Monday 2 March 2020, 7.30pm
“The Sealed Knot are one of the great free improvisation groups, comparable to the classic 1980s SME line-up of John Stevens, Nigel Coombes and Roger Smith for edge-of-your seat attentiveness and sheer inter-group telepathy.” – Clive Bell, The Wire
Burkhard Beins / percussion
Rhodri Davies / harp
Mark Wastell / violoncello
Exceptionally rare London appearance by The Sealed Knot to celebrate their twentieth anniversary year. Formed in 2000, the group were one of the earliest proponents of the Reductionist movement in improvised music, spanning the two key sites of London and Berlin. Their first UK tour was billed as ‘New London Silence meets Berlin Reductionism’. Twenty years and seven albums later, The Sealed Knot’s musical palette has matured and broadened but remains resolutely unique; it continues to influence, excite and infuriate in equal measure.
The Sealed Knot - All Angels (confront) 2000
The Sealed Knot - Surface/Plane (meniscus) 2001
The Sealed Knot - Unwanted Object (confront) 2004
The Sealed Knot - Live at the Red Hedgehog (confront) 2007
The Sealed Knot - And We Disappear (another timbre) 2009
The Sealed Knot - Live at Cafe OTO (confront) 2013
The Sealed Knot - Trembling Shade (confront) 2016
“…Overall, they give the impression of a gradual ebb and flow of layered soundfields over a bedrock of silence. Confronted with the trio’s intricately plaited tones, sometimes it’s hard to tell the provenance of a particular sound. Gradual shifts and the kind of communication that develops within longstanding musical relationships are central to the group aesthetic. The slow, deliberate movement of The Sealed Knot’s music often sounds semi-composed, a testament to the close bond that they have developed over the years…” (Will Montgomery, The Wire)
“The thing about this – and I really don’t want to put anything down, believe me – is, this scraping, playing things with bows (scrapes his pipe across the hardwood floor, and gives a derisory flick to a chair leg with his fingernail), I find it all a bit too polished. It sort of goes in one ear and out of the other, Except it doesn’t even get in one ear for me. I find it very arty-farty, it doesn’t interest me at all. Its like that music you buy at the airport, what’s it called, new Age Music.” (Han Bennink’s response to being played Surface by The Sealed Knot. Invisible Jukebox, The Wire, October 2007).