Tag Archives: Simon Thacker


One of my favourite expressions, much used (perhaps coined) by the late, great Ken Campbell is seeker. Former Knox Academy pupil, Simon Thacker, certainly deserves that label. Aside from being a virtuoso performer he has, for some time now, sought out new things, often by combining contrasting genres. He describes a new project here:[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/XiF-uDqRwmw?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Hopefully there will be some local gigs soon?

Nava Rasa Ensemble on YouTube

Guitarist and former Knox pupil, Simon Thacker, has posted three videos on YouTube featuring his recent East-West project with the Nava Rasa Ensemble. This film features: Simon explaining the origin of and ideas behind the project; rehearsal footage; interviews with members of the ensemble. Look out for waterphone at 0:16; the fantastic Brazilian/Scots accent of Maria Lima Caribé da Rocha at 0:47

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/1aCsRduv9R0?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

This film features extracts from Shirish Korde‘s piece Nada Ananda, concerto for guitar and chamber ensemble:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/w1OCeleNaEM?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

This film features the final movement of Nigel Osborne‘s The Birth of Naciteka for guitar concertante:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/6lyKSw2XrZg?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

All three films feature explanatory notes to the right of the screen.

It’s interesting to note that Simon, who left school before the digital revolution, as we currently understand the term, was underway, has effortlessly harnessed technology in the service of communicating his art to as wide an audience as possible.

Nava Rasa

Former Knox pupil, Simon Thacker, is currently gathering together an East/West ensemble entitled the Nava Rasa Ensemble for a ten-date tour (details here). The programme, Inner Octaves, will feature music by Shirish Korde, Terry Riley and Nigel Osborne. Simon is never one to shy away from technical or musical challenges and this promises to be an unique evening – and one to remember.


I received a publicity email today from former Knox Academy pupil, Simon Thacker, alerting me to forthcoming concerts with vocal virtuoso Daisy Chute.

It seems pointless to paraphrase the content, so I’ll simply paste it in below. Just let me flag up an international project of Simon’s scheduled for later this year – the Nava Rasa Ensemble.

singing star and virtuoso guitarist
Tuesday 9th June, 7.30pm
Loretto Chapel, Loretto School, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 7RE
Tickets £10 (concs. £6)
Tickets: 0131 653 4433 or e-mail: jsmith@loretto.com
Wednesday 10th June, 7.30pm
The Osprey Music Society
Boat of Garten Community Hall
Reidhaven Park, Craigie Avenue, Boat of Garten, PH24 3BL
Tickets: £13 (£11/£5/£2) call 01479 831213 or email glenavonhouse@aol.com
Friday 12 June 2009, 8pm
Inverurie Music, Kemnay Church Centre
Church Lane, Kendal Road, Kemnay, Inverurie. AB51 5RN
Tickets £9.00, £7.00 (concession), £1.00 (children & full-time students)
available at the door or call (01467 624629)
Virtuoso guitarist Simon Thacker joins forces with Brit Award nominated All Angels’ star singer and recording artist Daisy Chute to perform passionate and colourful classical, Latin American, jazz and folk influenced music of remarkable range and stylistic diversity.
Their programme includes beautiful classical and exuberant popular Brazilian music, itself a merging of European, native and African cultures, Martini’s much loved romance Plaisir d’Amour, masterfully arranged North American folksong including their unique take on Babe I’m Gonna Leave You (popularised by Led Zeppelin) with digital delay, Spanish renaissance songs, a result of the fusing of Moorish, Jewish and Christian influences, Cuban song and a flamboyant Mexican Fiesta for guitar. The programme will display Daisy’s stunning voice, radiant stage presence and remarkable abilities to interpret music of diverse origins, whilst also featuring virtuosic guitar solos. Guitar and voice is one of the most intimate and affecting combinations and this promises to be a special concert featuring two acclaimed musicians.
Daisy shot to fame with the female vocal quartet All Angels, whose debut album reached the top 10 in the national pop album charts and number 2 in the classical charts, earning a platinum disc, Classical Brit Award nomination and making them the fastest selling début classical group of all time. All Angels were watched by 10 million TV viewers when they sang in front of the Queen at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and have appeared countless times on peak time BBC and ITV. Their performances include Blenheim Palace, Sandringham Last Night of the Proms and Proms At The Palace at Scone Palace. Daisy has sung at the Wigmore Hall and released a critically acclaimed solo jazz album at the amazing age of 15, championed by Humphrey Lyttelton on Radio 2.
“I could listen to her fantastic voice all day”, Howard Goodall, composer and television presenter
Simon’s fleet fingered fretwork, imaginative programming and emotionally charged interpretations have earned him acclaim from London to Havana. He was recently appointed Honorary Fellow in Music at the University of Aberdeen and nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, the highest recognition for live classical music-making in the UK. In 2006 he was a winner of the 50th Park Lane Group Young Artist Awards, resulting in his solo Purcell Room debut. He has performed in Cuba and the US, toured the UK several times and broadcast on Cuban TV and BBC Radio 3. Simon is Head of Guitar at Napier University and founder of acclaimed crossover group Camerata Ritmata. He will be leading his ground-breaking nine piece East/West project The Nava Rasa Ensemble, which features nine leading Indian and Western classical musicians, on a prestigious Scottish Arts Council Tune Up tour across the UK later in 2009. 
“The guitar is often underrated as a solo instrument, but Thacker demonstrated with startling virtuosity just how versatile and exciting it can be in the right hands.”
The Scotsman

Camera Ritmata

Simon Thacker, formerly of Knox Academy, recently sent me information about his group Camera Ritmata‘s Edinburgh Festival Fringe gig (details below). Along with special guest, Daisy Chute (of All Angels), the group comprises: Paul Harrison (piano), Mario Caribé (bass) & Stuart Brown (drums).


When – Saturday 23 Aug at 19:30

Where – Brunton Theatre, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA

Booking – Tickets – £14 (£12), box office: (0131) 665 2240 or you can book online here.