Chrysakis, Thanos / Chris Cundy
Music for Chamber Organ & Contra Bass Clarinet
Electroacoustic improviser Thanos Chrysakis performing on the chamber organ at the University of Gloucestershire, UK in a collaboration with Chris Cundy on contra bass clarinet, for a subtle, mysterious and uncompromising four-part improvisation.
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Label: Aural Terrains
Catalog ID: TRRN0930
Squidco Product Code: 21573
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at the Chapel on Francis Close Hall Campus in Cheltenham, University of Gloucestershire, UK, on June 28th, 2014.
Thanos Chrysakis-chamber organ
Chris Cundy-contrabass clarinet
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1. Part I 10:58
2. Part II 13:06
3. Part III 8:23
4. Part IV 7:54
5. Part V 11:27
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"By formally naming the album with the mere instrumentation, Chrysakis and Cundy declare right away their intention of not providing the listener with clues linked to definitions or labels. Even after having glanced at the musicians' curricula — which include several surprising collaborations — determining a so-called stylistic context for these five tracks remains one of those exercises that render a reviewer's life a little tougher. At any rate, there are certainties: no pseudo-tunes (or hints thereof), no lines to memorize, no easy concessions. And there's so much to learn when we finally decide to abandon the "necessity of classification" mental mode, just immersing ourselves in the very sounds. As always, the real teachings are not given by words.
On paper, the timbral pairing might appear a bit problematic. But when an improviser's inclination respects both the partner(s) and the silence from which everything is born, conflicts vanish, not withstanding dissonant clusters and clashing harmonics. The introvert character of these pieces is at the same time unambiguous, in that Chrysakis and Cundy know from the beginning where they're meeting: a place where room exists for a clarinet to express its potential via quivering tones, contingent fragments and jarring metaphrases. Where an organ can certainly generate a discordant drone lasting full minutes ("Part III") while completely erasing the possible liturgical references through the utilization of infrastructural micro-repetitions and hidden patterns. There are no visible handles to grip, and the pages of this imaginary score are turned in the less expected moments. In all cases, when a track ends we feel more puzzled than before.
This uncompromising work grabs the attention thanks to unexpected subtleties, spurious vibrations and atypical resonances. In a way, it stimulates a reflection about its bare essence rather than the overall aesthetic value; the latter, however, is also a factor to take into serious consideration. I have properly listened to it a number of times, and the reason of my attraction still can't be found in the closet of logical constructions."-Massimo Ricci, The Squid's Ear
"Thanos Chrysakis' output consists of composition, performance, and installation. He was born in Athens in 1971. After residing in the UK between 1998-2014 he moved in 2015 to Belarus. With several albums to his name his work has appeared in festivals and events in several countries, including CYNETart Festival, Festspielhaus Hellerau - Dresden, Academy of Arts / M:AI (Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst NRW)- Berlin, Diapason Gallery - New York, ohrenhoch - der Geräuschladen Gallery - Berlin Neukölln, XXII "Sound Ways" International New Music Festival - St Petersburg, Artus Contemporary Arts Studio - Budapest, CRUCE Gallery - Madrid, Fylkingen - Stockholm, Relative (Cross) Hearings festival - Budapest, ZEPPELIN festival - Barcelona, Futura 2013 - Drôme, Festival de Música Contemporanea "Ramiro Guerra" - Monterrey, Störung festival - Barcelona, Center for New Music - San Francisco, Västerås Konstmuseum - Västerås, BMIC Cutting Edge concert series - The Warehouse - London . His music has been also frequently aired by RAI radio 3, BBC radio 3, Radio Portugal Antenna 2, Radio Nacional de España, FM Brussel, Polskie Radio (Warsaw), Elektramusic (Strasbourg), Undae! Radio and Onda Sonora - Radio Circulo de Bellas Artes (CBA) (Madrid). He composes for electronic and acoustic instruments as well environmental sounds, focusing on the structural, aesthetic and tranfigured capacity of sonic matter. His work was amongst the selected works at the International Competition de Musique et d'Art Sonore Electroacoustiques de Bourges 2005, in the category œuvre d'art sonore électroacoustique, while received an honorary mention in 2006 at the 7th International Electroacoustic Competition Musica Viva in Lisbon.
Chris Cundy is an English musician, composer, and arranger specialising in bass clarinet, saxophones and other woodwinds. He has worked with Cold Specks, Lol Coxhill, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Devon Sproule, Timber Timbre, Guillemots, Little Annie and Baby Dee. His work ranges from improvisation and experimental music through to modern composition and pop music.Between 1996 and 1999 Chris studied painting at Cheltenham art college and during this time he more fully expanded his practice of improvised music, sometimes referred to as 'free music' out of which various projects have emerged such as Weavels which features bassoonist Mick Beck and guitarist, clarinettist Alex Ward. He has also established several ventures into composition developing the use of 'extended techniques' such as multi-phonics, circular breathing, micro harmonics and generally speaking a more tactile approach to instrumentation. He has worked closely with a number of composers and educators including John Tilbury, Thanos Chrysakis and Dominic Lash.During his time at Cheltenham he also met songwriter and orchestrator Fyfe Dangerfield with whom he has worked on many different occasions including as a touring and recording artist in his band Guillemots. More recently Chris has been working with Cold Specks and appears on her 2014 album 'Neuroplasticity' (Mute Artists) recorded at Montréal's Hotel2Tango Studios. One off sessions have seen Chris performing with Moby, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Vieux Farka Touré and Lisa Hannigan.Other projects and collaborations have included appearing on several albums with electronica outfit Longstone and performing music with Nofit State Circus for a number of their award winning shows under the artistic direction of the Italian choreographer Firenza Guidi."-Aural Terrains
• Show Bio for Thanos Chrysakis
"Thanos Chrysakis' output consists of composition, performance, and installation. He was born in Athens in 1971. After residing in the UK between 1998-2014 he moved in 2015 to Belarus. With several albums to his name his work has appeared in festivals and events in several countries, including CYNETart Festival, Festspielhaus Hellerau - Dresden, Academy of Arts / M:AI (Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst NRW)- Berlin, TU - Berlin, Diapason Gallery - New York, ohrenhoch - der Geräuschladen Gallery - Berlin Neukölln, Spazioersetti Gallery - Udine, XXII "Sound Ways" International New Music Festival - St. Petersburg, Artus Contemporary Arts Studio - Budapest, CRUCE Gallery - Madrid, Fylkingen - Stockholm, Relative (Cross) Hearings festival - Budapest, ZEPPELIN festival - Barcelona, IVM (Institut Valencià de la Música) - Valencia, Motus/Festival Futura 2013 / 21 édition - Crest-Vallée de la Drôme-Diois, Xposed Club - Cheltenham, Festival de Música Contemporanea "Ramiro Guerra" - Monterrey, FACT Centre - Liverpool, Association Ryoanji - Salle Des Fêtes - Ahun, The Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale/International Chosen Vale Trumpet Seminar 2014 - Hanover-New Hampshire, Frost School of Music - Clarke Recital Hall - Coral Gables/Florida, XIII Festival Internacional de Música Nueva - Monterrey, Splendor - Amsterdam, VI European Clarinet Festival - Camerino - Italy, Logos Foundation - Ghent, Palacio de Bellas Artes - Mexico City, "On the Edge of Perceptibility - Sound Art" Műcsarnok Kunsthalle - Budapest, Festival del Bosque GERMINAL - Mexico City, Noise & Fury Festival - Moscow, Oosterkerk - Amsterdam, Center for New Music - San Francisco, Västerås Konstmuseum - Västerås, Störung festival - Barcelona, BMIC Cutting Edge concert series - The Warehouse - London.
His music has been frequently aired by RAI Radio 3, BBC Radio 3, Radio Portugal Antenna 2, Radio Nacional de España Radio 3, Ireland's RTÉ Lyric FM, Polskie Radio (Warsaw), RTS - Radio Belgrade 3 (Serbia), FM Brussel, Elektramusic (Strasbourg), CKCU FM - (Ottawa), Undae! Radio and Onda Sonora - Radio Circulo de Bellas Artes (CBA) (Madrid), Radio Horizon (Johannesburg), Motus/Radio Saint Ferréol -Les Territoires Du Son (la radio du Val de Drôme), Radio Nova (Oslo) among others. In addition, his texts have been also appeared in the Leonardo Music Journal (MIT Press), the Vague Terrain Journal, and in the volumes The Book of Guilty Pleasures and The Idea of the Avant Garde - And What It Means Today (Manchester University Press) edited by Marc James Léger. He composes for electronic and acoustic instruments, as well environmental sounds, focusing on the structural, aesthetic and transfigured capacity of sonic matter.
His formal training encompasses percussion (Dimitris Tzafestas), Sonic Arts (Hugh Davies) at the Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts and a PhD in composition from Goldsmiths, University of London (EMS/Michael Young) as well as private studies in orchestration with Dmitri Smirnov. However it is the yearning of the creative praxis itself that transmitted the crucial aspect of artistic practice: that something has to be staked, that something must be ventured.
His work was amongst the selected works at the 32nd International Competition de Musique et d'Art Sonore Electroacoustiques de Bourges 2005, in the category œuvre d'art sonore électroacoustique, while received an honorary mention in 2006 at the 7th International Electroacoustic Composition Competition Musica Viva in Lisbon (the jury was constituted by Morton Subotnick (USA), François Bayle (France), and Miguel Azguime (Portugal).
He has written music for distinguished musicians such as Philippe Brunet (flugelhorn, trumpet), Wilfrido Terrazas (flutes), Chris Cundy (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet), the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, Jason Alder (bass clarinet), Alexander Bruck (viola), Yoni Silver (bass clarinet), Natalia Pérez Turner (cello), Nadia Ratsimandresy (Onde), Mikael Rudolfsson (alto trombone), Matias Karlsen Bjornstad (soprano saxophone), Liam Hockley (clarinets), Michael Pelzel (church organ), Kate Ryder (piano, prepared piano), Tzenka Dianova (piano), Claire Chase (bass flute), Peter Evans (trumpet), Julie Kjaer (alto saxophone/alto, Luis Tabuenca (percussion), Philip Chase Hawkins (trumpet).
Recent compositions amongst others, include: Above the Hidden Track an Endless Blaze (Aural Terrains 2015), Terra Firma (for Mikael Rudolfsson [alto trombone] 2015), Astraea (for the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, 2013), Undercurrent (for Liam Hockley [clarinet in A] 2014), Arché (for Chris Cundy [baritone saxophone] 2014), Nocturnal Flight (for Nadia Ratsimandresy [onde] 2014), Ingress (for Yoni Silver [bass clarinet] 2015), Canto Intrare (for Philippe Brunet & Philip Chase Hawkins [duo trumpets] 2015), Μήτε το Κύμα / Νé da'll onde (for Wilfrido Terrazas & Natalia Pérez Turner [bass flute / cello] 2014].
He has recorded/performed with a number of improvisers including among others Wade Matthews, Dario Bernal-Villegas, Jerry Wigens, James O'Sullivan, Philip Somervell, Jamie Coleman, Chris Cundy, Zsolt Sőrés, Sebastian Lexer, Javier Pedreira, Julie Kjaer, Artur Vidal, Christian Kobi, Christian Skjødt, Yoni Silver, Nuno Torres, Kurt Liedwart, Ernesto Rodrigues, Abdul Moimême. Furthermore, he has also closely collaborated with the visual artists Pascal Dombis, and Villő Turcsány. Since 2007 he operates the record-label 'Aural Terrains' focusing in electroacoustics, composed and improvised music.
He has held residencies at the Visby Centre for Composers (twice) and at the Artus Contemporary Arts Studio in Budapest. His work has been supported by PRS for Music Foundation and the Swedish Art Council.
Current and upcoming projects for 2016-17 include a residency at the Porticello Artist Residency in Calabria/Italy, a series of compositions for the Hyperion Ensemble, Tim Hodgkinson (bass clarinet), Yoni Silver (bass clarinet), Tibi Cenuser (trombone), for the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, for Konus Quartett, for Liam Hockley (clarinets in A and E♭), Laura Faoro (bass flute), Philippe Brunet (trumpet), Elena Kakaliagou (french horn), Stephan Vermeersch (bass clarinet), Alexander Bruck (viola), Natalia Pérez Turner (cello), Chris Cundy (bass clarinets), Markus Wenninger (clarinet E♭), Serge Bertocchi (Tubax E♭), Shadanga Duo (alto flute/alto clarinet), Katalin Szanyi (alto flute), Jason Alder (contra bass clarinet), Alejandro Tello (oboe), Wilfrido Terrazas (flutes), Dana Jessen (bassoon) as well a new electronic music CD entitled 'Equinox'."-Aural Terrains (http://www.auralterrains.com/chrysakis/en/bio/)
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"Playing bass clarinet, various saxophones, and other unusual woodwind instruments Chris splits his time between the UK where he lives and Canada. He has toured internationally with Cold Specks, Timber Timbre, Guillemots, and Fyfe Dangerfield and regularly accompanies songwriters such as Little Annie, Baby Dee, Devon Sproule, and Edd Donovan. His practice extends from popular music to theatre, experimental and improvised performances and he has appeared on over sixty commercial recordings. Recently Chris has started to release a series of albums under his own name.
Chris grew up in Medway, Kent and was drawn into the local music scene at a young age where he become friends with Billy Childish - artist, musician, and founder of Hangman Records & Books. During visits to Childish's kitchen Chris was exposed to the exploits of homemade music-making. This formative period instilled a DIY approach and by the time Chris was 14 he had already started out as a street busker. After hearing the Eric Dolphy Memorial Album he took up bass clarinet. He is self-taught.
He went on to study painting at Cheltenham art college. During this period he began to establish experimental projects including Grace & Delete - a duo with fellow painter and electronics musician James Dunn. He also started to explore self-developed playing techniques such as multi-phonics, circular breathing, micro tonality and generally speaking a more tactile approach to the instrument. This led him to working with composers including Thanos Chrysakis, and Pete M Wyer. At Cheltenham he also met songwriter Fyfe Dangerfield who he has continued to collaborate with on a number of occasions since - most notoriously as an additional saxophonist for the Mercury Prize nominated indie-pop group Guillemots.
Other projects include several albums with electronica group Longstone and performing music for Nofit State Circus. One off sessions have seen Chris performing with Moby, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Vieux Farka Touré, Fatoumata Diawara, Alexander Hawkins, and Lisa Hannigan. He has also written theatre music and recently worked with composer Jon Nicholls on an original soundtrack for Florian Zellar's The Mother starring Gina McKee."-Chris Cundy Website (http://www.chriscundy.com/about.html)
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