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Black Truffle’s documentation of the prolific recent work of legendary American composer Alvin Lucier continues with Works for the Ever Present Orchestra. This is a very special release for the composer as it presents pieces written for the thirteen-member Ever Present Orchestra, formed in 2016 exclusively to perform Lucier’s works. At the heart of the ensemble are four electric guitars, an instrument Lucier began composing for in 2013 with Criss-Cross (recorded by two core members of the Ever Present Orchestra, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley, for whom it was composed, on Black Truffle 033).
Through the use of e-bows, the guitars take on a role akin to the slow sweep pure wave oscillators heard in many of Lucier’s works since the early 1980s, but with added harmonic richness. Like much of Lucier’s instrumental music, the pieces recorded here focus on acoustic phenomena, especially beating patterns, produced by the interference between closely tuned pitches. The work presented here is some of the richest and most inviting that Lucier has composed. Though all of the pieces clearly belong to the same continuing exploration of the behaviour of sound in physical space and make use of related compositional devices, each takes on a strikingly different character. Titled Arc, for the full ensemble of four guitars, four saxophones, four violins, piano and bowed glockenspiel inhabits a world of sliding, uneasy tones, punctuated by a single piano note. Where Double Helix, for four guitars, rests on a pillow of warm, low hum, EPO-5, for two guitars, saxophone, violin, and glockenspiel possess a limpid, crystalline quality. Accompanying the four new compositions are two adaptations of existing pieces for radically different instrumentation, demonstrating Lucier’s excitement about the new possibilities suggested by this dedicated ensemble. Works for the Ever Present Orchestra is an essential document of the current state of Lucier’s continuing exploration, as well as offering a seductive entry-point for anyone who might yet be unacquainted with his singular body of work.2CD release presented in a deluxe 4-panel digipak with cover artwork and liner notes from Alvin Lucier plus a 16-page booklet with live photos. Disc 2 of this release includes the bonus Adaptions for the Ever Present Orchestra featuring two pieces (“Two Circles” and “Braid”) that are not included on the vinyl version. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Design by Lasse Marhaug.
Alvin Lucier – Works for the Ever Present Orchestra
Nantes-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie returns to Black Truffle with Nist-Nah. Like his previous solo record on the label, the abrasive hip-hop concrète of People Pleaser (BT027), Nist-Nah finds Guthrie branching out in a new direction, this time in a suite of six percussion pieces primarily using the metallaphones, hand drums and gongs of the Gamelan ensembles of Indonesia. The music presented here is grounded in Guthrie’s travels in Indonesia and study of various forms of Gamelan music, from the stately suspended temporality of the courtly Javanese Gamelan Sekatan, to the delirious, thuggish repetition that accompanies the Javanese trance ritual Jathilan, to the shimmering acoustic glitch of contemporary Balinese composer Dewa Alit and his Gamelan Salukat. However, far from an exercise in exoticism, Nist-Nah develops out of Guthrie’s extensive work with metal percussion in recent years (as heard, for example, on his 2015 LP for iDEAL, Sacrée Obsession), where gongs, singing bowls and cymbals are used to build up walls of hovering tones and sizzling details. Though Guthrie is broadening his palette to explore Gamelan instrumentation and pay tribute to his love of this sophisticated yet elemental percussion music, the pieces presented here are equally informed by Guthrie’s interests in free jazz, electro-acoustic music and diverse experimental music practices, exploring long tones, extended techniques, and non-metered pulse.Nist-Nah presents a variety of approaches across its six pieces, from the crisp, precise rhythmic complexity of the opening title track to the droning textures of ‘Catlike’ and ‘Elders’. On the epic closing ‘Kebogiro Glendeng’, Guthrie offers an extended, layered rendition of a Javanese piece belonging to a repertoire primarily used for warmups, beginner’s groups and children first learning Gamelan, elegantly gesturing to his own amateur status while using the piece’s insistently repeated melody as an extended exploration of the hypnotic effects of repetition, falling in and out of time with himself to create woozy, narcotic effects until the piece eventually dissolves into a wavering fog.
Will Guthrie – Nist Nah
Continuing Black Truffle’s series of releases documenting the recent work of legendary American experimental composer Alvin Lucier, String Noise presents three major works for violin solo and duo composed between 2004 and 2019. Lucier has developed his compositions in close collaboration with many instrumentalists over the years; the three works presented here are performed by the violinists for whom they were originally written, Conrad Harris and Pauline Kim Harris, who together make up the innovative violin duo String Noise, and have premiered works by a plethora of major figures in contemporary music. The long-form compositions presented here continue Lucier’s life-long exploration of acoustic phenomena, drawing on aspects of some of his most well-known compositions and extending them into new instrumentation. Tapper (2004) extends the experiments with echolocation – gathering information about an environment by listening to the echoes of sounds produced within it – that Lucier began with his classic 1969 work Vespers, where performers explore a space equipped with hand-held pulse oscillators. Here, the same principle is put into practice for solo violin, the body of which the performer taps repeatedly with the butt end of the bow while moving around the performance space. The result is a subtly shifting web of echoes and resonances produced by the reflection of the sharp tap off the surfaces of the room (in this case, the Drawing Center in New York). In Love Song (2016), two violinists are connected by a long wire stretched between the bridges of their instruments, causing the sounds played on one violin to also be heard through the other. As the two violinists play long tones using only the open E string, they move in a circular motion around the performance space, thus changing the tension of the wire, which creates a remarkable array of variations in pitch and timbre ranging from ghostly wavering pitches reminiscent of a singing saw to near-electronic tones. In Halo (2019), one or more violinists walk slowly through the performance space in a zig-zag pattern while sustaining long tones. As in Tapper, the consistent sound production reveals the sonic properties of the environment. As the title of the piece suggests, the outcome is a shimmering halo of sound produced by the reflection of the violin’s extended tones off the walls and ceiling of the performance space (in this case, Alvin's home).
Alvin Lucier – String Noise
One of the landmark albums in the British avant garde reissued on Evan's psi label. Includes 2 tracks not issued on the LP. Gorgeously reproduced. Monumental set of improvisations between Parker, Bailey, and Bennink, considered by many to be a key recording in the history of improvised music, it brought together three musicians who then continued to develop the genre in the intervening three decades : EVAN PARKER (soprano & tenor saxophones), DEREK BAILEY (guitar) and HAN BENNINK (percussion, etc).
Evan Parker – The Topography of the Lungs (psi edition)
Evan Parker's 1st solo saxophone recording from 1975 with additional FMP recordings from the same year, extreme and amazing improvisations aptly titled "Aerobatics".
Recorded by Martin Davidson in 1975 at the Unity Theatre in London, at that time the preferred concert venue of the Musicans' Co-operative. Further solo material for the original LP release was recorded by Jost Gebers in the FMP studio in Berlin later that year.
Evan Parker – Saxophone Solos
Saltern presents its fifth release, Charles Curtis: Performances & Recordings 1998-2018, the first comprehensive collection of recordings surveying the career of renowned, American cellist Charles Curtis. Selected by Curtis and Tashi Wada from recordings spanning the past two decades, the collection offers a broad, inclusive view of Curtis’s activities across the diverse worlds of music he inhabits, containing rare, unreleased recordings, and never-before-released music by Terry Jennings, Richard Maxfield, Éliane Radigue, Alison Knowles, and Curtis. The wide-ranging scope of this release speaks not to a musical restlessness, but to a genuine spirit of inquiry, as these areas of activity for Curtis have existed concurrently in dialogue, not simply in succession, for decades. Over two hours of music by composers and artists with whom Curtis is closely associated including Éliane Radigue, Guillaume de Machaut, Tobias Hume, Silvestro di Ganassi, Terry Jennings, Morton Feldman, Anton Webern, Olivier Messiaen, Alison Knowles, Richard Maxfield, and Curtis himself.
“Underpinning everything [Curtis] has achieved is a deep communion with, and a profound technical understanding of, the stuff of sound itself.” – Philip Clark, The Wire
Produced by Tashi WadaAdditional mixing by Anthony BurrMastered by Stephan Mathieu
Second edition of 500. Liner notes by La Monte Young, Spencer Gerhardt, Curtis, and Tashi Wada. Custom packaging and screen printing by Alan Sherry.
Charles Curtis – Performances & Recordings 1998-2018
Post-metal sludge avantgarde powerhouse SUMAC around Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom) follow up their collaboration with legendary Japanese guitarist and singer/performer Keiji Haino on Thrill Jockey (American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You are too Hideous to Look at Face on) with another monolith - heavy and experimental at the same time
Keiji Haino / guitar, voice, flute, taepyeongsoAaron Turner / guitarNick Yacyshyn / drumsBrian Cook / bass
KEIJI HAINO + SUMAC – Even for just the briefest moment Keep charging this “expiation” Plug in to make it slightly better
This is a recording of the entire -- nearly three hour -- performance of the great Sun Ra Arkestra, live at Jazzgalerie Nickelsdorf, Austria on March 11th, 1984.
Personnel for this show was Sun Ra (piano, synth, vocals); John Gilmore (tenor saxophone, clarinet, evi, vocals); Marshall Allen (alto saxophone, flute, kora, percussion); Danny Ray Thompson (baritone saxophone, flute, percussion); Eloe Omoe (Leroy Taylor) (alto saxophone, bass clarinet, percussion); James Jackson (basoon, flute, drums, vocals); Ronnie Brown (trumpet); Rollo Radford (standup bass); Don Mumford (drums); Matthew Brown (congas, dance); Myriam Broche (dance); Greg Pratt (dance).
Sun Ra Arkestra – Live in Nickelsdorf 1984
French guitar player Boni teamed up with legendary US jazz-musician McPhee in the early 80s for some intense cooperations and albums (as a duo and as a trio with Andre Jaume).
The complete concert inspired by the words of Eric Dolphy: "When you hear music, After it's over, It's gone, In the air, You can never capture it again."
Joe McPhee / soprano saxophone, electronics and voice
Raymond Boni / Electric guitar and electronics
Recorded at Hulsey Recital Hall on the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) campus. April 20,1985
Joe McPhee & Raymond Boni – Live From The Magic City
"Bassist Joëlle Léandre and pianist Elisabeth Harnik have only been playing together since 2016 but this debut CD – a recording from their third ever performance – reveals a duo who have already developed a highly simpatico and sophisticated approach to spontaneous composition that draws equally on elements of free improvisation and contemporary classical music. Rather than the waxing and waning 40 minute set that presently constitutes a lot of live recordings, there is an adroit attention to form in operation here, as the duo present half a dozen perfectly shaped and finely delineated miniatures, ranging from six to 11 minutes long.
For much of the time, Léandre favours a high, tightly controlled arco full of fragile harmonic overtones that often sounds more like a cello than a double bass. When Harnik responds with pellucid splashes and rippling hazes, the two are capable of creating sustained moods of gentle wonder and delicacy. Léandre adds an element of enigma with her slightly off-mic vocalising: somewhat absent-minded, more overheard than performed, it´s ephemeral, transitory and soothing in its wordless calm, evoking the private musings of a washerwoman at work or a nursing mother cooing her love. One almost feels compelled to lean in and strain the ears, searching for fleeting meaning in her mysterious mutterings.Many of the pieces are so balanced and sensitively executed that they possess a kind of inevitability. Call it perfection if you prefer. By contrast, the more abstract and experimental gambits gleefully ride a puckish unpredictability: the scritch-scratch of agitated piano strings and polystyrene squeak slotting into Léandre´s multiphonic gossamer arco textures; dirge-like dabs of unhurried bass with arachnoid scuttlings in the body of the piano. But, even at its furthest extent, this music emanates a warmth, a patience and, yes, as the title suggests, a tenderness that´s rarely heard." - Ken Vandermark
Elisabeth Harnik / piano
Joëlle Léandre / double bass
Mastered by Jean-Marc Foussat. Artwork by Lasse Marhaug.
Leandre-Harnik – Tender Music
At The Hill Of James Magee presents the duos complete performance at the extraordinary monument "The Hill" in the Chihuahuan Desert in the middle of nowhere in Texas. John Butcher and Joe McPhee had never shared a stage before which ended up being an attentive collaboration, starting with a long duo, alternating solo performances, and closing the atmospheric set with another duo.
"The four solo pieces are advanced clinics in saxophone technique, again supplemented by architecture and wind and weather. Each performer invited the desert into their sound, giving the listener the feel of sand between our toes and the visual of sage brush rolling by." - All About Jazz
Joe McPhee / alto saxophone
John Butcher / tenor saxophone
McPhee, Butcher – At The Hill of James Magee
For the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the legendary Machine Gun recordings at the Lila Eule in Bremen, Peter Brötzmann put together a trio with the Berlin pianist, composer Alexander von Schlippenbach and the percussionist Han Bennink, who already sat on the drums 50 years ago. They were so pleased with the music that they decided to release it and continue to play gigs as the trio. Machine Gun was originally recorded in May 1968 by an octet consisting of influential musicians of new jazz and improvised music. The LP was repressed on Cien Fuegos in 2018 (CF 020LP).
Peter Brötzmann / tenor saxophone, b-flat clarinet, tarogato
Alexander von Schlippenbach / piano
Han Bennink / drums
BROTZMANN / SCHLIPPENBACH / BENNINK – Fifty Years After... Live at the Lila Eule 2018
New band from three UK masters of contemporary improvised music – they released a trio cd under this title on Relativ Pitch (NYC) in 2017, now choosing it for their bandname for continuing activities.
Crucial Anatomy is their follow-up album which was recorded live at Cafe OTO in 2018.
"With players of this calibre - all working at the very pinnacle of European improv -- it hardly matters: the level of rapport and collective virtuosity is astonishing." - Jazzwise
"A lucid exposition of how the concept of musical chiefs and leaders becomes an irrelevance to this trio, so much are they as one with a sonic unity, a metaphor for a different kind of society expressed with so much clarity in the realms of free jazz." – Morning Star"
John Butcher / tenor and soprano saxophones
John Edwards / double bass
Mark Sanders / percussion.
Recorded by Shaun Crook, live at Cafe Oto, London on August 8, 2018. Mixed and Mastered by John Butcher.
Crucial Anatomy – Last Dream of the Morning
Japanese free jazz saxophonist Akira Sakata meets with his long-time collaborators Giovanni Di Domenico, Jim O'Rourke and Tatsuhisa Yamamoto to release the second album under their name Bonjintan. It combines contemporary Avantgarde and Free Jazz in a beautiful way.
---Akira Sakata / sax, clarinet, voice
Jim O’Rourke / double bass
Giovanni Di Domenico / piano, hohner pianet
Tatsuhisa Yamamoto / drums
Recorded Jim O'Rourke at Hoshi to Niji Studio, 30th June 2018
BONJINTAN – Dental Kafka
"A long desire of extraordinaire saxophone player Peter Brötzmann was a studio recording of some of his favorite jazz tunes and his own music -- a grand bridge over the music important for his life and his musical career in the past and present. Trost invited him to Martin Siewert's studio in Vienna to do so in summer 2018. The result is intense, beautiful and touching. Features compositions by Harry Barris/Gordon Clifford, Sigmund Romberg/Oscar Hammerstein II, Herbie Nichols, Dizzy Gillespie, George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin, and Sonny Rollins. Personnel: Peter Brötzmann - tenor saxophone. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Martin Siewert. Liner notes and artwork by Peter Brötzmann."
Peter Brötzmann – I Surrender Dear
"Atlantis is an exhilarating listen, equally thanks to its fierce free jazz and brightly textural abstraction" Antonio Poscic, The WIRE, Feb 2020
Following closely on the heels of his ravishing solo album Tomorrow is Too Late, Stockholm-based synthesist and improviser John Chantler switches gears to unleash the stunning second album by his trio with saxophonist Seymour Wright and drummer Steve Noble, Atlantis. Chantler is well-known for his solo electronic work, which frequently explodes richly layered ambient soundscapes into visceral explosions and thrilling physicality, to say nothing of his imaginative experimentation with the organ, heard in radically transformed mode on the recent solo recording. But Chantler is equally invested in real-time improvisation and he’s developed a dazzling rapport and sound world with Wright and Noble, two of England’s most distinctive, active, and turbulent figures in spontaneous music over the last couple of decades. The pair has worked together in numerous contexts over the years, but it took Chantler to create an ongoing context for them, and since forming in 2017 the trio’s rigour and level of communication have steadily expanded.“My fantasy idea in the beginning when I wanted to do this trio was thinking about taking Derek Bailey’s role in the Topography of the Lungs trio,” he says, referring to the classic 1970 album with Evan Parker and Han Bennink. “That’s not what happened, but that was my way of imagining how I could make the synthesizer have the kind of range and ability to both comment on stuff and guide and push in certain ways, like Derek did in that group. That remains a kind of ambition even if aesthetically it doesn’t feel very close to that, but that’s how I first thought about what my role would be.” Indeed, Chantler serves as a pesky interrogator, his serrated tones and viscous globules cutting through the kinetic din dished out by Wright and Noble, and on the new album his integration is more fully realised to the point where it’s often impossible to decipher where the output of one musician ends—the sibilant bowed cymbals of Noble or the feedback-laced lines of Wright—and the pushback of another begins.The album was cut and mixed in a single day with in-house engineer Janne Hansson at Stockholm’s legendary Atlantis Studio, a facility made famous by the chart-topping albums recorded there by Abba in the 1970s, when the place was known as Metronome. Prior to entering the studio the trio spent an exhausting, all-in week rehearsing at the arts space Fylkingen—where they also played a show—in addition to playing a handful of gigs in Norway. Locked in, they discovered much different acoustic qualities at Atlantis from what they’d previously encountered. “There’s a very specific sound at the studio, and we’d been playing for a week together at Fylkingen, so we started to develop a thing that really works in that room, and then you move somewhere else, and the drums in particular sounded really different, and in some ways they had a bit more of a rock ‘n’ roll kind of feeling.” explains Chantler. Responding to that radically different, reverb-soaked ambience, he and Wright took advantage of a pair of matching Fender tube amps, charging their individual signals to match the booming, resonant sprawl of Noble’s pinpoint clatter.Compared to the group’s debut album Front and Above—a live recording of the trio’s very first performance at London’s Café Oto—which Chantler edited to emphasise the sparser expanses of the raucous, performance, the new album reveals a more open-ended spectrum, from delicate to crushing. Noble’s beautifully metallic rustling and throbbing snare bombs hang pregnantly in the air, and Chantler and Wright thicken the atmosphere with twinned abstractions, alternately ethereal and punishing. The transitions between calm and chaos are sometimes seamless, sometimes abrupt, but the full landscape transports the listener to another realm regardless of how ferocious or gentle the attack may be. As strong as the trio’s first album was, Atlantis marks a massive step forward. “The more you play together the more it starts to cohere into some kind of specific language,” says Chantler. “You start to understand the point of what a particular constellation might be.” With Atlantis there’s little doubt these three improvisers know exactly what the point of it all is, which thrillingly means that many new paths in the future have opened up.
John Chantler / synthesiser
Steve Noble / drums
Seymour Wright / alto saxophone
RECORDED AND MIXED AT ATLANTIS GRAMMOFON AB, STOCKHOLM 24 JANUARY 2018ENGINEER: JANNE HANSSONMASTERING: STEPHAN MATHIEUPAINTINGS: LESTER WRIGHT
RECORDING SESSION MADE POSSIBLE WITH SUPPORT FROM THE AUSTRALIA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS
John Chantler / Steve Noble / Seymour Wright – ATLANTIS
For the time being we are unable to get to the post but if you order now your item will be posted as soon as things return to normal. Thank you for your support.
Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback.
Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe OTO arranged at St. John, Hackney - 5 years ago. In 2016 they were invited to play two duo concerts – at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe OTO in London.
Otoroku is proud to present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe OTO in July 2016 the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers. Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher’s sax playing as numerous sonic clues unravel over the course of of this unique and compelling journey.
Light Never Bright Enough comes in a limited edition of 500 LPs and 500 CDs with matt sleeves and japanese removable obi-strip.
Keiji Haino / vocal, guitar, flutes
John Butcher / saxophones and feedback
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th July 2016 by Luca Consonni. Mixed by John Butcher. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photography and design by ORGAN.
HAINO KEIJI / JOHN BUTCHER – LIGHT NEVER BRIGHT ENOUGH
For the time being we are unable to get to the post but if you order now your item will be posted as soon as things return to normal. Thank you for your support.
"Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers.
For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real." - Alan Cummings
Kan Mikami / vocals, guitar
John Edwards / bass
Alex Neilson / percussion
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 3rd April 2013 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi
Kan Mikami / John Edwards / Alex Neilson – Live at Cafe OTO