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Dark and beautiful improvisation from saxophonist and electronics artist John Butcher and harpist Rhodri Davies, an incredible display of timbre, technique, and pacing.

Butcher, John / Rhodri Davies

Butcher, John / Rhodri Davies: Carliol (Ftarri)
Label: Ftarri    
Released in: Japan    

"John Butcher is one of the leading sax players on the free improvisation scene. Rhodri Davies transcends conventional ideas about the harp--an instrument rarely associated with improvised music--in his wide-ranging projects. The two British musicians have worked together in a variety of contexts since 1997 and gave their first duo concert in 2000. As a duo they toured the UK and the U.S. in 2002, and Japan in 2004. In their performances they draw upon extended and unique playing methods mastered over the course of their careers, leaving far behind the imagined limits of their respective instruments. Carliol contains 7 tracks studio-recorded between August 2007 and April 2009. With its multi-hued timbres and textures, sonic beauty, conceptual freedom, experimental spirit and sophisticated structure, this CD dazzles on many levels. While the 2001 album Vortices & Angels (on the UK label Emanem) includes duo tracks by these two artists as well by Butcher and Derek Bailey, Carliol is the first all Butcher/Davies duo album to be released since the start of their duo collaboration a decade ago."-Ftarri (Improvised Music from Japan)

"A wonderful set. As has generally been the case in recent years, the nature of their respective instruments, saxophone and harp, is almost entirely disguised, replaced by electronic tones, shudders and pings. More to the point, they're paced beautifully, with great care assigned to timbre, volume and blending with each other. Butcher uses motors here a few times, presumably in his bell (?), heard to nice effect on "gallow gate", all rapid clicks, like a mouse wearing metal sneakers is scurrying around his horn. Some of Davies' more recent work has verged on the excessively ambient for my taste, but here there's precisely the right amount of sand in the mix, not a trace of wooziness. The lengthier of the seven tracks, around nine to ten minutes, are especially rich; could've gone on longer. Even the Parker-esque explosion of sputters that Butcher lets loose on the final cut (an asynchronously recorded one) are well-positioned against Davies' shimmers, the latter derived from an aeolian harp; here, two elements that might normally trouble me are juxtaposed so as to cancel out each others' potentially aggravating characteristics (aggravating to me, that is)--rather fascinating how that works. Excellent recording, listen."-Brian Olewnick, Just Outside

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Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic Improv
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
John Butcher
Stringed Instruments
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Free Improvisation
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Duo Recordings

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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

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Product Information:

Label: Ftarri
Catalog ID: ftarri-220
Squidco Product Code: 13063

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2010
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Tracks 1-6 recorded May 2008 at Elipse Studio, Newcastle upon Tyne by Andrew Mills. Track 7 Aeolian electric harp recorded August 21, 2007 at Crear Killberry, Argyll by Angharad Davies and Rhodri Savies; soprano saxophon recorded April 8, 2009 in London by John Butcher. Edited, mixed and mastered by John Butcher.


John Butcher-tenor or soprano saxophones - plus feedback (1), motors (1, 3, 4), embedded harp speaker (5)

Rhodri Davies-pedal harp, lever harp with embedded speaker and electric harp. Aeolian electric harp (7)

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Track Listing:

1. Pandon Bank 9:21

2. Losh 5:05

3. Gallow Gate 3:22

4. Scrogg 2:02

5. Ouse Poppy 9:21

6. Garth Heads 5:47

7. Distant Leazes 9:34

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