Flawlessly recorded in 2008, this is Eddie Prevost and John Tilbury with guest John Butcher in quiet mood; every tiny sound counts and every shade of timbre has space to make its presence felt.
"The tiniest sound is amplified by intention. Other noises are transformed into counterpoint. The music begins. Tentative suggestions are offered, politely ignored, admonished or not noticed. Serendipitous slips of the wrist are canonised -- pursued by conflagrations and spectacular shell bursts. Momentum is achieved. The music has an energy with which the musicians can wrestle, deflecting its trajectory or being thrown inconsequentially aside. Tempo defied temporality. Logic limps away. As suddenly as the turbulence arose it subsides, hovering portentously, unpredictable and uncontrollable in all those ways a serialist doesn't trust. The musician waits, trying to anticipate and out-think the unthinking but thinkable direction the sounds will take. Construction overtakes the constructionist, who can only nod approvingly as the piers and girders of musical form slot automatically into place. Here is the invisible handshake, enjoined before a motion was ever formulated. The music makes itself -- just as man makes himself. Here are volition, intention, determination tempered by acceptance of eventuality. Here is definition by action. I am what I am because I do what I do, acted upon and acting upon. The sound returns. The contra-bass drum resounds, its deep vibration sympathising with the solar-plexus. The echo grows weaker and richer at the same time, as its lingering residue settles into the crevices of perception. The drummer raises the beater; then slowly and with conscious care withdraws the intention. No more sound is need." - Eddie Prevost
Eddie Prevost / percussion
John Tilbury / piano
John Butcher / soprano & tenor saxophone
Recorded at Trinity College of Music, Greenwich, on 13th January 2008 by Sebastian Lexer. Mastered by Sebastian Lexer. Cover 'Lamberton Court' by Andrew Prevost.
Available as a 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC download.
1. Meantime - 17:47
2. One Tree Hill - 19:55
3. Flamsteed - 13:08
4. Conduit - 18:32
Butcher is well known as a saxophonist who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of time and place. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and unusual acoustics. Since the early 80s he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, Rhodri Davies, Andy Moor (EX), Phil Minton, Christian Marclay, Eddie Prevost, John Stevens’ SME, Gino Robair, Polwechsel, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury, and Okkyung Lee.
Alongside long term projects he values occasional encounters; from large groups such as the EX Orkestra & Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper”, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, Paal Nilssen-Love, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Otomo Yoshihide, Sophie Agnel and Matthew Shipp.
Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions for his own groups, “Good Liquor Caused my Heart for to Sing” for the London Sinfonietta and “Tarab Cuts”, a response to recordings of early Arabic classical music which was shortlisted for a 2014 British Composer’s Award.
“English saxophonist John Butcher may be among the world’s most influential musicians, operating at the cutting-edge of improvisatory practice since the ‘80s. Whenever an acoustic musician starts to sound like a bank of oscillators, a tropical forest, a brook or an insect factory, Butcher’s influence is likely nearby.” – New York City Jazz Record.
Eddie Prévost began his life in music as a jazz drummer. A recurring interest in this form has been maintained, although always with an experimental ethos. Along the way he has maintained his fifty-year plus experimental credentials with AMM and numerous other improvisation projects, including his now twenty-year long weekly workshop. But drumming has generally been backgrounded to his experimental percussion work. More though, is to be expected of his drumming in 2020 on forthcoming multi-CD album: The Unexpected Alchemy. A part of this Krakow festival recording features the drums and saxophone trio of Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, and Eddie Prévost. His most recent released recordings include AMM’s: An Unintended Legacy, and a duo with John Butcher - Visionary Fantasies, both on Matchless Recordings. Also, a solo percussion LP on the Earshots label called Matching Mix. Later, in 2020 he meets with Jason Yarde and Nathan Moore, while in March concerts and recording will hear him drumming with US guitarist Henry Kaiser and saxophonist Binker Golding.
And, early 2020 should see the publication of his fourth book: An Uncommon Music for the Common Man: a polemical memoir.
“Prévost's free drumming flows superbly making use of his formidable technique. It’s as though there has never been an Elvin Jones or Max Roach.” - Melody Maker
“Relentlessly innovative yet full of swing and fire.” – Morning Star
John Tilbury is renowned for his peerless interpretation of the piano music of Morton Feldman, John Cage, Christian Wolff and Howard Skempton. In addition to the performances and seminal recordings that he has made of these composers’ works, he has been an eloquent advocate of their music in his writing and speaking about them. The same is true of the attention he has paid to the music and ideas of Cornelius Cardew, the subject of his authoritative biography published in 2008, and with whom he played in the legendary improvisation groups the Scratch Orchestra and AMM. In the last ten years John Tilbury has performed a range of plays and prose pieces by Samuel Beckett.