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Feichtmair, Tanja / Damon Smith / Gino Robair: The Shrilling of Frogs (Balance Point Acoustics)

Discovered in a box of recordings in BPA's possession, this recording from 2003 restores a stimulating freely improvised studio encounter between then-West Coast frequent collaborators, double bassist Damon Smith and percussionist Gino Robair, in a trio with Austrian alto saxophonist & bass clarinetist Tanja Feichtmair, mastered to pristine quality by Weasel Walter.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Tanja Feichtmair-alto saxophone, bass clarinet

Damon Smith-double bass

Gino Robair-percussion


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Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Catalog ID: BPA -11
Squidco Product Code: 30259

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard sleeve
Recorded at 1510 Studios in Oakland, California, on August 11th, 2003, by Scott R. Looney.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This recording from 2003 literally fell out of a box. I put the CDR on as a curiosity and was impressed by the playing as well as the beautiful recording quality. Weasel Walter's mastering sharpened it even further.

We lost the great Sicialian double bassist Lelio Giannetto this year. Gino and I met him in Palermo in 1998. Gino did these two beautiful drawings in his memory that are the cover art for this album. I played my first "proper" improvised music concert with Gino, along with Marco Eneidi. For various reasons, we never got a proper album out together in a small group like this.

Tanja is a fantastic and original alto saxophonist and bass clarinetist from Ulrichsburg, Austria. We used english translations of the Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachman for the titles.

While I do have a nice archive of live recordings to work from it is rare to find a pristine studio recording like this."-Balance Point Acoustics



"Recordings are by their very nature an imperfect medium for historical measure. As fixed points in time they can only illustrate development by comparison. Connections and inferences made by these means are bound to leave out information and so conclusions must be qualified. The Shrilling of Frogs is one such connective dot, rescued and refurbished from bassist Damon Smith's tape cache in a fortuitous moment when it literally in his words, "fell out of a box."

It's evocative of time in his career when he was deeply embedded in the improvised music community of Oakland, California. Percussionist Gino Robair was a regular confrere. Austrian reedist Tanja Feichtmair was presumably visiting. The trio booked some studio time and improvised thirteen pieces of music. English translations from the work of Austrian author Ingeborg Bachman served as track titles. Weasel Walter took a crack at mastering the session and improved on the already impressive original acoustics that retain every tweak, torque and twist alongside even the quietest creak or murmur.

Much of the music embodies a three-way conversation. Smith and Robair overlap in their exploitation of bowed surfaces. Bass strings vibrate from applied bow while cymbal edges sing with application scraped and rubbed objects. Feichtmair often gets remarkably close to these sonorities by altering her embouchure and constricting exhalation of breath. Tones and drones of varying lengths layer and elide to create undulating waves of striated sound. Similarities to European Free Improvisation past and then-present are arguable, but the trio works studiously within their own cul de sac without feeling derivative or repetitive.

Smith is careful to note the age and circumstances of the recording, but doesn't attach any other firm ascriptions other than to bemusedly reflect that it's rare to find such an aurally-immaculate artifact. That summation ends up an insightful analogue to the music, which is indicative of a specific place and time, but not necessarily representative of anything beyond that specificity. Taken on those refreshingly open-ended terms, it's an hour-exactly, well spent."-Derek Taylor, Dusted Magazine


Get additional information at Dusted Magazine

Artist Biographies

"Tanja Feichtmair - Austria

Saxophone, Bassclarinet, Composition

born 1972 in Wels

awards:

2001-Talentförderungsprämie der Stadt Linz

2003-Kunstförderungsstipendium des Landes Oberösterreich

Member of following music ensembles:

MÜJAZZ

PUDNIK

LULL

TRIO NOW!

Trio: FEICHTMAIR-HARNIK-POLASCHEGG

Quartett: Tanja Feichtmair/Hugh Livingston/Scott Looney/Damon Smith ***

Quartett: Tanja Feichtmair/Frank Gratkowksi/Peter Herbert/Christian Lillinger

Tanja Feichtmair has played / is playing with John Russell, Damon Smith, Gino Robair, Scott Looney, Hugh Livingston, Roger Turner, Peter Herbert, Irene Kepl, Mark Holub, Lukas Lauermann, Christian Lillinger, Alfred Reiter, Hannes Löschel, SPIRIT, Francesco Cusa, Weasel Walter, Gerold Mayer, Hannes Wührleitner, Michael Kreuzer,Fredi Pröll, Uli Winter, Josef Novotny, Frank Gratkowski, Edwin Stöbich, Ali Belhiba, Ben Greenberg, Kjell Nordesen, Nina Polaschegg, Elisabeth Harnik,Mia Zabelka,Steve Adams, Jorrit Deijkstra,,... and other wonderful musicians!

ABOUT MY COMPOSTIONS - ABOUT THE WAY I DO IMPROVISE:

... I am practising in movement-structures. I am interested in the space, in which the moved takes its place, its room. Tone-walking-tours, the shifting of the substanc(es), to switch the substance in the imaginary room. -Like Samuel Beckett does it with word-pictures and rhythmizes in this way the ideas. Like Francis Bacon, who moves the substances of his objects, his items, and de-forms them, opens its borders to the space around .... (Tanja Feichtmair, Omnixus 2009)

... The movement of the melody and the movement of the "substance of the melody"....So that the tones and their substances begin to dance and loosen themself from the origins, detaching to go far, far away.... (Tanja Feichtmair, Omnixus 2009)"

-MySpace (https://myspace.com/tanjafeichtmairmusic/bio)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon's explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music, as evidenced by his CAMH performance of Ben Patterson's Variations for Double Bass, collaborations with director Werner Herzog on soundtracks for Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Damon has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including: Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra's Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Pisaro, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. After many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, and five great years in Houston, Texas working regularly with Alvin Fielder, Sandy Ewen, David Dove & Chris Cogburn, Damon will move to the Boston area in the fall of 2016. Damon has run Balance Point Acoustics record label since 2001, releasing music focusing on transatlantic collaborations between US and European musicians."

-Balance Point Acoustic Website (https://www.balancepointacoustics.com/damon-smith/)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Gino Robair has created music for dance, theater, radio, television, silent film, and gamelan orchestra, and his works have been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. He was composer in residence with the California Shakespeare Festival for five seasons and served as music director for the CBS animated series The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat. His commercial work includes themes for the MTV and Comedy Central cable networks.

Robair is also one of the "25 innovative percussionists" included in the book Percussion Profiles (SoundWorld, 2001). He has recorded with Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison, John Butcher, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Otomo Yoshihide, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and Eugene Chadbourne, among many others. In addition, Robair has performed with John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Fred Frith, Eddie Prevost, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Myra Melford, Wadada Leo Smith, and the Club Foot Orchestra.

Robair is a founding member of the Splatter Trio and the heavy-metal band, Pink Mountain. In addition, he runs Rastascan Records, a label devoted to creative music.

As a writer about music technology, Robair has contributed to Mix, Remix, Guitar Player, and Electronic Musician (EM) magazine, where he was an editor for 10 years. He is the author of two books, including The Ultimate Personal Recording Studio (Thompson; 2006)."

-Gino Robair Website (http://www.ginorobair.com/bio.html)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Throw off the Last Veil 4:57

2. Bitterest Joys 10:52

3. Drowned in Yellow Streets 5:39

4. Carpets on the Barren Land 6:44

5. Sank into the Gold 6:35

6. Astray in Everything 1:41

7. My Thousand Greedy Wishes 5:01

8. Nothing's Dull or Rough 5:53

9. Boil over & Blossom 8:50

10. Transfigured Ground 2:05

11. Thought is Untrue 1:49

12. A First Decision 5:27

13. Various Costumes 3:56

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz

Search for other titles on the label:
Balance Point Acoustics.


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