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Photo by Victoria Wai at Flea Circus.jpg


Mainly Two is the meeting of two powerful and distinct, yet complementary musical voices. Violinist, researcher and educator John Garner combines backgrounds in Western classical, jazz, Carnatic, and Japanese musical traditions, channeled through a singular improvisational approach. Marie Schreer, renowned soloist, chamber musician, section leader at The Hallé and member of the Riot Ensemble and its artistic board, has quickly established herself as a champion of new music in the UK and abroad.

Now in their second decade, with over twenty commissions (amongst them Laurence Osborn, Kate Williams, and Blasio Kavuma) and four albums under their belt, the duo have performed extensively at prestigious venues including Sage Gateshead and St David’s Hall in Cardiff, and in collaboration with organisations such as Nonclassical, Listenpony, Bastard Assignments and the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music. Both experienced pedagogues, they have also worked with students at Glasgow and Newcastle Universities as well as Sage Gateshead’s Young Musicians’ Programme.

Their latest album, Outside The Mask, is an exploration of the ungraspable: the colours between black and white, the feelings between joy and despair, love and resentment, familiarity and strangeness; the non-polarity of life. Drawing on their deeply-embedded knowledge of repertoire old and new, the duo have evolved a prismatic improvisational aesthetic uniting instrumental virtuosity, stylistic fluidity and timbral curiosity. The current season, which marks their 10-year anniversary, will see two new world premieres as well as tours to Germany and the Netherlands.

John Garner, Photo by Victoria Wai
Marie Schreer, Photo by Victoria Wai.jpg

"...the compositions span an unusually wide breadth for such a small instrumental combination..."

Chris Potter, jazz saxophonist


"...superbly played with an exceptional sense of beauty, imagination and fun..."

Bradley Creswick, violinist

Mainly Two - Outside the Mask, part 1 [excerpt]

Mainly Two - Outside the Mask, part 1 [excerpt]

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