The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Joe Morris / Damon Smith:
Gusts Against Particles [VINYL] (Open Systems Records)

... Click to View


Don Cherry New Researches Feat Nana Vasconcelos:
Organic Music Theatre Festival de Chateauvallon 1972 [2 CDs] (Blank Forms)

Trumpet player Don Cherry and Swedish visual artist Moki Cherry began a collaboration in the 1960s to create a warm and affirming space for creative music that became known as Organic Music Theatre, here in the very first performance from the 1972 Festival de jazz de Chateauvallon in France in a quintet with Nana Vasconcelos, Christer Gouirand & Doudou Gouirand. ... Click to View


Don Cherry:
The Summer House Sessions [2 CDs] (Blank Forms)

In July 1968 trumpeter Don Cherry assembled a group of Swedish musicians--Bernt Rosengren (sax & winds), Tommy Koverhult (saxophone & winds), Leif Wennerström (drums), Torbjörn Hultcrantz (bass), Jacques Thollot (drums) & Kent Carter (bass)--recording their session with the intention of a releasing an album that never happened, the tapes now re-discovered 50 years later and finally available! ... Click to View


Magda Mayas' Filamental (w / Davies / Caddy / Theriot / Davies / Parkins / Thieke / Abdelnour):
Confluence (Relative Pitch)

Composed by pianist Magda Mayas for an octet of superb avant improvisers including Rhodri Davies, Zeena Parkins, Michael Thieke, Angharad Davies, &c. and performed live at the 2019 Music Unlimited 33, in Wels, Austria, this extended work uses a graphic score to interpret 12 photographs taken over an hour observing the merging waters of the Rhone and the Arve rivers. ... Click to View


Haco:
Nova Naturo (Someone Good)

Drawing inspiration from mythologies surrounding ideas of rebirth, Haco's unique sense of ambience within song structures creates beautiful environments of rich detail and encompassing warmth, performed with an eclectic group including improvising guitarist Manuel Adnot, pianist Tetsuji Matsuo, Stabilo (Speaker Gain Teardrop), Tarnovski (Gurun Gurun), and Keiichi Sugimoto (Vegpher). ... Click to View


Plan Kruutntoone:
Wat Doen De Handen [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (esc.rec.)

The fifth album from Amsterdam avant rock band Plan Kruutntoone led by Hans Visser on guitar, banjo & voice, and drummer/percussionist Chris Müller, is a diverse set of recording that bring a sense of isolation and introspection, including spoken word pieces with Samuel Beckett text fragments, and a string quartet composed by Hans Visser; unique and singular. ... Click to View


Michael Marcus:
Stone Jump (Not Two)

Michael Marcus composed these lyrical jazz works to create a message about "New York City realities", recorded in two studio sessions with Marcus on soprano & tenor sax, octavin, A clarinet & tarogato, along with Denton Darien on piano, John Austria on Fender Rhodes, Tyler Mitchell on bass, Warren Smith on drums & percussion, and Lawrence Feldman on alto flute. ... Click to View


Heather Frasch / Ryoko Akama:
Linking (Ftarri / Meenna)

US sound artists Heather Frasch and UK Ryoko Akama, who together run the mumei journal exploring the relationship between text and sound, in works commissioned by Bruno Duplant based on written texts, each interpreted, recorded and edited by the other using objects, field recordings, electronics, cello & voice, with one piece from Frasch and two versions from Akama. ... Click to View


Seijiro Murayama :
Mi-Tai (Ftarri / Hitorri)

Eight improvised performances on percussion from Paris-based drummer/percussionist Seijiro Murayama recorded in 2019 using acoustic sources from snare drums, mallets, brushes, voice, steel tables, gong and voice, captured in four locations around France and in Mishima City, Japan, each exploring new compositional methods and ways to improvise within them. ... Click to View


The Residents:
Leftovers Again?!?: Limited Edition [VINYL RSD] (CRYPTIC CORPORATION)

Following the enthusiastic critical and commercial response to their pREServed reissue series, which has produced hundreds of previously unheard recordings from the band's master tape archive, The Residents now explore the original multitrack tapes for their seminal 1970s output, sixteen never before heard alternate versions, unreleased curios and long-forgotten oddities. ... Click to View


Mats Gustafsson / Joachim Nordwall:
Shadows of Tomorrow b/w The Brain Produces Electrical Waves [7'' VINYL w/ DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

After their duo album A Map of Guilt and many albums together under various Fire! groupings, Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and electronic artist Joachim Nordwall face off again for a limited 7" single: two simmering dialogs, remarkable counterpunches of rumbling synthetics, instrumental noise, pulsating bass tones, heavy breath and terrifying innuendo! ... Click to View


Vasco Trilla / Liba Villaecchia:
Asebeia (FMR)

Asebeia (ἀσέβεια) was a criminal charge in ancient Greece for the "desecration and mockery of divine objects", for "irreverence towards the state gods" and disrespect towards parents and dead ancestors; here it is also the informed and diverse, freely improvised duo of Spanish improvisers, saxophonist Liba Villavecchia and drummer/percussionist Vasco Trilla. ... Click to View


Machinefabriek:
With Drums [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (esc.rec.)

Rutger Zuydervelt (aka Machinefabriek) invited 41 drummer/percussionists including Tony Buck, Vasco Trilla, Tim Barnes, Greg Stuart, Cyril Bondi, &c. to take part in a project by recording a few short fills or phrases, which Zuydervelt used as "Lego Bricks" to build a series of short rhythmical collages, the results being 24 diverse and fascinating compositions. ... Click to View


Musicworks:
#139 Spring/Summer 2021 [MAGAZINE + CD] (Musicworks)

Spring/Summer issue of Canada's premiere new music magazine, including an 11-track CD of music from the artists covered in each issue, with articles: Sobey Art Award wubber Lou Shppard; a 30-page section exploring climate emergency through nine sound and music artists; Brooklyn-based composer and violist Tanya Kalmanovitch; Ashley Au; James Goddard; David Psutka; &c. &c! ... Click to View


Pek Solo:
A Quartet of Peks - Unifications (Evil Clown)

Boston free improviser, composer, reed player and multi-instrumentalist PEK (David Peck) quadruples himself on this album with four continuous tracks of one PEK each playing many instruments, using a broad palette comprised of woodwinds, percussion, electronics, and strings, each recorded pass filling in space and playing counterpoint to previously recorded tracks. ... Click to View


Oier Iruretagoiena :
Kulakantu (Nueni)

Four pieces from Oier Iruretagoiena (Tusuri, Larraskito Audio Dissection Unit) using computer generated sound of an abstract nature, with irregular rhythms and intersections in harmonics and feedback, actively reserved and avoiding extremes while creating a cohesively curious collection of quirky, aberrant, cranky and surprisingly compelling connected sounds. ... Click to View


Koen Nutters:
Intervals, time and space between [2 CDs] (Meenna)

Three versions of composer Koen Nutters piece "Intervals, time and space between," performed in Berlin, Switzerland and The Netherlands in 2019 by Ensemble Post-music and DNK Ensemble with special guests Stefan Thut, Luke Martin, Thea Mesirow and Aaron Foster Breilyn, the work open to interpretation as a construction kit for each player to build their own version. ... Click to View


Joelle Leandre:
Beauty / Resistance [3 CD BOX] (Not Two)

Live concert recordings at Alchemia club in Krakow captured during the Krakow Jazz Autumn Festival 2019 while double bassist Joëlle Léandre held residence, 3 CDs presenting first a quartet with Zlatko Kaucic on drums & percussion, Mateusz Rybicki on clarinets and Zbigniew Kozera on bass, then one disc in a duo with Zlatko Kaucic and another with guitarist Rafal Mazure. ... Click to View


Rosa Barba / Chad Taylor:
In a Perpetual Now of Instantaneous Visibility (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Using Rosa Barba's cello and the celluloid of a film projector as an alternative bow to create rich drones, and Chad Taylor's drum kit along with his incredible prowess with a mbira, this NY duo create an incredible set of rhythmically active soundscapes that draws their listener into a wonderfully vivid and richly flowing improvisational world; stunning! ... Click to View


James Lewis Brandon / Red Lily Quintet (w / William Parker/ Chad Taylor / Kirk Knuffke / Chris Hoffman):
Jesup Wagon (Tao Forms)

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


Spontaneous Music Ensemble:
Question And Answer 1966 [2 CDs] (Rhythm and Blues)

Exploring the roots of the SME, this illuminating disc presents a full concert from 1966 of an early configuration performing in a mode closer to what listeners might consider "jazz", from John Stevens (drums), Trevor Watts (sax), Paul Rutherford (trombone) and Bruce Cale (bass), plus a studio session from later that year and a 1/2 hour Q&A session discussing improvisation. ... Click to View


Banks / Canha / Porter / Taylor:
Lost At Sea (FMR)

Using as their inspiration the esthetic, soundscape and work of experimental Icelandic band Sigur Rós, the UK quartet of Dan Banks on piano, Jose Canha on bass, Trevor Taylor on drums and Robin Porter on saxophone present eight compositions written and arranged by pianist Banks, bringing the ethereal post-rock of Rós into the lyrical world of modern creative jazz. ... Click to View


Joe Moffett:
Stress Positions (Neither/Nor Records)

The title referencing police tactics used to subdue a suspect, the 2nd solo album from NY trumpeter Joe Moffett finds the imporoviser approaching the instrument with atypical technique and a sense of sonic power in five engrossing works of technical prowess and creative imagination, producing "mangled, oscillating, chittering noises, a collision of muscle, bone, and metal". ... Click to View


TtD (Nasuno Mitsuru / Tatsuya Yoshida):
Teneleven the Duo (Fourth Hand Record)

Concentrating the Teneleven quintet to a duo in the core of drummer Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins, Koenji Hyakkei, Korekyojinn) and bassist & electronic device guru Mitsuru Nasuno (Altered States, Fushitsusha, Ground Zero), for eleven tracks of energetic interactive rock improvisations, alternating between "TdD" pieces of burning improvisations and introspective "Afterglows". ... Click to View


Julius Eastman :
Femenine (Sub Rosa)

ensemble 0: Variable geometry performs this essential work from composer Julius Eastman, written in 1974 for a chamber ensemble of acoustic and electronic instruments, merging a backbone of hypnotic minimalism with forms of improvisation and points of flexibility for the performers, a great example of Eastman's work and relationship to other contemporary composers. ... Click to View


Drasler / Pascolo / Novello:
odboqpo (Creative Sources)

The electroacoustic improv trio of flutist Paolo Pascolo and electronics guru Alberto Novello (JesterN') on modular synthesizer, and Slovenian drummer Vid Drašler, for seven haunting improvisations of unfaltering patience, electronic tones commingling with atmospheric flutes and subtle percussive intervention, creating rich sonic environments or quirky conversation. ... Click to View


Tanja Feichtmair / Damon Smith / Gino Robair:
The Shrilling of Frogs (Balance Point Acoustics)

Discovered in a box of recordings in BPA's possession, this recording from 2003 restores a stimulating freely improvised studio encounter between then-West Coast frequent collaborators, double bassist Damon Smith and percussionist Gino Robair, in a trio with Austrian alto saxophonist & bass clarinetist Tanja Feichtmair, mastered to pristine quality by Weasel Walter. ... Click to View


Michel Banabila :
Wah-Wah Whispers [VINYL] (Bureau B)

A collection of compositions drawn from recent works by Michel Banabila, the composer performing alongside artists Rutger Zuydervelt, Yuko Parris, ok Van Vuuren and all n4tural, showcasing his flexibility in developing a variety of works that include cinematic sweeps, ambient/fourth world, sound and noise, and rhythm-based and synthetic. ... Click to View


Phew / John Duncan / Kondo Tatsuo:
Backfire of Joy [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

A previously unreleased concert at Tokyo's Hosei University in 1982 from the trio of Tatsuo Kondo performing on synthesizer, tape & piano, Phew on vocals, and visiting artist John Duncan on electronics and shortwave radio, each LP side a creative exploration of sound and free associative voice, an assertive and confident example of the explosion of 80s experimentation. ... Click to View


Mark Shippy / Alex Cunningham :
Ghost Note [VINY] (Personal Archives)

The first recorded collaboration between guitarist Mark Shippy (U.S. Maple) and improvising violinist Alex Cunningham (Apathist!, Claire Rousay, Cunningham/Cameron/Smith), together taking their instruments into strangely tumultuous and often quickly shifting territory; sometimes ethereal, sometimes cantankerous, always captivating. ... Click to View



  •  •  •     Join Our Mailing List!



The Squid's Ear
Facebook: Squidco Sales

Heard In

Reviews of artist releases:
cd's, books, magazines, &c.


  John Cage (Ulrich Krieger) 
  A Cage Of Saxophones Vols. 3 & 4 - Indeterminancy Mode  
  (Mode Records) 


  
   review by Kurt Gottschalk
  2011-07-20
John Cage (Ulrich Krieger): A Cage Of Saxophones Vols. 3 & 4 - Indeterminancy Mode (Mode Records)

Ulrich Krieger has carved a special place for himself as a new music saxophonist. He has recorded works by Luciano Berio, Gavin Bryars, Phill Niblock and Radu Malfatti, has arranged Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music for contemporary chamber ensemble, and has recorded extensively with Alan Licht and Lee Ranaldo in the group Text of Light. And with this release, Krieger completes his efforts at recording all of John Cage's compositions for saxophone.

As on the previous volumes, Krieger approaches Cage's works with the assistance of his longstanding quartet Intersax, some other guests and in some cases multi-tracking. But where the first two volumes (released individually by Mode) were comprised of more conventionally structured and notated work, on this double disc set Krieger takes on some of the more conceptual of Cage's works. In the process, he makes a couple of superfluous moves but also comes up with a rarely heard gem of a collaborative composition.

Each of the two discs opens with a half-hour work from the Numbers Pieces before moving on to shorter, or at least more varied, works. The collection doesn't include Cage's spoken piece Indeterminacy, but does borrow its title as an organizing principle. The works presented here aren't notated scores but are derived from sets of rules that the performers have to work through to arrive at their own unique scores.

Disc one opens with FOUR6 realized for amplified sax quartet and recorded live by four players. It's an excellent starting point for the set, presenting an index of possible saxophone sounds within a quiet stillness. The Number Series is among Cage's final works, at which point he was ceding considerably more latitude in decision-making to the performers. For this reading, the players came up with a catalog of sounds and then, still following the dictates of the score, arranged them in a complementary manner to create the final piece. This is, perhaps, verboten to the strict Cageian (although not to Cage himself), but the sonic panorama doesn't yield any obvious influences of the players' egos. And either way, it's quite beautiful.

That's followed by a pairing of pieces (also allowed within Cage mores): Cartridge Music from 1960 with 11 Instruments from 2005. Here Krieger conceived an opposite structure. Eleven saxophonists each recorded their parts independently, and in different locations, and the recordings were compiled, assumedly with no aesthetic judgments made in the layering. The sounds each player produced were derived from Krieger's adaptation of Cage's Cartridge Music, written for a turntable stylus or any other means of producing "amplified small sounds." There are no large sounds and rarely anything entirely saxophoney, and is unlikely to excite casual Cageists.

The sonic density thickens with another pair of pieces, Fontana Mix (1958) and Sextet for Low Woodwinds<./i> (2005). Fontana is a tape construction (or a set of rules for same), here constructed from tracks from the four CAGE of saxophones volumes. Krieger constructed the Sextet following the same structure as Fontana, playing all of the horns himself. (Creating something of a set theory riddle, the Sextet then presumably feeds into Fontana as well.) To gauge them in terms of successfulness would run counter to the Cage stance, but these two pieces would perhaps be more listenable to more people than the take on Cartridge, an almost avowedly nonmusical (by any standard definition) composition.

The first disc closes with one of a wonderfully unexpected selection, a 10-minute, 20-section work called Party Pieces co-composed by Cage, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison and Virgil Thomson. Essentially a musical Exquisite Corpse, it was written with each composer seeing only a fragment of the preceding section. In the realm of any of the co-composers, it is just a footnote, but it's a great bit of history, and the tonal rows in Krieger's sax-quartet arrangement make for a nice end to the first half of the program.

Disc two starts with the other of the Number Pieces, One7. Krieger takes this one solo, and in his liner notes draws a parallel to Cage's famous 4'33", or the "Silent Piece." One7 is essentially a system of framing the times during which sound events might occur, akin to the frame of 4'33", within which no intentional sounds occur. One7 achieves a remarkable stillness and leads, then, logically enough, into the first of two versions of 4'33". And while it might run counter to the Zen Happenstance philosophy of Cage to consider a piece "rewarding" or "satisfying," it might still be kosher to consider something superfluous, and including two different recordings of Cage's most famous and most misunderstood piece is a bit of overkill.

Cage scored 4'33" in 1952 for a player (David Tudor in particular) sitting at a piano and doing nothing for four minutes and thirty-three seconds, but later allowed that it could be performed on — or "at," perhaps — any instrument. It's a touchstone of the 20th Century avant garde, and has been repeated and ridiculed numerous times. As a concept for discussion, it's hasn't been quite dug into the ground. Kyle Gann's No Such Thing as Silence (published last year by Yale University Press) is a fascinating study of the piece. But at this point in time what the piece can add to a recording is a legitimate question. The two versions here are set for saxophone trio, one with the studio windows open and the other with the windows closed. It's a pair of honest realizations that can't help but come off as a bit cheeky. All arguments about the piece, however, should include the fact that it's relatively short. The nine minutes and six seconds they occupy don't amount to enough that the release could have been a single disc without them so why, one supposes, the hell not?

Between the two 4'33"s lies the strongest recording of the set. The 1989 Sculptures Musicale runs 37 minutes and essentially closes the collection. Like the Number Pieces, Sculptures Musicale works with bracketed amounts of time within which certain sonic events (not strictly prescribed) are to occur. Krieger pulls this one off with his own reeds alongside guests providing accordion, percussion, piano and strings. Objects, electronics and small instruments also make their way into the mix, as well as a considerable amount of silence. The greater variety of instrumental voices makes it a more compelling listen (again, whether or not it "should"), even though the instrument's natural voices aren't often distinct, and the dramatic use of volume, density and abrupt quietness is shocking. It's strangely dramatic for Cage, but a great listen nonetheless.

What's also strange is how rarely this sounds like a saxophone record, something to Krieger's credit as an arranger and conceptualist. That, however, doesn't really matter. Cage's music often didn't specify instrumentation, and at bottom the music isn't written for instruments so much as for their players. His compositions are to be worked through, discovered and acted upon; oftentimes, faced with a ruler and a set of transparencies as a score, there's no other choice. Cage left a wealth of scores capable of generating what are essentially new pieces of music even after his death. That, when put in the hands of someone as attentive and diligent as Krieger, is the magic.





Comments and Feedback:



The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
independent writers.

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Mats Gustafsson /
Joachim Nordwall:
Shadows of Tomorrow b/w
The Brain
Produces
Electrical Waves
[7'' VINYL w/
DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)



Julius Eastman:
Femenine
(Sub Rosa)



James Lewis Brandon /
Red Lily Quintet (
w /
William Parker/ Chad Taylor /
Kirk Knuffke /
Chris Hoffman):
Jesup Wagon
(Tao Forms)



Spontaneous Music Ensemble:
Question And
Answer 1966
[2 CDs]
(Rhythm and Blues)



Rosa Barba /
Chad Taylor:
In a Perpetual
Now of Instantaneou
Visibility
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)



Joelle Leandre:
Beauty /
Resistance
[3 CD BOX]
(Not Two)



Jimmy Giuffre (
w /
Bley /
Swallow):
Free Fall
Clarinet 1962,
Revisited
(ezz-thetics by
Hat Hut Records Ltd)



Paul Dunmall:
Awakening Expectations
(FMR)



Isotope Ensemble:
Helium
(Creative Sources)



Elisabeth Harnik /
Michael Zerang:
Dream Disobedience
(Not Two)



Cranes: Matthias Muller /
Eve Risser /
Christian Marien:
Formation < Deviation
(Relative Pitch)



Hugo Ball (
Jaap Blonk /
Bart van der Putten /
Pieter Meurs /
Damon Smith):
Six sound Poems
1989 & 2013
[2 CDs]
(Balance Point Acoustics /
kontrans)



Sean Ali:
A Blink in
the Sun
(Neither/Nor Records)



Roscoe Mitchell /
Sandy Ewen /
Damon Smith /
Weasel Walter:
A Railroad Spike
Forms The Voice
(ugEXPLODE)



Zhao Cong :
Rotating, Rotating
(Hitorri)



Parrinha /
Moimeme /
Santos:
A Silent Play
In The Shadow
Of Power
(Creative Sources)



Lucia Martinez /
Agusti Fernandez /
Barry Guy:
Bosque de Niebla
[2 CDs]
(Listen! Foundation (
Fundacja Sluchaj!))



Thomas Heberer /
Joe Fonda /
Joe Herenstein:
Remedy
(Listen! Foundation (
Fundacja Sluchaj!))



Paul Bley Trio:
Touching & Blood,
Revisited
(ezz-thetics by
Hat Hut Records Ltd)



Donald Miller:
Transgression!!!
[VINYL]
(Vin Du
Select Qualitite)







Squidco
Click here to
advertise with
The Squid's Ear






The Squid's Ear pays its writers.
Interested in becoming a reviewer?




The Squid's Ear is the companion magazine to the online music shop Squidco !


  Copyright © Squidco. All rights reserved. Trademarks. (3086)