Chris Sharkey / Mark Sanders

The Orchid and The Wasp is Chris Sharkey (electric guitar + electronics) and Mark Sanders (drums + percussion).

The name, and title of their début record, is a reference to the Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari book, ‘A Thousand Plateaus’ from which came the initial inspiration for the project.

Developed in residence at Chapel FM Arts Centre in Leeds, this is immersive, improvised music that searches for new connections and combinations between acoustic and electronic sound. It is utopian music that travels across borders fusing distant forms with no concern for genre or label.

At a time of increasing division and discord across the west, this is music that champions openness and optimism as essential elements for imagining a future free from hate, narrow-minded nationalism and neo-fascism.

The Orchid and the Wasp was recorded live at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival in April 2018.

The follow up, ‘Lines of Flight’, was recorded at The Vortex Jazz Club in August 2019 and will be released in February 2020.

Both albums feature the concert in-full with no additional editing or overdubs.

‘…an engrossing listen, an expansive sound collage….ideas are exchanged and adapted and light speed… Sharkey and Sanders seem to think as one…’  - Jazzwise (4 * review)

'Chris Sharkey and virtuoso drummer Mark Sanders presented a special commission, The Orchid and the Wasp. With Sharkey playing guitar, computer, keyboard and an array of electronic gadgetry while the hyperactive Sanders played a collection of assorted metal and wooden objects as well as his drum kit, this was dense, complex and thoroughly compelling music and the festival (Gateshead International Jazz Festival) is to be congratulated for staging it.' - London Jazz News


Chris Sharkey
Hailing from the North-East of England, Chris has spent the last 20 years dedicated to making forward-thinking, contemporary music as a solo artist and with groups such as trioVD, Acoustic Ladyland, Roller Trio, Shiver and The Geordie Approach.
He is primarily an electric guitarist but just as comfortable performing with a laptop or sat behind a recording console in the studio.

Mark Sanders
Mark has had a career taking in many styles and genres, this history informs his now mainly free improvisation based work, but he also works in theatre, dance, contemporary classical and conceptual art situations.
He has played with many renowned improvising musicians including Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Roswell Rudd, Okkyung Lee, Barry Guy, Jah Wobble, Charles Gayle, Peter Evans, Trevor Watts, William Parker, Nate Wooley, Ivo Perelman and Nicole Mitchell.
He works with John Edwards in a duo and with groups including trios with Evan Parker, John Butcher, Elliott Sharp and many other groups visiting the UK and in Europe.