Open Air; the brand new solo flute album by Theo Travis

On 19 May 2017 Tonefloat releases Open Air – the brand new studio album by Theo Travis. The album comprises ten flute tracks – bass flute, alto flute, concert flute and various wood flutes, often layered in hypnotic loops and largely ambient and atmospheric in nature. Recorded in London in summer 2016 the album highlights Travis’s skill as one of today’s great flute players in ambient and progressive music.


The tracks on Open Air are largely atmospheric and textural but there is a wide range of compositions. Mostly completely original compositions  there are two tracks that draw on other sources.  ‘Magnify’ is a rhapsody based on a traditional Jewish hymn and ‘Whistman’s Wood’ is an arrangement of a composition by the English saxophonist and ECM Records artist John Surman.  Travis features the bass flute on the track ‘Preacher and Flock’ – a call and response type piece featuring the deep and lush sound of the lowest of flutes . ‘Menacing Eyes’ is the dark opening track and features the only guest appearance on the album, classical cellist Judith Herbert. On ‘Sailing and Drifiting’  there is a dramatic use of stereo with the ebbing and flowing chord pattern in left and right speakers that fade into the distance throughout the course of the whole piece, as long slow alto flute lines flow and build. ‘Heading for Home’ starts with strange twisted flute lines  leading to the nearest thing to a groove that appears on the album with a repeated bass line and finger clicking building to a funky ending.  The album cover features the stunning photography of Brighton, UK photographer Mark Nelson and the design of Carl Glover.

The album will be out on 180 grams black vinyl in a regular edition of 225 numbered copies with a digital version of the album, plus a limited edition of 75 copies in a completely different sleeve, and with two exclusive tracks Red On Gold and Tremolo added to the digital download. Both versions – of course – available to pre-order from our store now.

The album will also be available as a stand alone digital release from May 19.


Theo Travis is well known for both his solo career and his collaborations and contributions to some of the greatest progressive music artists of today. Theo has released ten acclaimed solo albums and has played on over a hundred albums in total. He has performed over seventy times at London’s Ronnie Scott’s club, tours the UK regularly with his jazz quartet, and has performed  all over the world including Japan, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the USA, France, Italy,  Belgium, Switzerland, Spain,  Denmark, Germany and Israel.  He has released recordings made live in New York, Philadelphia, Tokyo, London, Paris and Oslo. He is well known for his work with Steven Wilson as he has toured with him internationally and appeared on all four of his solo albums as well as his recordings with Porcupine Tree, Bass Communion and No Man

As a sonic experimentalist, he has developed his own system of ambitronics which utilises looping technology to create canvases of sound on flutes and saxes that are then woven into the music he makes. Such music, performed on the alto flute,  was first released on Theo’s  acclaimed album Slow Life which was credited as the inspiration behind the Jonathan Coe novel “The Rain before it Falls”  Theo has developed this technique and incorporated it into his work with Robert Fripp (albums and tours), David Sylvian (Nine Horses album and European tour),  Soft Machine Legacy (albums, many international festivals and tours 2006 to date) Gong (studio and live albums, and three world tours) and his solo performances.

In 2015 Theo toured with guitar legend David Gilmour around European Roman Amphitheatres. With his group Cipher (with Dave Sturt) he has written and performed eight separate film scores to classic silent films from the 1920s, touring them in independent cinemas all over the UK. He has also collaborated with other musicians including Harold Budd, Roger Eno, Palle Mikkelborg, Anja Garbarek, John Foxx, Bill Nelson,  Mick Karn, Porcupine Tree, Hatfield and the North, Jah Wobble, John Etheridge,  Bill Bruford, Lol Coxhill and Tony Coe.

MOJO magazine referred to Theo Travis as “a brave and restless talent to watch for”.