Saturday 15 April 2017, 7.30pm
Launch show for Keir Neuringer & Matt Wright's new album, Speak Cities, on Extra Normal Records.
Speak Cities is a follow up to Trance Map, Matt Wright’s critically acclaimed 2011 duo record with regular collaborator Evan Parker. Working here with Philadelphia-based saxophonist Keir Neuringer, who considers Parker an important mentor, Wright spent two years assembling the six tracks that make up Speak Cities in his Canterbury UK studio after an April, 2013 recording session in Brooklyn’s Seizure’s Palace.
But Speak Cities is not merely a studio composition made up of samples of Neuringer’s alto and Wright’s turntables. Nor is it an edit of in-studio improvisations. What we hear is something akin to a Neuringer solo - the emotional intensity and performative acrobatics that marked his 2014 solo double LP Ceremonies Out of the Air – and something similarly akin to a Wright composition, with its obsessive and unpredictable repetitions and elastic structures.
The architectural grids of the city might find a neat metaphor in the beats and bars of formally composed music, but here Neuringer and Wright are interested not in the city as place, but the city as lived experience, full of contours and contradictions, chatter, murmuring and wails.
Keir Neuringer is a Philadelphia-based saxophonist, composer and writer whose work is underpinned by interdisciplinary approaches and socio-political contextualisations. He is best known for a personal and intensely physical saxophone technique, revealed through long form solo improvisations, and he has collaborated with a multitude of world-renowned and underground practitioners in jazz, avant-garde, noise, classical, theatre and dance disciplines. He has travelled extensively to present his work, appeared on numerous festival stages and given workshops throughout Europe and North America. In addition to the saxophone, he plays analogue electronics and Farfisa organ, narrates text (most notably with Dutch new music group Ensemble Klang), and composes largely outside of conventional new music scenes. He trained as a composer and saxophonist in the US, spent two years on a Fulbright research scholarship in Krakow and then moved to The Hague, where he lived for eight years, curating performative audiovisual art and earning a masters degree from the experimental ArtScience Institute. Originally from New York State, he settled in Philadelphia in 2012, where he lives with his family and advocates against prisons as a member of the Books Through Bars Collective.
Current collaborative projects include the east coast based liberation jazz ensemble Irreversible Entanglements (with poet Camae Ayewa), NYC/Philly improvisation trio Dromedaries, the Simone Weissenfels Trio (based in Germany), and duos with bassist Rafal Mazur, from Krakow, and turntablist Matt Wright, from Canterbury.
“...with Neuringer's music...mortal purpose is a given.” (Bill Meyer, September 2014 issue of Wire Magazine)
Matt Wright works as a composer, improviser and sound artist at the edges of concert and club culture, working closely with Evan Parker in their shared Trance Map project. He has presented work at venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Le Poisson Rouge (New York), the Muziekcentrum an ‘t IJ (Amsterdam), The Kim Ma Theatre (Vietnam) and Abbey Road Studios, Tate Britain and Tate Modern (London). He has been commissioned by organisations such as hcmf//, Transit Festival (Belgium) and MATA Festival (New York), with broadcasts on TV across Europe, and globally on radio, including a two-hour focus on his work on the ABC Network in Australia. Reviews of his projects have appeared in the New York Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, Vietnam Today and the Financial Times. In 2014, he remixed Robert Wyatt's Cuckooland album into a concert-length collaboration with Elaine Mitchener, Tony Hymas and the Brodsky Quartet and in 2015 Totem for Den Haag (available on Music at the Edge of Collapse with Ensemble Klang) was one of three pieces selected by hcmf// to represent UK new music in the UK/Mexico dual year. His music is released on Ensemble Klang records, psi, Migro and Extra Normal. Matt studied in Huddersfield, The Hague and at Goldsmiths and is Professor of Composition and Sonic Art at Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK.
"If you've ever been tempted by free improvisation, Parker is your gateway drug." - Stewart Lee
Evan Parker has been a consistently innovative presence in British free music since the 1960s. Parker played with John Stevens in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation and held a long-standing partnership with guitarist Derek Bailey. The two formed the Music Improvisation Company and later Incus Records. He also has tight associations with European free improvisations - playing on Peter Brötzmann's legendary 'Machine Gun' session (1968), with Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Paul Lovens (A trio that continues to this day), Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, and Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO).
Though he has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering. These are technical devices, yet Parker's use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive; he has likened performing his solo work to entering a kind of trance-state. The resulting music is certainly hypnotic, an uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely-textured sound that Parker has described as "the illusion of polyphony". Many listeners have indeed found it hard to credit that one man can create such intricate, complex music in real time.
Lumpen Nobleman is an alias of Extra Normal label boss and Contra Pop Festival organiser, Kyle McCallum.
He has DJed at Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; the Centre for Contemporary Arts and Mono, Glasgow; and the Ravensgate Arms, Ramsgate, amongst other venues.
He runs the Extra Normal mix series, which includes recent contributions from Jennifer Lucy Allan of Arc Light Editions; On-U Sound founder, Adrian Sherwood; and Doug Shipton of Finders Keepers Records.
“Lumpen Nobleman’s first LP taps contemporary dance sounds, reformatting the digital analogue of bassline, IDM and grime into slow frugs and atmospheric soundscapes. But it conjures up great historical precedents too – imagine Cluster covering ESG and you get close to the vibe of the stand out dance tracks on the record – stripped rhythms laced with cowbells and wonky electronic burps. But really the whole record, conceived as a soundtrack, recalls John Carpenter’s classic film music – menacing, minimal, driving and irresistible.” – David Panos (Difficult Fun)