Greg Haines is an English composer and musician whose work exists in the unknown territories between delay-heavy, tape saturated, dub influenced studio sessions, and excursions into modern classical music and more traditional composition.
Through his first three albums (recently re-issued together in 3CD or deluxe 5LP format through Denovali Records), Haines delved into long-form, slowly unravelling crescendos for strings, piano and other orchestral instrumentation, all accentuated with subtle electronics and processing to form a wall of sound where each element became indistinguishable.
In 2014, Denovali Records released “Where We Were”, which surprised listeners with a new creative palette and a more rhythmical approach. The strings that played such an important role in his prior work had disappeared, and in there place were intricate layers of dusty synthesizers and percussion. Moments of quiet, slow-moving textures could still be found, but they were nestled between upbeat, polyrhythmically-driven tracks that at times could even be considered for deployment on open-minded dancefloors.
Haines has toured extensively around Europe, as well as in the USA, Japan and Australia. His brand of live improvisation on his constantly evolving set-up of synthesizers, signal processors and piano led to his involvement in two live ensembles for pure improvisation: the languid, micro-seismic “Alvaret Ensemble” and the adventurous upbeat endeavors of “The Group”. The Group does not record, only playing live, and usually consists of permanent members Casper Clausen (Efterklang) and the producer/musician Francesco Donadello, as well as a constantly mutating cast of other musicians from around the world.
In recent years, his studio and live works have been supplemented by a host of compositions for dance, notably his work with the English correographer David Dawson. This fruitful collaboration has so far led to four works: “Day4” (2012, Dutch National Ballet, Amstedam), “Opus 11”(2013, Semperoper Ballett, Saxon State Ballet, Dresden), and two works for orchestra: “The Human Seasons” (2013, The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London) and “Empire Noir” (2015, Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam).
After many years living in Berlin, Greg now lives in the italian countryside. He continues to travel, record and perform around the world. Recent experiments in the studio led to the “Greg Gives Peter Space” EP with Peter Broderick, released on Erased Tapes in 2014. Further releases are expected in the near future.
Photography: Elizabeth Gadd