Icebreaker (Band)

Icebreaker is a musical ensemble from the UK, which was founded by James Poke and John Godfrey. The ensemble is one of the leading interpreters of contemporary music with a focus on a post- minimalist repertoire. The ensemble plays exclusively with reinforcement in a non- traditional occupation, their performances are compared with concerts classical music content "seriously loud". In recent years, Icebreaker has his repertoire to the genre of " ambient" with its arrangement of Brian Eno's album Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks expanded.

  • 3.1 albums
  • 3.2 Guest appearances on other albums


Founder and artistic identity

Icebreaker was formed in 1989 and consists of twelve musicians in a cast of flute, pan flute, saxophone, clarinet, electric violin and cello, guitar, drums, accordion and keyboard, as well as a sound engineer and production management.

Icebreakers debut in 1989 was part of a festival of Dutch music at the University of York, among others, Louis Andriessen pieces Hoketus, de state and de Stijl instead. About the focus of Dutch, British and American music, an intensive co-operation with Bang on a Cans Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe developed. The specific instrumental instrumentation of the ensemble became exemplary of the Dutch music group Hoketus (1977 - 1987), founded by Louis Andriessen, inspired the incorporation of panpipes.

Icebreakers repertoire consists among other things of works by Louis Andriessen, Gavin Bryars, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Steve Martland, Michael Nyman, Steve Reich and Terry Riley. The unconventional instrumentation of the ensemble gives a unique musical sound and allows the synergy of contemporary music, rock and alternative music.


Icebreaker occurs for over 20 years regularly in Europe and the USA. Appearances include an Icebreaker festival dedicated to the Wiener Musik Galerie in Vienna, concerts during the Festival Carinthian Summer in Carinthia, a collaboration with the Symphony Orchestra Bochum, where Stewart Wallace's The Book of Five was performed, with the American Composers Orchestra in New York's Carnegie Hall and concerts in Kassel and Hamburg in Germany. Concerts in the UK and the USA include a wide spectrum of different stages and festivals from rock (Camp Bestival ) to New York ( Bang on a Can, Lincoln Center).


Icebreakers first two albums were recorded by Deccas Argo label, among other things, with music by Andriessen, Gordon, Lang, Bryars and Damian Lega Sick ( Terminal Velocity 1994 Trance 1996). Subsequent albums on various labels such as NewTone (Italy, Rogues Gallery 1997), a portrait Diderik Wagenaars ( 2001), Composers' Voice (published by Donemus Studio ) Extraction at Between the Lines (2001) and Philip Glass Music with Changing Parts (2007) at Orange Mountain Music. Icebreaker has worked since 2004 with the New York label Cantaloupe Music, the recorded Cranial Pavement ( 2005), Terminal Velocity and trance remastered have. 2012 Icebreaker's most prestigious project Apollo was recorded and released.

Dance and multimedia

Icebreaker has worked for many years in cooperation with dance, ballet and multimedia collaborations. Their performances include a dance adaptation of Ashley Page for the Royal Ballet in London ( Cheating, Lying, Stealing 1998), resumed with the Scottish Ballet in Glasgow and Edinburgh (2003, 2009). 2004-5 was a collaboration with Wayne McGregor Random Dance Dance Troupe, who performed with Ataxia (adaptation for dance of Michael Gordon's Trance) in London, Amsterdam and New York. Icebreakers CD recordings are regularly used for dance performances.

From 2003 to 2004 Icebreaker toured together with the Orkest De Volharding and singer Christina Zavalloni the so-called Big Noise Tour, a multimedia collaboration, which was listed on the major event venues in Great Britain and the Netherlands. Icebreaker has still recorded the soundtrack to the American independent film Book of Love.

Recent labor

As part of a worldwide event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the moon landings Icebreaker was invited by pedal steel guitar player BJ Cole, Eno's album Apollo (Brian Eno, Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois ) live to Al Reinert's film- For All Mankind (film music arranged Woojun Lee 2009) at the Science Museum IMAX London to play. An extended version of this package tourniert UK and Europe since May 2010. The album was released in 2012.

Further work

As part of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Icebreaker was invited on the occasion of Louis Andriessen's 70th birthday at the gala performance of two concerts. The ensemble played regularly in the Glasgow City Hall as part of the minimum festivals.

Icebreaker continuously in numerous educational projects at universities and schools across the UK, as in London's Goldsmiths College in the branch " Popular Music" in association with John Paul Jones. Since 2006 Icebreaker produces the monthly internet radio show on Radio Icebreaker Brighton

Members (2013 )

  • James Poke (Head, flutes, panpipes, wind synthesizer )
  • Rowland Sutherland ( flute, panpipes, Voice )
  • Christian Forshaw ( saxophone, clarinet )
  • Bradley Grant ( saxophone, clarinet)
  • Dominic Saunders (keyboards)
  • Andrew Zolinsky (keyboards)
  • Walter Fabeck (keyboards)
  • Ian Watson ( accordion, keyboards)
  • Emma Welton ( electric violin )
  • Audrey Riley ( electrisches cello, keyboards)
  • Dan Gressonara ( percussion, drums)
  • James Woodrow (guitar, bass guitar)
  • Pete Wilson (bass guitar)
  • Mel (production assistant)
  • Ernst Zettl ( sound engineer )



  • Official Bootleg (ICC, 1991, live)
  • Terminal Velocity ( Argo, 1994, also Cantaloupe Music, 2005)
  • Trance ( Argo, 1996, also Cantaloupe Music, 2004)
  • Diderik Wagenaar ( Composers' Voice / Donemus, 2001)
  • Extraction ( Between the Lines, 2001)
  • Cranial Pavement ( Cantaloupe Music, 2005)
  • Music with Changing Parts ( Orange Mountain Music, 2007)
  • Apollo ( Cantaloupe Music, 2012)

Guest appearances on other albums

  • Hook, Mesh, Stub, Cud ( Argo, 1993)
  • Short Cuts - Breaking the Sound Barrier - At Argo Sampler ( Argo, 1994)
  • Bang on a Can Plays Louis Andriessen ( Cantaloupe Records)