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nmperign: Ommatidia (Intransitive Recordings)

nmperign (trumpeter Greg Kelley and saxophonist Bhob Rainey) in their first studio album after a decade of improvisation using extended aspects of their instruments.

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product information:

Label: Intransitive Recordings
Catalog ID: int035
Squidco Product Code: 12205

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack


Greg Kelley-trumpet

Bhob Rainey-soprano saxophone

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track listing:

1. Glass 6:42

2. Variation II 5:54

3. Prey 6:42

4. Fault 4:37

5. Variation V 6:33

6. Dalton 7:33
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Duo Recordings

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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"nmperign are one of the most celebrated and influential bands in contemporary improvised music. Yet surprisingly, more than a decade after their debut, Greg Kelley (trumpet) and Bhob Rainey (soprano sax) have never recorded a studio album as an unaccompanied duo... until now!

The music is spare and peerlessly inventive as always, but the mood remains light and joyful, with a subtle undercurrent of absurd humor. While improvised music can sometimes seem airless and precious, Ommatidia opens the window on a sunny afternoon... the album's gusts of breath, percussive splatter, and controlled explosions form six succinct pieces that feel alive and vital, while still speaking in nmperign's utterly unique sonic language. A perfect way in for newcomers and a revelation for long-time fans, Ommatidia is the essential nmperign.

Previous nmperign albums have employed guest musicians - notably close collaborator and tape loop saboteur Jason Lescalleet, but also luminaries such as Gunter Mueller, Axel Doerner, Andrea Neumann, and Burkhard Beins - and subversive or dodgy recording techniques; their 2xLP on Siwa was recorded entirely to micro-cassette and cassette walkman, while an early CD on Selektion was edited from live mini-disc recordings. Intransitive is proud to present the nmperign album that fans have been waiting for: the core duo, beautifully recorded in an actual studio with excellent microphones.

When not making nmperign music, Greg Kelley performs with the aggressively psychedelic noise unit Heathen Shame (along with Wayne Rogers & Kate Village of Major Stars), minimalist chamber group The Undr Quartet, and raucous rock band Life Partners. Rainey regularly tours with folk/pop duo Damon & Naomi and leads The BSC, an eight-piece electro-acoustic improvising ensemble. They live in Boston and New Orleans, respectively."-Intransitive

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Artist Biographies:

"Bhob Rainey is an award-winning composer / performer, saxophonist, and sound designer. He holds a Masters in Music Composition from New England Conservatory ('97), where he studied with iconoclastic microtonalist Joe Maneri, jazz legends Paul Bley and Ran Blake, and the mathematically gifted composer Pozzi Escot.

In 1998, with trumpeter Greg Kelley, Rainey founded the duo Nmperign, which was highly influential in an emerging phase of non-idiomatic improvisation often referred to as "lowercase" or "EAI" (Electroacoustic Improvisation). In 2000 he founded The BSC, an improvising large ensemble, in which he developed techniques for an improvisational discipline that were eventually outlined in his 2011 publication, Manual. Throughout the late 1990's and early 2000's he performed globally and collaborated with numerous improvisers across generations, including Axel Dörner, Andrea Neumann, Günter Müller, Michel Doneda, Lê Quan Ninh, and many others.

By the mid-2000's, while continuing to work in the realm of improvisation, Rainey began to produce electronic and algorithmic works. He spent five years collaborating with German composer Ralf Wehowsky (RLW) on the 2007 release, I don't think I can see you tonight, which, along with Nmperign and Jason Lescalleet's Love Me Two Times (2006), established him as a formidable electronic composer who synthesizes streams of Musique Concréte, computer music, and improvisation.

Throughout his career, Rainey has sought out cross-discipline collaborations, working especially with theater makers and choreographers. Since 2012 he has worked with theater company New Paradise Labs, composing for The Adults, which premiered at the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and O Monsters (2016). He created the soundtrack to Leah Ross's 2013 film, Levitate, which premiered that year at the Rooftop Film Festival in New York City, and he performed live in Jungwoong Kim's and Marion Ramirez's site-specific dance work, Capsized, at the National Asian American Theater Festival in Philadelphia in 2014.

Rainey was awarded the Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2013, and in 2014 he received a Subito grant from the American Composers Forum to complete a multimedia project with filmmaker Catherine Pancake. He is currently working with New Paradise Laboratories on a musically-driven follow up to O Monsters, with Jungwoong Kim on a multimedia dance installation, and with Leif Elggren and CM Von Hausswolff on the inauguration of the "Kingdom of Elgaland-Vargaland Embassy" in Philadelphia.

To date, Rainey has over 30 releases as a leader or co-leader."

-Bhob Rainey Website (

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