First meeting of experimental musicians Keith Rowe & Radu Malfatti in a 3 disc set: one disc of compositions by Jurg Frey and Cornelius Cardew; one disc of their own compositions; and one disc of improvisation.
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Catalog ID: 060-3
Squidco Product Code: 14391
Format: 3 CDs
Packaging: Digipack Triple CD
Recorded by Christoph Amann at Amann Studios, Vienna on November 8-10, 2010.
Keith Rowe-guitar, electronics
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Exact dimension without insistence (Jurg Frey) 20:14
Solo with accompaniment (Cornelius Cardew) 26:09
Nariyamu (Radu Malfatti) 39:23
Pollock '82 (Keith Rowe) 18:00
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"Keith Rowe and Radu Malfatti are two of the most influential experimental musicians in recent decades, each with extensive bodies of highly distinctive work and a combined 80+ years at the forefront of their respective areas of exploration. On Φ, their first meeting ever is documented via one disc of selected compositions (Frey and Cardew), one disc of their own compositions, and one disc of improv.
Radu Malfatti has been a major presence in the European free improv scene since the early seventies. He's been a member of such stellar bands as the Brotherhood of Breath, the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, and the King Ubu Orchestra, as well as countless small groups. Malfatti's recent focus on developing a unique style of superspare, tranquil music led him to join the Wandelweiser collective, a group of like-minded composers, in 1994. Since 2006, Malfatti has been releasing recordings spanning the past 12 years of his compositions on his own b-boim label, which cumulatively are one of the important bodies of work of recent times. Φ is his third release for Erstwhile, following 2001's groundbreaking dach and 2009's gorgeous imaoto (recorded at Amann Studios like Φ) .
Keith Rowe was in the forefront of the initial wave of European free improvisation, co-founding the AMM collective in 1965 and originating the tabletop guitar. The tabletop guitar has remained at the center of his ever-evolving table of electronics and gadgets ever since, becoming increasingly stripped down and minimal in recent years. Having mostly performed within AMM until the late 90's, he's since been involved in a wide range of projects, including a slew of the most prominent Erstwhile releases. He's the cornerstone musician of the label, and his wide range of releases over the last decade stands with the strongest bodies of work of the last century in improvised music.
Malfatti and Rowe met in Vienna in November 2010, their first musical meeting of any kind, for three days of recordings at Amann Studios. They began with Jürg Frey's Exact Dimension Without Insistence, selected by Malfatti, then proceeded onto Cornelius Cardew's Solo with Accompaniment, selected by Rowe. Next was Malfatti's nariyamu, then a version of Rowe's Pollock '82, and lastly an extended improv. Almost all of the recordings are included on Φ in the order in which they were made, and three of the four compositions (excluding the Frey) only required one take. The playing order allowed the two musicians to gradually build a rapport of sorts, finding a remarkable amount of common ground despite their widely differing perspectives. The progression over the three days and the connections between the pieces are quite evident, leading to an improvisation meeting that is both confident and thoroughly uneasy. Φ is housed in a stunning eight panel digipak, the four outside panels contain original paper on paper artwork by Rowe and the inside panels contain photos of the scores and a photo of the musicians with recording engineer Christoph Amann."-erstwhile
• Show Bio for Radu Malfatti
"Radu Malfatti is an Austrian trombone player and composer. He was born in Innsbruck, in the province of Tyrol, on December 16, 1943. He has been described as "among the leaders in redefining the avant-garde as truly on-the-edge art." His work "since the early nineties... has been investigating the edges of ultraminimalism in both his composed and improvised work." He also operates B-Boim, a CD-R only record label focusing on improvised and composed music, much of it his own."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radu_Malfatti)
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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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