Back home in Dundee, Scotland, I started playing as a kid in my grannie’s kitchen, using pots and pans. She used to play piano and improvise within the Scottish tradition.
A form of improvised singing – called “diddling” – was my joint introduction to folk music and improvisation. She was my inspiration and she encouraged me, giving me my first gig when I was 14 in an old folks club in a church hall.
Since then, I`ve drummed and played the northern hemisphere the long way round from Vancouver to Vladivostok with a lot of jazz musicians and ethnic musicians including Russian gipsy diva, Valentina Ponomareva , the late Vladimir Rezitisky, Sainkho Namtchylak, Celtic musicians Dick Gaughan and Tomas Lynch, Tibetan and Japanese Buddhist monks, and Siberian shamans.
I moved to London at the beginning of the 1970s and I formed Talisker, a band fusing jazz and Celtic music. We recorded a few albums and played round Europe.
I also studied Celtic music in Scotland and in Ireland – and shamanic drumming and khoomei overtone singing in Tuva, on the Mongolian border.
Since 1990 I’ve done regular tours of Russia, and in particular Siberia where I’ve played with a range of musicians in the area around Lake Baikal, and in Tuva, and the Altai – also on the Mongolian border.
Coming out of that is K-Space – a trio with Tim Hodgkinson and Gendos Chamzyryn from Tuva. We have toured Russia and Europe many times and our albums have had greatly encouraging reviews.
“Ken Hyder’s drumming always appears connected to the world beyond narrow musical concerns. It comes with a context, picking up on place, the past, people met and local practices.
At the same time he favours strong, well-defined musical statements, entirely free from ornamental excess and fuss.”
“Hyder has one of the strongest strokes in jazz, deployed with an astonishing technique. Not for a moment does his polyrhythmic machine falter, his four limbs continuing to beat with an implacable precision”