The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

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Two generations of remarkable pianists--Keith Tippets and Matthew Bourne--performed a series of two-piano concerts between 2017 and 2019, also recording in the studio, as heard in this 2-CD release, the first a set of consequential piano duos recorded at Leeds Conservatoire in 2019, the 2nd disc a live performance at Daylight Music at Union Chapel, London, Tippetts' final public performance. ... Click to View


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New Rumours And Other Noises (Ada Rave / Nicolas Chentaroli / Raoul van der Weide):
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SuperKlang (Aurier / Lemetre):
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ISM:
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Marcus Schmickler :
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Two major works designed for multi-channel sound projections from electronic composer Marcus Schmickler: "Sky Dice / Mapping the Studio", a work for ARP 2500, Publison DHM89B, Publison Infernal Machine and Computer, premiered at Donaueschinger Tage fur Neue Musik in 2018; "Fortuna Ribbon" a 6-part work based on spatial hearing and auditory otoacoustic distortions. ... Click to View


Sean Conly:
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A mix of lyrical, free and traditional compositions, the majority from leader, New York bassist Sean Conly, along with pieces from long-time collaborator Michael Attias, Sam Rivers and Paul Motian, performed in the piano trio format with drummer Francisco Mela and pianist Leo Genovese, in a great balance of jazz steeped in tradition but living fully in the present. ... Click to View


Sean Conly:
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A mix of lyrical, free and traditional compositions, the majority from leader, New York bassist Sean Conly, along with pieces from long-time collaborator Michael Attias, Sam Rivers and Paul Motian, performed in the piano trio format with drummer Francisco Mela and pianist Leo Genovese, a great balance of jazz steeped in tradition but living fully in the present. ... Click to View


James Lewis Brandon / Red Lily Quintet (w / William Parker/ Chad Taylor / Kirk Knuffke / Chris Hoffman):
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Led by tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and peformed by his Red Lily Quintet with Kirk Knuffke on cornet, William Parker on bass & gimbri, Christopher Hoffman on cello and Chad Taylor on drums & mbira, Lewis' work explores and reflects on the legacy of scientist George Washington Carver through 7 remarkable free jazz compositions. ... Click to View


Violeta Garcia / Emilie Girard-Charest:
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Slippery confluence to taut string friction in the duo of Argentinian cellist & improviser Violeta Garcia and Quebec cellist Emilie Girard-Charest, both bringing impressive improvisational resumes and classical grounding to their uniquely informed dialogs, heard in a five part album exploring a remarkable range of technical skill and expression. ... Click to View


Modelbau (Frans de Waard):
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Using prepared re-recorded cassettes, iPad apps, sound effects, laptop, shortwave radio, small synthesizers, ancient 2bit sampling device, all recorded on the spot without multi-tracking or extensive post-editing, Frans de Waard's 2017 Modelbau release presents 22 concise recordings of joyfully quirky electronic expression, from Kraftwerkian sound to curious peculiarity; wonderful. ... Click to View


Anne-Francoise Jacques / Tim Olive:
Bistre [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tsss Tapes)

The fourth release from the long-standing sonic research duo of Montreal sound artist Anne-F Jacques, who uses "rotating devices" based around small amplified motors, and Montreal ex-patriot living in Kobe, Japan Tim Olive (845 Audio), using magnetic pickups on objects and self-built instruments, here in six richly detailed and sometimes curiously menacing recordings. ... Click to View


Kevin Corcoran / Giacomo Salis / Paolo Sanna:
Sul Filo [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tsss Tapes)

Initiating like a jet shaking the sky, the trio of Kevin Corcoran on percussion & objects, Giacomo Salis on percussion, objects & field recordings and Paolo Sanna on percussion & objects create otherworldly sonic environments that project collapsing and ringing events above often turbulent foundations, creating side-long journeys that engage through mysterious and surmisable sound. ... Click to View


Preliminary Saturation (de Turck / Jaspers / Smolders):
You Are The Universe (Moving Furniture)

In 2004, sound artist Jos Smolders released his Textures and Mobiles album on the CONV label; so taken by the sound, which is based on dtmf and ccitt tones generated by phones and pure sine waves, the Preliminary Saturation duo of Steffan de Turck and Wouter Jaspers created these three diverse edits and remixes of the album, one for a live performance at Smolder's 2006 birthday party. ... Click to View


Preliminary Saturation (Wouter Jaspers / Steffan de Turck):
Summer Breeze [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Muzan Editions)

Two large works of sound from frequent collaborators, Dutch sound artist and experimenter Steffan de Turck (aka Staplerfahrer) and Netherlands sonic innovator Wouter Jaspers, the first piece contrasting music-box synthetic melodies with deep drone and noise; the second a dark work of haunting properties that evolves to a spectral whisper of submerged voice. ... Click to View


Wadada Smith Leo / Henry Kaiser / Alex Varty:
Pacifica Koral Reef (577 Records)

Interpreting trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's Ankhrasmation graphic score--the term joining the Egyptian symbol for life, the Ethiopian word for leader and the universal term for mother--Smith and guitarists Alex Varty & Henry Kaiser use the rich combination of visual cues and musical notation to record this rapturous and unduplicable album of profound and engaging improvisation. ... Click to View


Palu Berner / Michael Moore:
Amulet [2 CDs] (Ramboy)

More uncommon than than the sax/drum duo format, reedist Michael Moore performs on clarinet and Paul Berner on contrabass, releasing this double CD of intimately recorded duos, an eclectic mix of standards and original compositions in a lovely and engaging set of lyrical and succinct expression from two eloquent and passionate improvisers. ... Click to View


John Zorn:
Chaos Magick (Tzadik)

"Chaos Magick" is a contemporary magical practice based on the ideas of Austin Osman Spare, influencing the work of William Burroughs, Robert Anton Wilson, and Aleister Crowley, and here inspiring the compositions of John Zorn for his Simulacrum ensemble of Kenny Grohowski on drums & percussion, Matt Hollenberg on electric guitar, Brian Marsella on electric piano and John Medeski on organ. ... Click to View



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Reviews of live performance


  Holland Hopson / James Keepnews with special guests Damian Catera and Tom Chess 

  (Washington Square Church) 


Friday, March 28th, 2003
   review by Phil Zampino
  2003-04-10

Under the arches and pipe organ inside the Washington Square Church, soprano saxist  Holland Hopson and guitarist James Keepnews assembled a collection of powerbooks, rack electonics and pedals, performing for two hours as a duo and in trio with Tom Chess on tenor sax and oud, and Damian Catera on guitar, powerbook and electronics.

Starting with sirens and politically charged samples, the duo- both of whom's racks included anti-war stickers- worked subtle sax riffs and passionate guitar chords in juxtaposition to the samples.  Hopson's playing was generally continuous, twisting around the samples with odd harmonic interactions generated by his computer. The umbilicus of cables trailing from his sax included an altitude sensor with which he could control various aspects of the generated sound, at times creating a chorus of saxes playing in multiple registers and tonalities.  Keepnews jumped between the powerbook, his rack and his guitar, controlling the flow of the samples and occasional sampled rhythms, even dropping in the Casey Casum quotes that caused Negativland so much legal trouble.  The results were a lovely juxtaposition of ugly sentiment and beautiful playing, as the two created a 21st century improvisation, cajoling odd signal twists from their electronics.

After performing two pieces the duo was joined by Tom Chess for two improvisations.  On the first Chess played tenor sax, opening with a powerful tone over which the three developed an abstracted interplay.  Here Chess was an excellent foil for Hopson and Keepnews as his lower register playing complemented their higher octave strategies.  The piece slowly developed into a duo between Hopson and Chess, an interesting contrast of acoustic tenor and electronic soprano.  For their second piece Chess switched to the oud, playing middle-eastern melodies over which Keepnew s' haunting samples wailed.  The communication between the three was excellent, interacting with each other as Keepnews varied the piece through samples of voices and rhythms, slowly bringing itself to a peaceful and coherent conclusion.

Hopson and Keepnews then returned to duo format with the most structured piece of the evening which they described as having a "modicum of a plan."  They described the piece as taking the audience to the "South East instead of Central Asia (along the axis of evil)." The piece began with samples of traffic noises and a slow tabla led rhythm over which Hopson played clustered figures against Keepnews' distorted guitar riffs, making a meandering journey into a dark world. After the break the two returned for two more improvisations, interactions with squiggly noises and strident distortions, whistful pieces that never completely congealed, but which wafted about the church in interesting ways.

Damian Catera then joined the duo as the final guest of the evening.  This introduced one more powerbook and another guitar to the fold, as Keepnews and Catera built sheets of drones over which Hopson looped sax lines.  A rich, thick noise tapestry was created out of which identifiable beats played forward and backward while samples appeared and dispelled themselves. The music took interesting turns with dense dynamic drops, the three interacting with bold structures and ideas.

The concert ended with a final duo improvisation using no processing.  The subtle interactions between Hopson and Keepnews showed the musicality that provided the foundation for their electronic excursions, a lovely ending to a dynamic and interesing performance.



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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


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