"Having brought together two entirely independent solo improvisations like this, one from near the start of the lockdown and the other very recent, and finding that they fit together so well that I must have been following the same pattern albeit on two very different instruments, what does that tell me? Have I merely folded time on itself without any corresponding fold in space and thereby gone precisely nowhere? Have those intervening months vanished in the attempt?
And what can I call the fruits of that attempt? An imaginary duo between present me and early-lockdown me, made real by a stray thought taken too far (because I hadn't intended to put the two together when I recorded them). Have I learned nothing?
By themselves, each is both an attempt to reach beyond time in itself, by touching the infinite variability of the reality beyond illusion and, by that very variability (and unpredictability) a blow struck against the homogenising forces of consumerism, a wrench thrown in the gears of the satanic mill. But when combined, then, the variability is multiplied. Not by dialogue (since each was blind to the other) but the stark fact of their separation in time and the events that they book-end. 50,000 dead, give or take. Have we learned nothing?
Must the same battles be fought over and over again every single time?
Will we still follow the same pattern, when this is all over?"
- Massimo Magee, London, 11 May 2020
Cover image: '144 Pills' by MiHee Kim Magee
Massimo Magee is a writer, artist and musician based in London. His work is wide-ranging, including fiction, text art, sound and image audiovisual digital art pieces, experimental music (improvised, composed and everything in between), free jazz, radically extended saxophony, electronics, data manipulation and much more. He has performed internationally and had recordings released in the USA, UK, France, Poland and Australia with musicians such as Eddie Prévost, Hankil Ryu, Sangtae Jin, Keith Rowe, David W Stockard, Tony Irving (Ascension), Christian Munthe, Lee Noyes, Matt Earle, Adam Sussmann, Elliott Dalgleish, Joshua Weitzel, Michael Pisaro, Jim Denley, Dale Gorfinkel, Barre Phillips and many more on labels such as Homophoni, Copy For Your Records, Kendra Steiner Editions, Ilse, Ideal State, Audiotong, Factor Vac and others. Ensembles have included Interrogation Quartet, the Irving/Magee Duo, Cyclone Trio, Apocalypse Jazz Unit, the Magee/Green/Fowler-Roy Trio and many ad hoc groups. His audiovisual Manifesto (New Unities) was published in 2017.