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Alex Ward by Dawid Laskowski
Alex Ward. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.

Alex Ward is a composer, improviser and performing musician, working primarily with clarinet and guitar. His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. He subsequently took part regularly in Bailey’s Company events, and has gone on to become a major figure in British improvised music. 

His current work ranges from the duo Dead Days Beyond Help, in which he plays guitar and sings, his group Predicate who perform his compositions, regular improvising groups with Steve Noble, Kay Grant and others, as well as more ad hoc encounters with musicians as diverse as Thurston Moore, Joe Morris and Duck Baker. He brings a unique energy and inventiveness to all these projects, elevating them far above the ordinary and injecting them with a thrilling sense of danger and possibility. 

...guitarist Alex Ward [is] a compulsively creative polymath of indiscriminately omnivorous appetite ... a reliably unpredictable axe-hero for collaborators of all backgrounds.
Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times Review

For Contra Pop 2018, Ward plays clarinet and electric guitar as part of a new free improv quartet, with Chris Sharkey (guitar), Dave Kane (double bass) and Alex Neilson (drums).