Michael Keith (acoustic guitar, voice) plays with John Oswald (alto saxophone) and Roger Turner (percussion) in seven improvised pieces recorded in studio in Toronto in 2005.
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Catalog ID: 4129
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Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel tray, not sealed.
Digital studio recordings by Bernie Cisternas, Toronto (Number 9 Audio), 2005 April 17
Michael Keith-acoustic guitar, voice
John Oswald-alto saxophone
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• Show Bio for John Oswald
"John Oswald (born May 30, 1953 in Kitchener, Ontario) is a Canadian composer, saxophonist, media artist and dancer. His best known project is Plunderphonics, the practice of making new music out of previously existing recordings (see sound collage and musical montage).
Oswald coined the term "plunderphonics" to describe his craft in a paper called "Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative" which he presented at the Wired Society Electro-Acoustic Conference in Toronto in 1985. Inspired by William S. Burroughs' cut-up technique, Oswald had been devising plunderphonic-style compositions since the late 1960s. In an interview with Norman Igma following the release of the Plunderphonics EP in 1988, he described the concept as follows:
Plunderphonics is related to but distinct from sampling used in genres such as hip-hop.
His 1975 track "Power" married frenetic Led Zeppelin guitars to the impassioned exhortations of a Southern US evangelist years before hip hop discovered the potency of the same (and related) ingredients. Similarly, his 1990 track "Vane", which pitted two different versions of the song "You're So Vain" (the Carly Simon original and a cover by Faster Pussycat) against each other, was a blueprint for the contemporary pop subgenre, 'glitch pop' or 'mashup (music)'.
In 1980, Oswald founded the Mystery Tapes Laboratory, which created unnamed, unattributed works on cassette, described on the plunderphonics website as "little boxes of sonifericity specifically formulated for the curious listener. Available in your choice of aural flavors: subliminal, blasted, excerpted, repeatpeateatattttttedly, these cinemaphonically-concocted aggregates of très different but exquisitely manifest, unprecedentedly varied festerings of audio quality fine magnetic cassette tapes are the best of whatever you've been listening for". Oswald continues to be Director of Research at Mystery Tapes.
His greatest source of controversy was the 1988 release of the Plunderphonics EP, which he distributed to the press and to radio stations. It contained four plundered tracks: "Don't" by Elvis Presley which included piano accompaniment by Bob Wiseman, "Pocket" by Count Basie, a version of Dolly Parton singing "The Great Pretender" in which "she gets to sing a duet with himself(sic)", and "Spring", a version of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. In 1989, Oswald released an expanded version of the Plunderphonics album containing twenty-five tracks, each using material from a different artist. In 1990, notice was given to Oswald by the Canadian Recording Industry Association on behalf of several of their clients (notably Michael Jackson, whose song "Bad" had been cut up, layered, and rearranged as "Dab") that all undistributed copies of Plunderphonics be destroyed under threat of legal action. An excerpt from a press release on the plunderphonics website is repeated below:
Oswald received notice from CRIA's lawyers demanding that he cease distributing Plunderphonic as of Xmas eve '89. "They insisted I quit playing Santa Claus," Oswald observes.
In 1993 Oswald released Plexure. Arguably his most ambitious composition to date, it attempted to microsample the history of CD music up to that point (1982-1992) in a 20 minute collage of bewildering complexity. The ambition of this piece would later be recalled by the British bootlegger Osymyso, whose "Intro-Inspection" emulates the pop-junkie feel of Plexure.
From 1993-1996, Oswald worked on and released Grayfolded, a 2-Disc set commissioned by the Grateful Dead consisting of pieces created from over 100 performances of the song "Dark Star". Oswald initially created and released disc 1, "Transitive Axis", which contains a 59 minute 59 second work in 9 movements. Feeling that there was more territory to explore, Oswald worked on disc 2, Mirror Ashes, which is a composition in "6*" movements. Once both discs were complete they were packaged together with extensive liner notes and a "visual time map" of the sources used in the compositions. Grayfolded was selected the #1 international recording of the decade by the Toronto Sun.
In addition to his extensive work in "plunderphonics", Oswald is also involved with acoustic music, as a composer and improviser. His compositions for orchestra often do include electronic elements, such as Concerto for Wired Conductor and Orchestra (?), but has also composed for acoustic ensembles, such as Acupuncture (1991). Oswald improvises with the saxophone, and is a member of free improvisation group CCMC. Oswald is also actively involved in dance, as a composer for dance works, as a collaborator with choreographers, and as an active Contact Improviser.
Oswald founded the record label fony, which produced the retrospective box set 69 plunderphonics 96 (a.k.a. Plunderphonics 69/96) and reissued Grayfolded. The label also rereleased Plexure and released Aparanthesi, a work which uses the single note A in an experiment with timbre, dynamics, and layering, on CD in 2003.
Since 2000 Oswald has as active in exhibiting his visual art as in continuing his musical activities.
In 2004, Oswald was one of six artists to win the annual Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts, as awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts, for lifetime achievement."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Oswald_(composer))
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• Show Bio for Roger Turner
"Roger Turner (born 1946, Whitstable, England) is an English jazz percussionist. He plays the drumset, drums, and various percussion, and was brought up into the jazz and visual art cultures inhabited by his older brothers, playing drums from childhood in informal jazz contexts.
Turner studied English literature and contemporary philosophy at Sussex University, playing with Chris Biscoe for the British Council in 1968, a first concert in improvisation. His move to London gave him contact with the first and second generation improvisers and he began to play primarily with Lol Coxhill, Gary Todd, John Russell, Hugh Davies, Steve Beresford, and Phil Minton.
In the years immediately after 1974 his work was primarily concentrated on opening the way to a more personal percussion language. This was also a period of intense collaborations that structured many of his future approaches to music-making and saw the formation of two long-lasting acoustic duos with Phil Minton and with John Russell. Recordings of these duos document an extreme attention to timbre and pitch, as well as a constantly shifting speed that typified much of his work at the time. The duo with Minton toured extensively throughout Europe, USA and Canada.
In 1979 he established CAW records with John Russell and Anthony Wood, and recorded the solo album The Blur Between focussing on single surface improvisations: a linear and reduced equipment approach he had started using with Carlos Zingaro and others in live performances.
In addition to forming Trump music with Gary Todd to promote improvised music in London, he also involved himself in formative activities of the London Musicians Collective during this period. He was awarded Arts Council of Great Britain bursaries for solo percussion in 1980, and in 1983 for investigation into percussion with electronics. Extensive festival and club solo work followed, including the Bracknell Jazz Festival and the Brussels Festival of Percussion.
In 1982 the trio The Recedents was formed with Lol Coxhill and Mike Cooper exploring the possibilities of electro-acoustic music, in which Turner initially played drumset and EMS Synthi A as a means of bending the sounds of various metal percussion instruments. This group, still existing, mixes song, jazz, punk/thrash, with acoustic detail in always shifting sonorities, and has worked throughout Europe, Canada and the UK, also recording for the French Nato label. Involvements with experimental rock musics and open-form song included extensive work in duo with Annette Peacock 1983-5, with whom he toured in Europe and Scandinavia. They recorded the album I have no feelings for Ironic.
In 1984-5, he was invited for workshop residences at Alan Silva's Institute Art Culture Perception in Paris, where long-term collaborations with Alan began, culminating in The Tradition Trio with Johannes Bauer. This group was central to his explorations of forms of free jazz, an interest that has seen him working with musicians on both sides of the Atlantic (including Elton Dean, Irene Schweizer, Cecil Taylor, Roy Campbell, Henry Grimes, The Wardrobe Trio and Charles Gayle).
Since the early 1980s his work has focussed on numerous projects with improvising musicians and groups, touring Europe, Australia, USA and Canada. Perhaps the most important of the later groups would be Konk Pack, formed in 1997, with Tim Hodgkinson and Thomas Lehn, a group whose use of volume and sense of detail continues the exploration of an electro-acoustic dynamic that forms one of his main musical concerns. This group has toured extensively in Europe and USA.
He forged working relationships with Japanese musicians over the years: in the 1980s with Toshinori Kondo in the trio with John Russell, but since the mid-1990s in concerts and recordings with guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi in Austria, Japan, and U.K, and in the recent (2009) Hana-Bi three-day event in London that included the guitarist and the pianist Chino Shuichi.
An active involvement in visual art has always been in dialogue with his music, and an inspiration for it. In the forefront of this is his work with Susan Turcot (the investigation/documentation of music and sound-drawing both in Europe and Canada-including the Being Rich box collection --, and music for her 2008 animation film Bitumen, Blood, and the Carbon Climb.
His music for dance/performance includes work with Alexander Frangenheim's Concepts of Doing, Stuttgart ; Carlos Zingaro's Encontros projects in Lisbon and Macau; and most recently in the Josef Nadj production etc.etc. (premiered Vandeouvre, France, 2008) and which is a continuing involvement.
In March 2009 he was invited to travel and perform on the Arctic island Svalbard, and was also invited to attend and play in the Comprovise event in Cologne, Germany in June 2009, set up to examine any possible relationship between improvisation and composition.
Turner's music-making with international improvisers in ad hoc and group collaborations have since the 1970s to the present day included Toshinori Kondo, Derek Bailey, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, William Parker, Cecil Taylor, Otomo Yoshihide, Shelley Hirsch, Joelle Leandre, Keith Rowe, Ab Baars, Barry Guy, Barre Philips, Henry Grimes, Paul Rutherford, Gunter Christmann, Marilyn Crispell, Irene Schweizer, Frederik Rzewski, and Malcolm Goldstein."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Turner_(musician))
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1. Canal 13:48
2. Sister 3:53
3. Staircase 5:19
4. Instants 5:13
5. Nine 12:57
6. Centre 7:20
7. Harbourfront 2:14
sample the album:
Michael Keith writes: "In the fall of 2003 I went to see a group featuring Roger Turner - Konk Pack - here in Toronto. He is beyond exciting to watch and listen to, and has since become without a doubt as much an influence on my playing as the usual other guitarists/horn players etc... I asked Mr Turner if he would like to do another gig while he was in town and he agreed. We played at a small venue in Toronto's west end called Mitzi's Sister, where we were joined by two long time improvisers from town - Michael Snow and Paul Dutton from CCMC.
In 2004 I arranged for Roger to come stay in Toronto for a couple of weeks, lining up as many shows as I could. One performance included John Oswald, another member of CCMC. We easily fell together and I think we all agreed that there was something special happening.
I had been a fan of John Oswald's for many years, not only through his work with CCMC and countless other improvisors but through his mind-boggling Plunderphonics.
In April 2005, Roger again made the trip to Toronto. After a few gigs as a trio we went into the studio, and within a few days Roger was on his way home to London. In May 2005 the three of us performed at venues in France and Italy. Over the course of our journey we have played together a total of seven times.
Listening to the CD, at this point, gives me a good feeling. The personality and musical history of each musician is clearly discernible to me. Even my past as a blues/rock musician seems to rear its ugly head at times!
It was a privilege to record with two of my favourite musicians and I hope you enjoy listening to the results."-Michael Keith
Toronto Area Improvisation
EMANEM & psi
Canadian Composition & Improvisation
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