Compact Disc

Flower Travellin' Band, 50 motorcycles and others - Beam Penetration and Mad Computer, plus the Minimal Sound of Motorcycles =Regular Edition= 10-inch LP & CD Expo 70, held in Osaka, was a pivotal event for the Japanese people and their relationship with the rest of the world, demonstrating both the nation’s ongoing economic recovery from World War Two and the creative spirit of Japanese society and its artists. The event gained international acclaim for its adventurous architectural design, visual art and electronic music. Some of Japan’s most renowned composers were involved, but also present were the now-legendary rockers, the Flower Travellin' Band. A series of performances, billed as “Night Events” were held at the Expo; the most radical of these was "Beam Penetration and Mad Computer, plus the Minimal Sound of Motorcycles”, but its anti-establishment feel and general madness took the Expo organizers by surprise and it was cancelled after only one night, despite being scheduled for a longer run. An air of myth developed around the event, but a recording of the event has been discovered and this release is the result. And what an event it was: a night-time sound-bomb with a fabled band, electronic sound and 50 motorcycles with horns blaring, spotlights, electronic billboards and a robot ― all flashing, roaring and howling at the night sky. This release comprises a CD, a 10-inch record with fold-out sleeve and large obi, plus fascinating notes in Japanese and English by Kenichi Yasuda, an expert on Japanese rock music, and Koji Kawasaki, a renowned researcher of Japanese electronic music, as well as rare photos. No download code/ticket available. TRACKS: CD “Beam Penetration” (full-length) [45:49] 10-inch (excerpts) Side A “Beam Penetration” [14:52] Side B “Beam Penetration”

“Beam Penetration and Mad Computer, plus the Minimal Sound of Motorcycles” – Flower Travellin' Band

Originally released in 1978, Music By William Eaton is a private-press album from the accomplished experimental stringed instrument builder. The atmospheric recording techniques, mixed with a hint of Fahey/Takoma-lineage make for a listening experience akin to the mountainscape drawing represented on the album cover. The experience may seem simple at first, but like any great trip in nature, new details consistently reveal themselves upon each listen. “When I started building instruments, playing guitar took on a whole new dimension. From the conception to the birth of each instrument, new layers of meaning unfolded. Cycles, connections and interdependencies became apparent as I contemplated the growth of trees from seed to old age, and the transformation from raw wood to the building of a musical instrument. I sought out quiet natural environments to play and listen to the “voice” of my 6 string, 12 string, 26 string (Elesion Harmonium) and double neck quadraphonic electric guitar. Deep canyons contained a beautiful resonant quality and echo. A starlit night with a full moon provided all the reflection and endless space by which to project music into the cosmos. The sound of a bubbling stream and singing birds added a natural symphonic tapestry to a melody or chord pattern. As I perceived it, everything was participating in a serendipitous dance. Everything was part of the music. During this time, I decided to record an instrumental album of music. The idea was simple; it would be a series of tone poems with no titles or any information attached, only the words ‘Music by William Eaton.’ While some of the songs evolved out of composed chord progressions, most of the songs were played spontaneously, only on the occasion of the recording. These improvised songs haven’t been played since.” -- William Eaton

William Eaton – Music By William Eaton

Mustapha Skandrani. Besides having an excellent name, this man, a luminary of Algerian music, possessed a unique musical sense, able to transcend the borders of musical cultures to create a distinctive fusion of Arabo-Andalusian and European styles. "Istikhbars and Improvisations", recorded in 1965 in Paris, is a solo piano album presenting a trans-Mediterranean crossover based on traditional Algerian vocal pieces known as Istikhbars. Playing these istikhbars (which have roots in the Islamic Arabo-Andalusian culture which flourished in Spain) on the piano, that quintessentially European instrument, Skandrani was greeted with derision by some purists. Skandrani's powerful musical vision, however, perceives the European element involved in Arabo-Andalusian musical culture, a world of exchange and co-existence, and his decision to play this music on the piano reminds us of this European influence. Skandrani's modus operandi on this release is to present each istikhbar, modal in nature, then to play an improvisation based on the istikhbar and its attendant mode. This A/B alternation continues throughout. The pellucid clarity of Skandrani's playing on this album may remind the listener of a modal Goldberg Variations, Bach and Glenn Gould transplanted to Andalucia. Other ears will hear the Arabic/Maghreb elements more strongly. Skandrani's precise touch and clear, symmetrical rhythmic sense links both worlds, assuring us that the Mediterranean is not a barrier, but a unifier, and that the differences between the cultures are not vast. This is an admirable acheivement, resulting in beautiful music of a rare charm. Mustapha Skandrani was born in Algiers in 1920, and died there in 2005. He mastered a number of instruments at an early age, and his musical prowess led him to work with the great singers and ensembles of his day, in live performances, recordings, and radio broadcasts. Later in his life, he devoted much energy to education. --- Em Records, 2021

Mustapha Skandrani – Istikhbars and Improvisations

Earth Horns with Electronic Drone (original program notes) "The electronics is an open system that processes and stores information about real-time acoustic activity, and recycles it back into the acoustic environment where it becomes a part of a further tone cycle which is again fed into the system and back into the acoustic space…etc. "The resonance of each Pipehorn is in tune with the AC line cycle of the room. Seven electronic tones, tuned harmonics of the line cycle, are independently generated. Because the sounds are harmonics of overtones of each other, all changes become modulations of a single resonating acoustic environment. Each of the tones can be varied independently or in their combination in an open system. The electronic system is always sensitive to real time activity as well as summing and deriving changes from Pipehorn loudness and duration. Here the electronic controls that add, subtract and multiply are derived directly from changes in Pipehorn loudness, duration and interaction. Electronic sound and Pipehorn sound mix in the acoustic time/space of the performance, recycling and reinforcing sound change. People can hear this sound of subtle movement, the interacting of electronic sound and Pipehorn sound. This creates a dynamic sound environment. "The point is to create a sound environment (or performance situation) where people are able to listen to this almost primitive, visceral, acoustic sound of the Pipehorns (constructed from ordinary plumbing materials and steam fittings) together with their matching, electronically transformed sounds, for extended periods of time. These instruments, musically, have a precise pitch, and can generate these pure electronic sounds, as well, which are unique to this situation. I am most interested in the effect, psychologically, of these subtle tones and movements on both players and audience alike, particularly played, as I plan, over an extended period of time." —Yoshi Wada

Yoshi Wada – Earth Horns with Electronic Drone

Yoshi Wada's "Lament For The Rise And Fall Of The Elephantine Crocodile," originally released in 1982 on India Navigation, remains one of the most remarkable flowers to grow in the rarefied air of American minimalism—akin to Terry Riley's "Reed Streams" and Pauline Oliveros' "Accordion & Voice," yet with a wild, liberated energy all of its own. After graduating from Kyoto University of Fine Arts with a degree in sculpture, Wada moved to New York City in 1967 and quickly fell in with the community of artists known as Fluxus. In the early '70s, he began building his own instruments and writing musical compositions, studying with La Monte Young and Hindustani singer Pandit Pran Nath. Recorded during an epic three-day session in an empty swimming pool in upstate New York, Wada's first album brings together two of the oldest drone instruments—the human voice and bagpipes—to simple and glorious effect. A visit to the Scottish Highlands spurred Wada's interest in bagpipes, which the composer integrated into these sparse, otherworldly sounds heard on "Lament." "That swimming pool was quite hallucinatory," recalls Wada. “It was another world. I felt it in terms of resonance. I slept in the pool, and whenever I moved, I woke up because of the reverberations.... The piece itself is an experiment with reeds and improvisational singing within the modal structure." _____ "Yoshi Wada’s masterpiece bends the boundaries between expansive ambience and the intimate harmonics of the inner self, imbuing the world of avant-garde sound with a remarkable and deeply personal sense of humanity." —Bradford Bailey, Soundohm 

Yoshi Wada – Lament for the Rise and Fall of the Elephantine Crocodile

Banksia Trio's third album is a studio recording of the culmination of a live tour held during the pandemic. In addition to the members' five original songs, songs by Masaaki Kikuchi, Nick Drake, and Paul Motian were recorded on analog master tape. In addition to the richness of overtones produced by analog recording, the hybrid use of high-resolution digital recording technology allows for extremely natural and nuanced sonic expression. “Piano, bass, drums. From the moment each note of each instrument rises, it slowly decays into silence. We focus on the acoustic phenomenon of this single note, and as the sound disappears. Dive into the ocean of decay. Listening immersively and weaving the next sound is a very introspective, prayer-like process for each of Takashi Sugawa, Masaki Hayashi, and Shun Ishiwaka. I would be happy if you could enjoy this band ensemble, which exquisitely coexists with its own spiritual and personal sound world, while the music itself steadily moves forward.'' (Sugawa)  . Drizzling Rain (Masabumi Kikuchi) 2. MASKS (Takashi Sugawa) 3. Abacus (Paul Motian) 4. Bird Flew By (Nick Drake) 5. Doppio Movimento (Masaki Hayashi) 6. Stefano (Takashi Sugawa) 7. Siciliano (Shun Ishiwaka) 8. Messe 1 (Shun Ishiwaka) 9. I Should Care (Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston) 10. Wonderful One (Paul Motian) 須川崇志 Takashi Sugawa (bass, cello) 林正樹 Masaki Hayashi (piano) 石若駿 Shun Ishiwaka (drums) 

Banksia Trio(Takashi Sugawa,Masaki Hayashi,Shun Ishiwaka) – MASKS

Totally beautiful and rare piano performance from Loren Connors, joined on guitar by long time collaborator Alan Licht.  Celebrating thirty years of collaboration, Loren Connors and Alan Licht performed for two nights at OTO on May 5 and 6th, 2023. On the second night, with the stage lit in blue, Connors took up a seat on the piano stool whilst Licht picked up the guitar. What followed was the duo’s first ever set with Connors on piano - one of only a few times Connors has played piano live at all - here captured and issued as The Blue Hour. Its spacious warmth came as a total surprise live, but makes complete sense for a duo whose dedicated expressionism takes inspiration from a vast spectrum of emotion. Both opening with single notes to start, it doesn't take long before a surface rises and begins to shimmer. A run up the keys, the drop of a feedback layer on a sustained and bent note. The two begin to exchange notes in tandem and brief touches of melody and chord hover. After a while, Connors picks up the guitar, stands it in his lap and sweeps a wash of colour across Licht’s guitar. Sharp, glassy edges begin to form, open strings and barred frets darkening the space. When his two pedals begin to merge, Licht finds a dramatic organ-like feedback and it’s hard not to imagine Rothko’s Chapel, its varying shades of blue black ascending and descending in the room. When Connors goes back to the piano for the second side, the pair quickly lock into a refrain and light pours in. It’s a kind of sound that Licht says reminds him of what he and Connors would do when the duo first started playing together 30 years ago. It’s certainly more melodic than some of their more recent shows, and the atonal shards of At The Top of the Stairs seem to totally dissolve. What is always remarkable about Licht is that his enormous frame of reference doesn't seem to weigh him down, and instead here he is able to delicately place fractures of a Jackson C Frank song (“Just Like Anything”,) amongst the vast sea of Connors’ blues. Perhaps it's the pleasure of playing two nights in a row together, or the nature of Connor’s piano playing combined with Licht’s careful listening, but the improvisation on The Blue Hour feels remarkably calm and unafraid. There’s nothing to prove and no agenda except the joy of sounding colour together. Totally beautiful.  --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Saturday 6th May 2023 by Billy SteigerMixed by Oli BarrettMastered by Sean McCannArtwork by Loren Connors Layout by Oli BarrettScreenprint by Tartaruga Manufactured in the UK by Vinyl Press.  Edition of 300 standard LPs, 100 LPs with screenprinted artwork by Loren Connors printed as inserts. Also available on a limted run of 200 CDs. 

Loren Connors & Alan Licht – The Blue Hour