Thursday, 26 June, 2008

Peter Zummo _ Tom Hamilton - Slybersonic Tromosome (2000)

"Acoustic versus synthesized, breathing versus bleeping, live versus studio: Slybersonic Tromosome is all about contrasts and opposites meeting. Peter Zummo is a virtuoso on the trombone. His extended technique covers a lot of aural ground, an impression emphasized by his use of unusual instruments like didgeridoo and irrigation hose. Tom Hamilton plays electronics and synthesizers. They have been working together since 1993 but Slybersonic Tromosome is their first recording as a duet. Both instrumentalists been recorded separately and then integrated through digital mixing. Although there was live interaction at the session, there was also subsequent studio tampering. This work method allows better mixing of the electronics (stereo panning, depth in the mix), resulting in a more lively and -- paradoxically enough -- interactive performance on CD. It sounds like Zummo and Hamilton relate to each other on a subconscious level as they anticipate the other's move. The electronics take at times an almost electroacoustical quality, dressing up the music in an almost "thoroughly composed" fashion. The music contains a healthy dose of humor tha translates into track titles like "Neural Sturgeon" and "Trance for the Bopanon Set."
A very enjoyable CD requiring a lot of the listener's attention" by: François Couture, All Music Guide

Slybersonic Tromosome was released in a numbered limited edition of 600 copies.


1. Café Criminal 3:03
2. Neural Sturgeon 8:28
3. Raging Ions 6:42
4. Today's Beat Thing Tomorrow 10:07
5. Trance for the Bopanon Set 6:30
6. Rachel Tension 9:54
7. Steaming the Envelope 4:22
8. Loudspeaker Than Words 2:19
9. Pup Ramping 7:21

Tom Hamilton: synthesizer, electronics, beat thing
Peter Zummo: trombone, valve trombone, irrigation hose, didjeridu, mouthpiece extender, beat thing, superfunnel


Wednesday, 25 June, 2008

Steve Lacy Trio - Bye-Ya (1996)

"For me, the trio format is a classic one, an opportunity to enjoy, and a challenge to take it further. We three have played a lot together and the studio was excellent. The overall theme is "parting", perhaps because I've lost quite a few friends in the last few years, but also because I've left Paris for a while, after 25 years.

Three of my musical heroes were saxophonists:
John Gilmore, for whom I wrote The Hoot, was the extraordinary soloist with Sun Ra's band, able to take chances and score melodically, in the most far-out circumstances.
Charlie Rouse inspired Prayer. Playing with him in Monk's band was one of my most cherished experiences.
The Bath is a portrait of Dexter Gordon, with his huge tone and joyous swing.
Absence is dedicated to poet Franco Beltrametti, a dear friend of all of us, departed last summer. Irene sings the words that Tom Raworth wrote in August 1995 at Franco's funeral.
The words of Regret are by Paul Potts:

My dreams
Watching me said
One to the other
This life has let us down

The song is meant for Johnny Dyani, the great bassist from South Africa. We played together in the 60s, another early death. Jean-Jacques Avenel made the piece Pi-Pande in memory of the young guitarrist, Lionel Benhamou, who died not long ago. Longing is a recent song of words by Fernando Pessoa, and Bookioni is something I took from Oliver Johnson. One of the two Monk's tunes, Trinkle Tinkle is saying hello, and Bye-Ya, well, what do you think?"
Steve Lacy

1. The Hoot (Lacy)
2. Bye-Ya (Monk)
3. Longing (Lacy)
4. The Bath (Lacy)
5. Pi-Pande (Avenel)
6. Regret (Lacy/Potts)
7. Prayer (Lacy)
8. Trinkle Tinkle (Monk)
9. Absence (Lacy/Raworth)
10. Bookioni (Lacy)

Steve Lacy: soprano sax
Jean-Jacques Avenel: bass, kora (on #5)
John Betsch: drums
Irene Aebi: vocals (on #6 and #9)

part 1 : part 2@320

Tuesday, 24 June, 2008

TImbre (1995)

"Timbre" is the self-given name of a vocal group led by American expatriate Lauren Newton. They have been together since 1988 and have performed literally all over the globe. Combining medieval polyphony, plainchant, improvisation, spontaneous composition, and asymmetrical approaches to both timbre and harmony, this group has literally re-written the book on vocal invention in new music. Newton is only the one of the four with any background in "jazz" singing per se as she embraces standards as a part of her canon. The rest come from either classical school of voice or from theater and improvisation (Muetter). There are 19 compositions here, all of which were recorded live, direct to digital audiotape without overdubbing or additional mixing except for the master. The element of meld here is the key to comprehending but not enjoying Timbre's most astonishing recording -- it's so musical, it can be enjoyed without any understanding of what is taking place mechanically. 

The overtone singing, which comes from the Tuvans is not replicated here so much as hinted at. The work is structured as one large piece with very brief intervals of silence in between these "miniatures." There are percussion instruments employed in a few places, but, overall, the voices are more than enough to create an atmosphere that is ethereal, yet solidly "there." 

There are few acrobatics, few flights of fancy among the individuals, as it is clearly the group effort; it's trust and empathy that allows for these works to happen so spontaneously and change on a dime. If you purchase only one "new music" vocal recording, let it be this one. Gorgeous, harrowing, and hauntingly beautiful".
Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

1. Three & L
2. Three & O
3. Three & E
4. Three & B
5. Miniatur I
6. Miniatur II
7. Miniatur III
8. Miniatur IV
9. Miniatur V
10. Magna Mater
11. Fifteen
12. Kuult
13. Schrrr
14. Air
15. Miniatur VI
16. Miniatur VII
17. Miniatur VIII
18. Miniatur IX
19. AAAA

Lauren Newton: voice
Oskar Moerth: voice
Elisabeth Tuchmann: voice
Bertl Muetter: voice, trombone, conch shell

Recorded directly to DAT, no overdubs, March 1993 in the Basilica Mariazell, Austria, and October 1994 in the St. Veit Church, Graz, Austria.
Released by Leo Records in 1995.


Saturday, 21 June, 2008

Jean Schwarz - Chantakoa _ And Around | avec Michel Portal (1989)

Jean Schwarz' 'Chantakoa,' for solo clarinet and "tape", is played by Michel Portal. While the clarinet has been made electronic, the acoustic sound is preserved. 'And Around' is something of a follow-up to Schwarz's 'Surroundings' for two jazz musicians and a tape of American sounds.
Excellent electroacoustic pieces, a colorfulsoundcanvas! Impressive!!

about (click to enlarge, cd liner notes):

CHANTAKOA 34' (1986)
[Michel Portal : clarinette / Daniel Teruggi : SYTER : INA-GRM realtime sound processing device]

1. Introduction-dialogue 5'46''
2. Tape 4'18''
3. Accents 3'24''
4. Trame 5'14''
5. Par 5 3'26''
6. Solo 4'40''
7. Final 7'12''

AND AROUND 35'02'' (1981)
[Charles Austin : saxophones & flute / Joe Gallivan : percussions]

8. Accord 8'10''
9. Rythme-Venise 5'03''
10. Solo 3'06''
11. Trains 2'03''
12. Water 4'12''
13. Ballade 5'
14. Conclusion 7'28''


Wednesday, 18 June, 2008

John Carpenter - Escape from New York (1981)

1. Main Title
2. Up the Wall/Airforce 1
3. Orientation#3
4. Engulfed Cathedral (Debussy)
5. Back to the Pod/The Crazies Come Out
6. Arrival at the Library
7. Everyone's coming to New York
8. The Duke Arrives/The Barricade
9. Police State/Romero and the President
10. The President at the Train
11. The President is Gone
12. Come Across the 69th Street Bridge
13. Over the Wall

Written and interpreted by John Carpenter in colaboration with Alan Howarth
#4 with Pamela Smith (keyboards)
#8 with Tommy Wallace (guitar)
CD re-issue by Colosseum Schallplatten in 1988
Originally released by Varèse Sarabande Records in 1981.


Friday, 13 June, 2008

Bill Dixon with Tony Oxley: Papyrus - vols. I & II (1999)

Papyrus - Volume I

1. Essay Di Larry Neal - 4:02
2. Papyrus - 7:33
3. The Statesman - 9:11
4. Indirizzo:Via Cimarosa Sei - 3:46
5. Scribbles - 3:18
6. Ritratto Di Allen Polite - 2:31
7. Cinnamon - 8:15
8. Quadro Di Henry Dumas - 2:36
9. Palimpsest - 12:20
10. Steps - 6:39
11. Sine Qua Non #1 - 6:54
12. Quadro Di N.H.Pritchard - 1:37

Bill Dixon: trumpet (2-5,9-11) (echo on 4,5,7), piano (1,6-8,12)
Tony Oxley (2-5,7,9-11): drums, percussion

Papyrus was recorded @ Mu Recording Studio, Milano | Italy, June 22 & 23 _ 1998

linkvol.1part1 | linkvol1.part2 @ 320

...................................... / \ ......................................

Papyrus - Volume II

1. Silver Point: Jeanne Phillips - 1:32
2. Papyrus # 2 - 12:13
3. Pyxis - 4:33
4. Squares - 7:07
5. Epigraphy - 8:19
6. Sine qua non #2 - 6:54
7. Couplet - 5:20
8. Four: VI: 1998 - 10:23
9. Crawlspace - 13:14
10. Suri-Mono: Louise Wade - 3:04

Bill Dixon: trumpet (2-9), echo on 6, 2nd trumpet overdubbed on 8, solo p (1,10), overdubbed piano on 6
Tony Oxley: (not on 1,10): drums, percussion

Note: "Sine Qua Non #2" is a repetition of "Sine Qua Non #1" of Papyrus Vol.1 with the overdubbed addition of piano.

linkvol.2part1 | linkvol2.part2 @ 320

About Papyrus - Vol. II

"If it's possible to say so, then this is a "typical" Dixon record. Which is to say that it's impossibly slow and excruciatingly sparse - and I mean that as a compliment. His work presents a challenge in a way that few others do: rather than attack you with a barrage of sounds, Dixon has a real minimalist approach. It's so slow and sparse that I can't really tell if there are any "heads" present or if it's all improvised. And these pieces seem to all eschew the idea of creating a beginning, middle and end - something many improvisers work very hard to achieve. Instead, they're all middle. There's almost nothing to hook a listener - no melody, no pulsing rhythm, almost no sounds that typically come from a trumpet or drum set. So when I line this up next to, for instance, Brotzmann's Machine Gun, I have to say that Papyrus Vol. II is a far more challenging listen.

Tony Oxley is an excellent accompanist on this record employing a variety of scrapes and clashes that keep the overall sound fresh and interesting. How he knows what to do with what Dixon plays is beyond me. When he drops out, which is frequently, he leaves space for Dixon to take what must be the most strange and out trumpet solos in the history of music.

Dixon has mastered extended technique for his horn which is in evidence with fast little runs in the highest register followed by the lowest pedal tones [...].

Dixon also overdubs trumpet and piano on a couple of tunes as well as bookends the record with solo piano pieces that seem to exactly translate his music to that instrument. As if this record needed to be any weirder.

Dixon is in a class by himself and personally I find his music fascinating.

With that said, I don't know how strongly I can recommend this record. If you like really out music, music that makes Ascension and Free Jazz sound like Top 40 records, you should check this out. Perhaps this is musicians' music? I don't know. Like I said, I love this stuff..." in Fire & Flux

Wednesday, 11 June, 2008

Bernhard Günter - Slow Gestures / Cérémonie Désir (1999)

"Anybody who has ever become really involved in listening to a piece of music, looking at a painting, or reading a book, will have noticed that our subjective time is not feeling the same as the chronometrical time our watch shows.

In my work as a composer I have often found that listeners believed a shorter piece to last longer than an actually longer one, and that their estimates of the duration of a work were often quite far from the actual chronometrical one.

These considerations together with the interest I have taken in neurological research into our perception of time have led me to devise a new time unit for measuring the duration of my musical works. Said research has found that our perception of "present", "now", "the present moment" is a time window of about three seconds, everything else is memory or anticipation.
So my new time unit is three seconds long, and I call it DIM, which stands for the french expression "durée; içi, maintenaint" (duration: here, now).

From now on, I will give the duration of my works expressed in numbers of this unit:
slow gestures / cérémonie désir (for heike) : 464.3 DIM
With this new time value, you will know how many "moments" of your attention/consciousness each of my works is asking for".

Slow Gestures / Cérémonie Désir (for Heike) 464.3 DIM

"It is very difficult for me to speak of this work, since it is getting very close to my goal of creating a kind of language free space. I thus prefer to let it go without further comment other than that I dedicate it to my companion Heike - each gesture is both speaking of her, and speaking to her, without words".

Composed, recorded and mastered by Bernhard Günter at Trente Oiseaux, 1999.
Cover by Marc Behrens

link@320 (mp3)

Monday, 9 June, 2008

John Cage - Music for Trombone (1992)

"One has only to sit back and enjoy these deep and delightful master pieces of John Cage: Ryoanji, Solo for Sliding Trombone and TWO5; no reviews, no mental judgments, just get into it..."

performed by:
James Fulkerson (trombone), Frank Denyer (piano & percussion).
All pieces composed by John Cage

Music for Trombone

1. Ryoanji 17:43
2. Solo for Sliding Trombone (from Piano Concert 1957-58 combined with FONTANA MIX 1958 ) 17:07
3. Two5 39:54


Thursday, 5 June, 2008

Philip Corner - Three Pieces for Gamelan Ensemble

Chronicling the life of the often mentioned but undercelebrated 71 year old American composer, best known for his connections to Fluxus and the Judson Dance Theater, presents an interesting challenge. Thanks to a recent programme of reissues by Italian label Alga Marghen and the rediscovery of Corner’s remarkable 1970s and 80s work with Gamelan Son Of Lion, we have a window into Corner’s extraordinarily diverse activities.

In 1972, Corner accepted a position in the music department at Livingston College, a part of Rutgers University that had been a Fluxus stronghold since the late 1950s. The College hired ethnomusicologist Barbara Benary in 1973, who, having studied gamelan on the West Coast with Lou Harrison, decided to build an Indonesian gamelan for students to practice on, using instructions supplied by Berkeley Gamelan founder Daniel Schmidt, a sheet of steel and a lot of old grapefruit tins. Benary herself was initially against the idea of mixing Eastern and Western traditions, but as Corner’s New Music Performing Group and composer Daniel Goode became increasingly involved, and Gamelan Son Of Lion (‘Ben Ari’ is ‘son of lion’ in Hebrew) came into being, the group started to develop in a way that, as Benary says, “had absolutely nothing to do with traditional music”.

Gamelan has a long, rich history as an object of inspiration and appropriation for Western composers, going back to Debussy, who heard a Javanese gamelan at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889. Some composers working with gamelan, like Colin McPhee, lived in Bali for periods of time, while others, like Henry Cowell, studied and taught it as part of surveys of World Music. The measured, formal qualities of traditional gamelan at first appear to be highly resistant to the spontaneous singularities characteristic of Corner’s previous work. Surprisingly, an interest in numbers opened the gamelan up to him.

“I’d been totally into this intuitive, irrational Zen approach,” he acknowledges, “and that seemed like a great liberation because it permitted a complexity which numbers always seemed to inhibit (...) I wanted to add this idea of repetition, of measured relationships and extreme simplicity without renouncing anything that I had been doing, or which had been culturally achieved by irrational values, indeterminacy, silence, noise, improvisation. I never renounced long tones fading into silence, gonglike sounds floating in untuned space. With the gamelan you don’t necessarily hear that, but everything is tuned that way, and it still sounds like objects floating in pre-rational space.”

Just as chaos theory shows how mathematical formulae can themselves produce highly unpredictable and complex patterns, pieces like the marvellous Gamelan on Three Pieces For Gamelan, which begins with a slow deep gong sound fading into silence and gradually adds higher pitched instruments playing at increasingly rapid tempos, or the graphically scored Gamelan PC on Gamelan In The New World Volume 2, apply apparently simple principles of pitch and time measurement to each of the individual instruments in the gamelan, collectively producing a rich, highly complex permutating sound.

“I was really involved with resonant metal in a contemporary idiom,” Corner recalls, “and metal involves the possibility of noise as well as resonance, the oriental idea of sound dying away into silence, the use of silence, static sounds and all of that.” The gamelan provided a whole set of new possibilities for meditating on metal – and over the following 20 years, Corner produced more than 400 such pieces.

Corner himself finally visited Indonesia in 1986, ten years after he began composing for gamelan. In an interview with gamelan composer Jody Diamond made just before his trip, he argued that “you can’t run away from who you are. You can’t immerse yourself in another culture and pretend to be them. I think you have to go there knowing who you are, and then relate to them out of who you are and where you are.”

Corner was well received and collaborated with Javanese composers, such as Michael Asmara, with whom he remains in touch, but his involvement with gamelan ended when he left New York for Italy in 1992. However, Benary and Goode have continued to compose and perform with Gamelan Son Of Lion, and have issued a number of new recordings.

“The essential harmony is dissonant,” he declares. “Everything we call harmony is essentially counterpoint. Putting together single tones – the relationship between single tones. We use harmony as a kind of prejudice, against disharmony. Some relationships are acceptable, some aren’t. Some we call harmonious, some we don’t. But I see it all as essentially counterpoint. Whenever you take distinct pitches and put them together in combinations, it’s counterpoint.”

The notion that literally any combination of tones is harmonic flies in the face of the equal temperament tuning system that has dominated Western classical music since Bach, but it’s equally foreign to those who favour alternative tuning systems, such as Just Intonation, grounded in particular mathematical or physical principles of sound. For Corner, harmony is about relationship, and relationship is a good thing, the more sonically complex the better"

Marcus Boon, A Long Life, Endless as the Sky

1. Gamelan (1975)
played by members of Son of Lion on the instruments of the Javanese gamelan Kyai Muntjar
Connecticut, Feb 28, 1981.

2. The Barcelona Cathedral, 1st
played by members of Son of Lion on the instruments created by Barbara Benary
NYC, 1978.

3. Belum (1991)
Third version for Son of Lion with added Western instruments
Performed at Corner's Farewell to New York concert, Experimental Intermedia Foundation
NYC, Feb 29, 1992.

Released by Alga Marghen in 1999.


Tuesday, 3 June, 2008

Serge Gainsbourg - Le Cinéma De Serge Gainsbourg - Musiques De Films Vol. 1

"Continuing their sickeningly good series of lavish re-issues, Universal France have out-done themselves with this incredibly lavish package, collecting-up Gainsbourg's lesser known film soundtrack works and presenting them over three cd's and a large, gorgeously presented book. It's hardly surprising the lengths that Universal have gone to on this issue considering the quality of the other cds in the serie but I have to say I think this is my favourite so far simply for the fact that it's a veritable sweetshop of good music - and so much of it - all of it utterly top notch. From sleazy jazz to French low-slung funk to rockabilly to easy listening... it's all here and all injected with Gainsbourg's devilish panache and unsurpassable style".

1. Eau à la Bouche
2. Angoisse
3. Black March
4. Loups Dans la Bergerie (Final)
5. Cha-Cha du Loup
6. Strip-Tease
7. Some Small Chance
8. Rendez-Vous à la Calavados
9. Wake Me at Five
10. Solitude
11. Crazy-Horse Swing
12. Comment Trouvez-Vous Ma Soeur?
13. Erotico-Tico
14. No Love for Daddy
15. Rocking Horse
16. Chanson du Forçat
17. Vidocq Flash-Back
18. Scène de Bal 1
19. Scène de Bal 2
20. Valse du Jardinier
21. Sous le Soleil Exactement
22. Caressante
23. Woom Woom Woom
24. Breakdown Suite

First of a Three Volume Series.
Strictly instrumental music fom L'Eau a la Bouche, Anna, Si J'Étais un Espion, Le Jardinier d'Argenteuil, Les Coeurs Verts, Vidocq, Comment Trouvez-Vous Ma Soeur?, Toutes Folles de Lui, Les Loups dans la Bergerie, Strip-Tease.
All tracks recorded 1959-1967.


Playboy 1958-2001

Ice-creams, hats, watery situations, slippers, horses, breakfast, pillows, hay, boots, picnics, foam, countryside memories, cigarettes, flowers, lamps, twins, triplets, bathrooms, jewelery, sports, chairs, bicycles, drinking glasses, swimming pools, newspapers, vegetation, satin sheets, christmas postcards, maracas.

571 photos of playmates, including some celebrities, funny haircuts, and women you probably wouldn't consider that attractive now.


Sunday, 1 June, 2008

Wadada Leo Smith - Luminous Axis: The Caravans of Winter & Summer (2002)

A relentless musical innovator since his early days in the Chicago AACM, Wadada Leo Smith is one of the most consistently creative composer/performers in new music.
In his sixth Tzadik release he once again explores new territory, bringing six absolute masters of live electronics together to perform some of Wadada's most adventurous and colorful compositions. Including a large, sprawling work for four laptops and trumpet, and two dynamic duets with legendary laptop pioneer Ikue Mori, Luminous Axis is one of Wadada's most exciting and dynamic recordings.

"I'm no big booster of the laptop as the axe for our time — too much grey hissing — but on the remarkable Luminous Axis, Smith effectively squares off against four California computer jocks (including the very musical Tim Perkis), and plays duets with Ikue Mori, also on electronics. Where, say, Evan Parker or Axel Dörner on their electro-acoustic stuff blur the line between one and the other (albeit in different ways), Smith respects the autonomy of both worlds; his trumpet is a trumpet, singing brass and breath not noise-generator, and it occupies its own musical space. Ditto William Winant's kettle drums in the bass range, helping to inspire a rhythmic hubbub you might trace back through '70s Miles all the way to rainforest drum choirs. But then Smith sees them all as part of an ongoing continuum of black creativity."

in Wadada Leo Smith: Space Man Visits Many Worlds
by Kevin Whitehead

Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet and fugelhorn with electronics
Ikue Mori: computer-driven electronics
Chris Brown: computer-driven electronics
Mark Trayle: computer-driven electronics
Tim Perkis: computer-driven electronics
John Bischoff: computer-driven electronics
William Winant: percussion

Luminous Axis - The Caravans of Winter and Summer (2002)

1. Garden Of The Heart 5:19
2. Perfect Essence 0:33
3. Radiant Light Gushing From The Sun 2:37
4. Night Splendor, A Certain Moon Flow 1:27
5. Tango 0:46
6. Beauty 0:18
7. Fountain (immortality) 4:30
8. Garden Of The Soul 3:52
9. Apples, Dates And Pomegranates 1:29
10. Light, Ginger, Olives And Musk 2:36
11. Harp: A Gleaming Sama 2:20
12. Fountain (lore) 5:10
13. Camphor 3:53
14. Caravans Of Winter And Summer 15:16
15. The Traveler 4:58