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Saxophonist Halliwell appears here in three duo performances with Rhodri Davies playing E-bowed harp; Steve Roden with extracts from his "resonantlighttones"; and Mark Wastell on tam-tam.

Halliwell, Graham
Recorded Delivery

Halliwell, Graham: Recorded Delivery (Confront)
Label: Confront    
Released in: Great Britain    

"Saxophonist Halliwell appears here in three duo performances with Rhodri Davies (playing E-bowed harp), Steve Roden (extracts from his "resonantlighttones") and Mark Wastell (tam-tam). Halliwell, as has been his practice in recent years, works entirely with saxophonic feedback generation, an approach he discovered independently from other purveyors of this technique, notably John Butcher. Two of the pieces are constructions based on previously recorded material (supplied by Davies and Roden) while the piece with Wastell is an improvisation.

For the piece with Davies, "Beat", Halliwell used as his source an hour-long recording by Davies in which the harpist utilized two E-bows, Halliwell layering his own feedback alongside, producing a shimmering effect as the sine-like waves form beat patterns. He writes in the liners that the work was created under the strong influence of Eliane Radigue ("Adnos One"). You can hear that but can also relate it to some of the experiments of Alvin Lucier. "Beat", however, has an entirely warmer feel than many Lucier pieces, which sometimes edge toward the clinical. Relatively high in pitch early on, you occasionally get the ghostly sense of a disembodied soprano voice. It begins to waft away gently, pulses intersecting, sometimes consonant, sometimes dissonant, taking its time, re-coalescing into a stronger tone, disappearing. A lovely work.

For the second track, Halliwell took a piece from Roden's disc, "Four Possible Landscapes", and used a form of looped feedback where successive iterations enhanced each other in an attempt to "compliment, not copy, Steve's ideas and beautiful sonorities". The result is my favorite of the three offerings, something that reminds me of certain gorgeous solo works by Sachiko M where, as on the opening track from "debris", she evokes sonar-like blips in a vast, undersea world. Here, the pings are a bit brighter, emerging into the sound-field and winking past like floating, phosphorescent diatoms. It has an irregularly cyclic feel to it that's quite attractive, providing some amount of stasis without ever actually going into a repeat mode. There's also more than enough bite in the tones themselves to stave off any plunges into absolute languor, though I wouldn't mind wallowing here for a long while.

For the duo with Wastell (Vibra #3), condenser mics were placed extremely close to the tam-tams, enabling them to pick up low frequencies and overtones that could profitably mix with the controlled saxophone feedback. Again, an inspired idea. You can hear the softly struck gongs, providing a gentle percussive element missing in the other works as well as a burr-y tonal element (the essential harshness of scraped or struck metal) that sounds wonderful next to the ringing feedback pitches. As with all of the works presented here, it calmly runs its course, taking just about enough time to make its subtle point before leaving."-Confront

"Recorded Delivery is a beautifully conceived disc, deeply contemplative, and one of the finest new releases I've heard this year. Check it out."-Brian Olewnick

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic Improv
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Free Improvisation
Septet recordings

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Product Information:

Label: Confront
Catalog ID: ccs 04
Squidco Product Code: 13376

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2005
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Clipack
"Beat" was recorded in July 2002 and July 2004, mixed November 2004. "Resonantlighttones" was recorded in 1999 and additional revisited parts by Graham Halliwell in April 2003, mixed October 2004. "Vibra #3" was recorded in October 2004.


Graham Halliwell-feedback saxophone

Collaborations with:

Rhodri Davies-ebow harp

Steve Roden-resonantlighttones

Mark Wastell-tam-tam

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Track Listing:

1. Beat 14:10

2. Resonantlighttones Revisited 18:20

3. Vibra #3 9:53

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