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Since 1995 the string trio of Rhodri Davies, Simon H. Fell & Mark Wastell have created sparse, introspective improvisation, performing here at the Contemporaneamente festival in Lodi, Italy.

Ist (Davies / Fell / Wastell)

Ist (Davies / Fell / Wastell):  Lodi (Confront)
Label: Confront    
Released in: UK    

"How did IST begin? By happenstance rather than calculation. In 1995, Simon H. Fell performed with an unknown harpist by the name of Rhodri Davies in Huddersfield, where Rhodri was at university. At around the same time, an unknown cellist called Mark Wastell contacted Simon to ask whether they might play together - in private, not with a view to doing gigs. Graciously, Simon agreed. Later that year, when Rhodri relocated to London, Simon brought him and Mark together and the three of them began to play. What immediately became apparent was that IST (as the trio would soon be known) had a unique chemistry, and their often quiet, sparse, introspective but tensile music, strewn with ghost notes, was different from that of any other improvising string group.

The IST concerts that followed were among the first performances of Mark's career, and, remarkably, the Anagrams To Avoid session was recorded on the day that Rhodri and Mark met. This was the beginning of their extensive joint involvement in various informal line-ups for both concerts and recordings, and with longstanding groups such as Broken Consort and The Sealed Knot.

Fast forward to 2002. In September of that year, IST was invited to perform at the Contemporaneamente classical music festival in the town of Lodi, Italy. The concert took place in the frescoed nave of an octagonal medieval church, the fabulous acoustic of which served the musicians, and the recording, well. In a 2006 interview with Tomas Korber, Wastell said this was "the best concert that group ever played".

In ideal circumstances, IST gave perhaps their finest performance, and Lodi contains every second of it. The recording is dedicated to the late Peter Kowald, who, the previous evening at Contemporaneamente, had played his final European concert.

Though IST was formed as long ago as 1995, the group has a scant discography. Anagrams To Avoid, a 1997 LP release on the USA-based SIWA label, was joined later that year by Consequences (Of Time And Place) (Confront). The following year, Ghost Notes was issued by Bruce's Fingers to coincide with a short tour by the group, during which, as well as improvising, they interpreted scores by Earle Brown and Karlheinz Stockhausen. In addition to four improvisations, the CD included compositions by Phil Durrant, Stace Constantinou, Guto Pryderi Puw, Carl Bergstr¯m-Nielson, Simon H. Fell and Mark Wastell. Since then, IST has played on the Company In Marseille double CD (Incus, 1999) with guitarist Derek Bailey and hoofer/raconteur Will Gaines, and contributed tracks to the following compilations: Total Music Meeting 2001: Audiology - 11 Groups Live In Berlin (All, 2002) and Freedom of the City 2003: Small Groups (Emanem, 2004)."-Confront

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
Stringed Instruments
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Free Improvisation

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Product Information:

Label: Confront
Catalog ID: CCS 05
Squidco Product Code: 13375

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2005
Country: UK
Packaging: Clipack
Recorded in concert at Contemporaneamente 2002, Tempio Civico dell'Incoronata, Lodi, Italy.


Rhodri Davies-harp

Simon H. Fell-double bass

Mark Wastell-violoncello

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Track Listing:

1. Untitled 01 19:27

2. Untitled 02 13:05

3. Untitled 03 12:52

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