The first meeting of guitarist/electronic artist Rowe with Sachiko M on sine wave and contact mic, recorded during the AMPLIFY 2008 festival in Tokyo.
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Catalog ID: Erstwhile 054-2
Squidco Product Code: 11875
Format: 2 CDs
Packaging: Digipack Double CD
Recorded by Taku Unami at Kid Ailack Art Hall, Tokyo on September 21 & 23, 2008. Mixed by Taku Unami, mastered by Toshimaru Nakamura.
Keith Rowe-guitar, electronics
Sachiko M-sine wave (1.1, 1.2, 2.1), contact microphone (2.2)
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• Show Bio for Keith Rowe
"tabletop guitarist and painter. Rowe is a founding member of both the influential AMM in the mid-1960s (though in 2004 he quit that group for the second time) and M.I.M.E.O. Having trained as a visual artist, Rowe's paintings have been featured on most of his own albums. After years of obscurity, Rowe has achieved a level of relative notoriety, and since the late 1990s has kept up a busy recording and touring schedule. He is seen as a godfather of EAI (electroacoustic improvisation), with many of his recent recordings having been released by Erstwhile Records.
Rowe began his career playing jazz in the early 1960s-notably with Mike Westbrook and Lou Gare. His early influences were guitarists like Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian and Barney Kessel. Eventually, however, Rowe grew tired of what he considered the form's limitations. Rowe began experimenting, slowly and gradually. An important step was a New Year's resolution to stop tuning his guitar-much to Westbrook's displeasure. Rowe gradually expanded into free jazz and free improvisation, eventually abandoning conventional guitar technique.
This change in his approach to guitar, Rowe reports, was partly inspired by a teacher in one of his painting courses who told him, "Rowe, you cannot paint a Caravaggio. Only Caravaggio can paint Caravaggio." Rowe reports that after considering this idea from a musical perspective, "trying to play guitar like Jim Hall seemed quite wrong." For several years Rowe contemplated how to reinvent his approach to the guitar, again finding inspiration in visual art, namely, American painter Jackson Pollock, who abandoned traditional painting methods to forge his own style. "How could I abandon the technique? Lay the guitar flat!"
Rowe developed various prepared guitar techniques: placing the guitar flat on a table and manipulating the strings, body and pick-ups in unorthodox ways to produce sounds described as dark, brooding, compelling, expansive and alien. He has been known to employ objects such as a library card, rubber eraser, springs, hand-held electric fans, alligator clips, and common office supplies in playing the guitar. A January 1997 feature in Guitar Player magazine described a Rowe performance as "resemble a surgeon operating on a patient." Rowe sometimes incorporates live radio broadcasts into his performances, including shortwave radio and number stations (the guitar's pick-ups will also pick up radio signals, and broadcast them through the amplifier).
AMM percussionist Eddie Prévost reports that Rowe has "an uncanny touch on the wireless switch", able to find radio broadcasts which seem to blend ideally with, or offer startling commentary on, the music. (Prévost, 18). On AMMMusic, towards the end of the cacophonous "Ailantus Glandolusa", a speaker announces via radio that "We cannot preserve the normal music." Prevost writes that during an AMM performance in Istanbul, Rowe located and integrated a radio broadcast of "the pious intonation of a male Turkish voice. AMM of course, had absolutely no idea what the material was. Later, it was complimented upon the judicious way that verses from The Koran had been introduced into the performance, and the respectful way they had been treated!" In reviewing World Turned Upside Down, critic Dan Hill writes, "Rowe has tuned his shortwave radio to some dramatically exotic gameshow and human voices spatter the mix, though at such low volume, they're unintelligible and abstracted. Rowe never overplays this device, a clear temptation with such a seductive technology - the awesome possibility of sonically reaching out across a world of voices requires experienced hands to avoid simple but ultimately short-term pleasure. This he does masterfully, mixing in random operatics and chance encounters with talkshow hosts to anchor the sound in humanity, amidst the abstraction." "
Some accounts report that Rowe's guitar technique was an influence on Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett: "Taking his cues from experimental guitarist Keith Rowe of AMM, Barrett strived to push his music farther and farther out into the zone of complete abstraction."
Rowe has worked together with numerous composers and musicians, including Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff, Howard Skempton, Jeffrey Morgan, John Tilbury, Evan Parker, Taku Sugimoto, Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Oren Ambarchi, Christian Fennesz, Burkhard Beins, Kurt Liedwart, Toshimaru Nakamura, David Sylvian and Peter Rehberg.-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Rowe)
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1. Square 41:22
2. Oval 28:04
1. rectangle 31:21
2. circle 20:00
sample the album:
"Keith Rowe and Sachiko M are two of the most pivotal and crucial musicians in experimental music today. contact marks their first meeting as a duo, consisting of their complete unedited sessions, both live and studio.
Keith Rowe was in the forefront of the initial wave of European free improvisation, co-founding the AMM collective in 1965 and originating the tabletop guitar. The tabletop guitar has remained at the center of his ever-evolving table of electronics and gadgets ever since, becoming increasingly stripped down and minimal in recent years. Having mostly performed within AMM until the late 90's, he's since been involved in a wide range of projects, including a slew of the most prominent Erstwhile releases. He's the cornerstone musician of the label, and his wide range of releases over the last decade stands with the strongest bodies of work of the last century in improvised music. contact contains the third of his four live sets from the AMPLIFY 2008: light festival in Tokyo, with two previously released in the ErstLive series and the fourth to come later this year, a duo with Toshimaru Nakamura, completing the tetralogy.
Sachiko M is best known for her innovative use of the sampler, extracting pure, piercing sine waves from the device's built-in test tones and forging an original and much-imitated sound. More recently, she has expanded her palette through the use of contact microphones. Sachiko has worked extensively as a solo artist, as well as in groups such as Cosmos, Filament, and I.S.O., and in duo with Toshimaru Nakamura. She shared the 2003 Prix Ars Electronica with Ami Yoshida and Utah Kawasaki, and founded the groundbreaking Amoebic label. This is her sixth record for Erstwhile, and she has an ErstSolo release in the works for 2010.
Rowe and Sachiko have primarily travelled parallel paths over the last decade, occasionally intersecting. They both recorded crucial duo CDs with Toshi Nakamura in 2000-2001, first Sachiko with 'do', then Keith soon after with 'Weather Sky'. In 2004, they both took part in the 230 minute long quartet set documented on ErstLive 005, along with Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide. In September 2008, Rowe played four sets in three nights in the AMPLIFY 2008: light festival in Tokyo. The festival marked Rowe's fourth trip to Japan in his 40+ year career, and the primary purpose behind his visit was to record in duo for the first time with Sachiko.
contact contains the full unedited sessions from these two widely admired musicians who have deeply respected each other for the last decade. The two cds include the full AMPLIFY 2008: light performance, along with three additional pieces recorded in the same room two days later. contact covers a range of approaches over its two hour length, with the common factor being the always impeccable touch of these two gifted artists. The outside three panels of the digipak are a white on black drip painting from Rowe, one of a series of six, two others of which can be seen on the CDs themselves."-Erstwhile Records
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
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