I first played solo, a short piece, not a concert, in 1982 at the Workers' Music Association in Notting Hill Gate.
To quote from a 1998 Rubberneck piece:
"After a few concerts I'd learnt a lot about making connections - but had also noticed recognisable pieces beginning to develop. I quite liked this, but worried about what it meant for long-term solo work. For a while, I almost envied composers; able to wrap up a piece, send it out into the world, and move on to the next. But a lot of the pleasure in giving solo concerts is connected to the hope of finding, spontaneously, some music you didnt really know about beforehand. Playing pieces is too close to playing routines and a concert is an opportunity for much more. As a live performer, improvising usually just feels better - less acting, less theatre, and more chance for a little magic. By way of a bonus, this means engaging with what Derek Bailey has described as a search for whatever is endlessly variable.
However, a considerable attraction of solo playing is that you have full control. You can work with material that may be too inflexible for the push and pull of group improvising; you can plan ahead, you can attempt pieces that have a definite, sustained, flavour - that adhere to some concept.
Whilst this is still close to my feelings about giving solo concerts - the other side of solo work has been to develop compositional ideas for CD: from the 1992 multitracks on Thirteen Friendly Numbers to the microphone-based work on Invisible Ear.
These ideas have them become re-introduced into concerts in the form of feedback-saxophone, close-miking and compositional stratergies.
One aspect was explored in July 2010 when I worked with Stephen Moore, who produced a Max/MSP patch to attempt live multitracking work via 15 speakers, at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn.
Since 2002 I have also had the opportunity to create solos specifically for large and unusual or especially characteristic acoustic spaces. Two concerts/recordings have been released from inside the giant Oya Stone Mountain in Utsunomiya, Japan.
Resonant Spaces was a 2006 Arika tour in Scotland and the Orkneys which visited sites specially chosen for their extraordinary acoustics.
Later that year I played, for Resonance FM, in Oberhausen's famous 200m gazometer.
In 2010 these ideas were continued at artist James McGee's The Hill in the West Texas Desert near El Paso.
A recent site-specific work (WIRE review here) was in the medieval vaults of Southampton, UK - organised by Bang the Bore.