The dual alto saxophones of Martin Kuchen and Seymour Wright meet guitarist Keith Rowe for an impressive journey of free improvisation with Rowe taking the lead.
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Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at29
Squidco Product Code: 12985
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded by Simon Reynell on 14th June 2009 at The Church of St. James the Lesser, Midhopestones, near Sheffield
Martin Kuchen-alto saxophone
Keith Rowe-electric guitar
Seymour Wright-alto saxophone
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1. Kuchen _ Rowe _ Wright 35:27
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lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
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London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
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The dual alto saxophones of Martin Kuchen and Seymour Wright meet guitarist Keith Rowe for an impressive journey of free improvisation with Rowe generally taking the lead. The pieces are sparse, building in ebb and flow, with both saxophonists using extended techniques and the action of the instrument intself to create a quilt of timbre, buzz and sound. The single long improvisation is beautifully paced to create an aura of mystery, building implicit chapters in extended passages of flowing abstraction.
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• Show Bio for Martin Kuchen
"Born 1966; saxophones. Martin Küchen has been active on the Swedish free improvised/free jazz scene since the mid-1990s. He has composed for larger groups, participated in dance projects, performed with different poets and created the music for experimental films. He now collaborates with improvisors all over Europe and USA/Canada. His current collaborations include:
Angles - a new trio with Ingebrigt Håker- Flaten, doublebass, Kjell Nordeson, drums and Martin Küchen, saxophones. Exploding Customer - a free jazz quartet with Tomas Hallonsten trumpet, Benjamin Quigley double bass and Kjell Nordeson drums, which plays mainly original compositions. Sound of Mucus - a trio with the stringchordist Herman Müntzing and Andreas Axelsson, percussion. Unsolicited Music Ensemble - a trio with Tony Wren, double bass and Raymond Strid, percussion. a duo with guitarist David Stackenås. UNSK: Birgit Ulher, Martin Küchen, lise-Lott Norelius and Raymond Strid. Looper - a trio with Greek cello player Nikos Veliotis and Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach."-European Free Improv Site (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/musician/mkuchen.html)
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• Show Bio for Keith Rowe
"tabletop guitarist and painter. Rowe is a founding member of both the influential AMM in the mid-1960s (though in 2004 he quit that group for the second time) and M.I.M.E.O. Having trained as a visual artist, Rowe's paintings have been featured on most of his own albums. After years of obscurity, Rowe has achieved a level of relative notoriety, and since the late 1990s has kept up a busy recording and touring schedule. He is seen as a godfather of EAI (electroacoustic improvisation), with many of his recent recordings having been released by Erstwhile Records.
Rowe began his career playing jazz in the early 1960s-notably with Mike Westbrook and Lou Gare. His early influences were guitarists like Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian and Barney Kessel. Eventually, however, Rowe grew tired of what he considered the form's limitations. Rowe began experimenting, slowly and gradually. An important step was a New Year's resolution to stop tuning his guitar-much to Westbrook's displeasure. Rowe gradually expanded into free jazz and free improvisation, eventually abandoning conventional guitar technique.
This change in his approach to guitar, Rowe reports, was partly inspired by a teacher in one of his painting courses who told him, "Rowe, you cannot paint a Caravaggio. Only Caravaggio can paint Caravaggio." Rowe reports that after considering this idea from a musical perspective, "trying to play guitar like Jim Hall seemed quite wrong." For several years Rowe contemplated how to reinvent his approach to the guitar, again finding inspiration in visual art, namely, American painter Jackson Pollock, who abandoned traditional painting methods to forge his own style. "How could I abandon the technique? Lay the guitar flat!"
Rowe developed various prepared guitar techniques: placing the guitar flat on a table and manipulating the strings, body and pick-ups in unorthodox ways to produce sounds described as dark, brooding, compelling, expansive and alien. He has been known to employ objects such as a library card, rubber eraser, springs, hand-held electric fans, alligator clips, and common office supplies in playing the guitar. A January 1997 feature in Guitar Player magazine described a Rowe performance as "resemble a surgeon operating on a patient." Rowe sometimes incorporates live radio broadcasts into his performances, including shortwave radio and number stations (the guitar's pick-ups will also pick up radio signals, and broadcast them through the amplifier).
AMM percussionist Eddie Prévost reports that Rowe has "an uncanny touch on the wireless switch", able to find radio broadcasts which seem to blend ideally with, or offer startling commentary on, the music. (Prévost, 18). On AMMMusic, towards the end of the cacophonous "Ailantus Glandolusa", a speaker announces via radio that "We cannot preserve the normal music." Prevost writes that during an AMM performance in Istanbul, Rowe located and integrated a radio broadcast of "the pious intonation of a male Turkish voice. AMM of course, had absolutely no idea what the material was. Later, it was complimented upon the judicious way that verses from The Koran had been introduced into the performance, and the respectful way they had been treated!" In reviewing World Turned Upside Down, critic Dan Hill writes, "Rowe has tuned his shortwave radio to some dramatically exotic gameshow and human voices spatter the mix, though at such low volume, they're unintelligible and abstracted. Rowe never overplays this device, a clear temptation with such a seductive technology - the awesome possibility of sonically reaching out across a world of voices requires experienced hands to avoid simple but ultimately short-term pleasure. This he does masterfully, mixing in random operatics and chance encounters with talkshow hosts to anchor the sound in humanity, amidst the abstraction." "
Some accounts report that Rowe's guitar technique was an influence on Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett: "Taking his cues from experimental guitarist Keith Rowe of AMM, Barrett strived to push his music farther and farther out into the zone of complete abstraction."
Rowe has worked together with numerous composers and musicians, including Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff, Howard Skempton, Jeffrey Morgan, John Tilbury, Evan Parker, Taku Sugimoto, Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Oren Ambarchi, Christian Fennesz, Burkhard Beins, Kurt Liedwart, Toshimaru Nakamura, David Sylvian and Peter Rehberg.-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Rowe)
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• Show Bio for Seymour Wright
"Seymour Wright - saxophonist, investigator, artist - lives in London. His practice is about the saxophone - music, history and technique - actual and potential; an on-going, rigorous and exhaustive exploration of the instrument. The energy of this learning is applied to various collaborations and contexts to access/share what he has called the 'awkward wealth of investigation'. His work is documented on two widely acclaimed self-released collections Seymour Wright of Derby (2008) and Seymour Writes Back (2015). As well as STEPS, his current collaborations include lll人 (with Daichi Yoshikawa and Paul Abbott), GUO (with Daniel Blumberg) and XT (with Paul Abbott)."-Cafe Oto (https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/artists/seymour-wright/)
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