Six mysterious soundscapes from Sophie Agnel's bowed, plucked, strummed and struck prepared piano timbres in duo with Minton's grunts, gurgles and growls.
Agnel, Sophie / Minton, Phil
Label: Another Timbre
Released in: UK
"Subtle and fragile aren't adjectives you'd usually use to describe the taproom brawl of grunts, gurgles and growls that usually makes up a Phil Minton performance, but these six untitled tracks, recorded in Poitiers in June 2006, are certainly that. The precision and delicacy of Sophie Agnel's prepared piano work make for a fine contrast with the energetic bravura of Minton's longstanding sparring partner on the 88 tuned drums, Veryan Weston. It's often hard to believe that such a wide range of sonorities could come from just one instrument, let alone be produced by one pair of hands in real time.
The woefully under-recorded Agnel is at her most impressive in the third track, whose intricate shimmering polyphony of bowed, plucked, strummed and struck timbres is as complex as it is haunting. British performer Minton is such a distinctive voice in improvised music that he tends to shine out in whatever ensemble he performs in, but here he's often content to hum and flutter discreetly behind Agnel's glistening curtain of harmonics. For the first six minutes he contributes little more than tiny gasps and whimpers, finally producing recognisable notes only at the beginning of track two, many the result of his trademark wheeze that allows him to produce - and, amazingly, control - two pitches simultaneously. At high volume this can sound as dangerous as a wounded lion, but here it's as forlorn as a kitten trapped in a cupboard."-Dan Warburton, The Wire
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Unusual Vocal Forms
Piano & Keyboards
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
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Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at02
Squidco Product Code: 8865
Packaging: Jewel Tray
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