main communal objectives: to sustain the creative lives of their members and the surrounding community; to ensure that their creativity functions well inside the wider community; to share their knowledge and opportunities. The collective's success is built on the quality of its work in education, performance and recording. Until 2005 these three principal spheres of activity proceeded without funding.[1]

In July 2004, F-IRE Collective won the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation. Furthermore, all musicians nominated within the 'Rising Star' category were members of F-IRE. In 2005, the F-IRE Collective was awarded the CMN for a national tour.

Active members[edit]

Former members[edit]


  • Acoustic Ladyland
  • Bakehouse
  • Basquiat Strings
  • Clown Revisited
  • Ezzthetic
  • Finn Peters Quintet
  • Fulborn Teversham
  • Grupo Sambando
  • Ingrid Laubrock Quintet
  • Jon Bratoëff Quartet/Quintet
  • Julia Biel
  • M. Ravalico / O. Marshall duo
  • M. Ravalico / I. Khroustaliov duo
  • Méta Méta
  • Mehdi Nabti Pulsar4
  • Oriole
  • Panacea
  • Polar Bear
  • Porpoise Corpus
  • Rhythms of the City
  • Shorter Stories
  • Synergy
  • The Invisible
  • The Teak Project
  • Timeline
  • Tom Arthurs Projects
  • União da Mocidade


  • Young Jazz Musician 1999, London winner – Finn Peters
  • Perrier Vocalist of the Year 2000 – Julia Biel
  • Peter Wittingham Award winner 2001 – Tom Arthurs
  • BBC Jazz "Newcomer" Award nominee 2002 – Robert Mitchell
  • BBC Jazz "New Work" Award nominee 2003 – Robert Mitchell
  • BBC "Rising Star" nominee 2004 – Tom Arthurs
  • BBC "Rising Star" nominee 2004 – Dave Okumu
  • BBC "Rising Star" winner 2004 – Seb Rochford
  • BBC Jazz Awards "Innovation" winner 2004 – F-IRE Collective[2]
  • Mercury Prize nominee 2005 – Polar Bear
  • BBC "Best Band" nominee 2005 – Polar Bear
  • BBC "Rising Star" nominee 2005 – Ingrid Laubrock
  • BBC "Best Band" winner 2005 – Acoustic Ladyland
  • BBC "Innovation" winner 2005 – F-IRE Collective
  • Arts Foundation fellowship 2006 – Ingrid Laubrock
  • Peter Whittingham Award winner 2006 - Dave O'Brien
  • BBC "Best Album" nominee 2006 – Acoustic Ladyland
  • BBC "Best Album" nominee 2006 – Polar Bear
  • Mercury Prize nominee 2007 – Basquiat Strings
  • Mercury Prize nominee 2010 – Kit Downes

See also[edit]


External links[edit]