Trio Verso

Poetry, Jazz & Improvised Music

Brian Johnstone: spoken word
Richard Ingham: saxophones, bass clarinet,
                              trombophone, low whistle
Louise Major:      double bass, percussion

Trio Verso is a collaboration fusing the performance of poetry with jazz grooves and improvised soundscapes. Bringing an original approach to live poetry, in the context of music at times rhythmically swinging and at others atmospheric and haunting, Trio Verso seek to refocus the ideas behind the 1950s poetry & jazz movement for a 21st century audience. Trio Verso released the CD Storm Chaser in 2009.

…the audience’s attentiveness was matched by that of the performers…in the vivid improvisations Richard Ingham and Louise Major…wove around…Brian Johnstone’s poetry.      David Robinson, The Scotsman

A new take on jazz-poetry…[in which the] voice manages to be both softly-spoken and enviably powerful. Trio Vero personify…inventive collaboration.      Colin Herd, The Devil Writes Poetry blog

...dark primeval sonorities that contrasted well with voice…their experiments exploited the sensual aspect of music making...                                      Alistair Massey, New Words Festival website

An evocative and colourful weave of word and music performed by the three-legged phenomenon that is Trio Verso. Brian Johnstone enunciated his perfectly-crafted lines … to provide a framework onto which two talented and versatile musicians stitched and embroidered their response, to perpetuate an impressive, living tapestry of sound. Never have I seen a double-bass used, or even abused, in such a way as to emit the chirps, twangs and whines that Louise Major produced. This was enhanced and complemented by the bizarre clarinet-play, and blasphemous saxophony of Richard Ingham. It came as a surprise to discover that the musicians were taking their cues directly from the poems, rather than from music scores. Indeed, all the music at this event was improvised. An unexpected treat.                                   Cal Wallace, Wordfringe website

The Sound of Breaking Glass

Title Shot

The Method


How the Mire Thaws

The Home Service

Since forming in 2007, Trio Verso has performed at venues including the Ted Hughes Festival in Yorkshire, Edinburgh’s Scottish Poetry Library and Traverse Theatre, the Aye Write Featival (Glasgow), Wigtown Book Festival, Aberdeenshire’s WordFringe and New Words Festivals, the Callander Poetry Weekend and poetry sessions at The Skye Reading Room, Last Monday at the Rio (Glasgow), Shore Poets and The Golden Hour (Edinburgh). The collaboration is on-going and available for performances.

Richard Ingham and Brian Johnstone have also collaborated in a larger poetry & jazz project, Robinson, a setting of the author's poem sequence inspired by the work of the American poet Weldon Kees in a setting for 20 piece jazz orchestra, trumpet and trombone soloists and two spoken voices.