John Edwards & Okkyung Lee - White Cable, Black Wires

A stunning series of duo improvisations from two of the world's finest string players, whose shared dynamism and intensity of purpose produces fluid, powerful music that ranges from dense viscosity to swift effervescence. With all-strings improvisation there's often a danger of pseudo-classicism, of sounding vaguely like modernist chamber music, replete with refined flourishes and familiar motifs. Edwards and Lee don't just avoid this but go nowhere near it, heading off in another direction entirely. White Cable, Black Wires is full of rude vitality, driven by an intensely physical interplay which encompasses growling blocks of noise, subtle melodies, and nimble rhythmic entanglements.

"White Cable, Black Wires frontlines two obscenely talented improvisers who can sometimes take a backseat next to the “big names” they keep company with. If you’re anything like me, though, theirs are the names that draw your eye when seeking out exhilarating music. It also marks another resounding success for Fataka, quickly becoming a label to watch on the improv scene." - Dan Sorrells, Free Jazz Blog

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John Edwards / double bass 
Okkyung Lee / cello 

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Recorded by Sebastian Lexer at The Welsh Chapel, London on 25 May 2011. Mixed by John Edwards. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Music by John Edwards (PRS) & Okkyung Lee (ASCAP). Produced by Trevor Brent. 

Available as 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC

Tracklisting:

1. WCBW I - 10:49
2. WCBW II - 11:06 
3. WCBW III - 9:47 
4. WCBW IV - 5:44 
5. WCBW V -8:57

John Edwards

John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.

"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment

Okkyung Lee

Okkyung Lee is a cellist, composer, and improviser who moves freely between of artistic disciples and contingencies. Since moving to New York in 2000 she has worked in disparate contexts as a solo artist and collaborator with creators in a wide range of disciplines. A native of South Korea, Lee has taken a broad array of inspirations—including noise, improvisation, jazz, western classical, and the traditional and popular music of her homeland—and used them to forge a highly distinctive approach. Her curiosity and a determined sense of exploration guide the work she has made in disparate contexts.

Even though she is probably known best for her improvisational work utilizing visceral extended techniques for more than a decade, from 2010 Lee started developing many site specific works, responding to its architecture, audience, or objects surrounding her, producing an immersive experience. Most recently she presented Hutton Sori composed for cello and computer generated sounds at Der Sommer in Stuttgart Festival, and Grey Shooting Stars (for Yun Dong-Ju) for cello and pre-recorded sound materials at Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemächer Musik in Austria which involved breaking the fourth wall between the performer and the audience thus challenging the built in hierarchy in traditional concert setting. At Villa Medici for her presentation, Okkyung will continue explore the space in the similar manner while continue breaking away from the conventional cello performance. 

She has appeared on more than 30 albums, including a diverse variety of recordings as a leader, whether the acclaimed solo improvisation effort Ghil, produced by Norwegian sound artist Lasse Marhaug for Ideologic Organ/Editions Mego, or composition-driven collections like Noisy Love Songs (for George Dyer), released by Tzadik. In 2018 she released Cheol-Kkot-Sae (Steel.Flower.Bird), an ambitious piece drawing upon free improvisation and traditional Korean music that was commissioned for the 2016 Donaueschingen Festival by SWR2, where she collaborated with western improvisers Marhaug, John Butcher, Ches Smith, and John Edwards along with Pansori vocalist Song-Hee Kwon and traditional percussionist Jae-Hyo Chang. She also leads an intricately nuanced Yeo-Neun Quartet featuring harpist Maeve Gilchrist, pianist Jacob Sacks, and bassist Eivind Opsvik that explores the lyrical side of her writing. 

Over the last two decades Okkyung has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Arca, David Behrman, Chris Corsano, Mark Fell, Douglas Gordon, Jenny Hval, Vijay Iyer, Christian Marclay, Bill Orcutt, Marina Rosenfeld, and John Zorn among others. In recent years she’s performed in equally varied contexts, whether embarking on an extended tour with the legendary experimental rock band Swans or collaborating with visual artist Haroon Mizra.

 As a curator Lee has programmed concert series at the Stone in New York, the Music Unlimited Festival in Wels, Austria, and at the Jazz House (recently renamed Alice) in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2015 she was selected as a Doris Duke Performing Artist in 2015, and she has been awarded residencies at Civitella Ranieri in Umbria, Italy in 2015 and Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany in 2017. She has been commissioned to compose music and assemble projects for Time Spans Festival in New York, Amsterdam’s Maze Ensemble, Borealis Festival in Bergen, Norway, Nam June Paik Art Center, Korea and Pub Crawl I & II for the London Sinfonietta as part of a Christian Marclay exhibition at White Cube Gallery.

She received a dual bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Writing & Production and Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music in 1998 and a master’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory of Music in 2000.