6 works from a series of minimal compositions loosely based on the art & writings of Sol LeWitt, performed by the Edges Ensemble: Philip Thomas, James Saunders, Tim Parkinson, Angharad Davies, Stephen Chase & Rhodri Davies.
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Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at44
Squidco Product Code: 14940
Packaging: Jewel Tray
All tracks recorded by Simon Reynell at various locations between 2009-2011.
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1. Imperfections On The Surface Are Occasionally Apparent 11:50
2. Part Of It May Also Be Something Else 11:40
3. Components Derive Their Value Solely Through Their Assigned Context 13:47
4. Materials Vary Greatly And Are Simply Materials 4:13
5. Although It May Appear To Vary In The Way Units Are Joined 6:44
6. Any One Part Can Replace Any Other Part 10:12
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
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CD sleevenotes by James Saunders
My interest in multipart series follows an extended period of working on a modular composition, #[unassigned], which resulted in making 175 versions of the piece between 2000-9. Since 2009, I have begun to expand this idea through the composition of multipart series, where groups of pieces sharing similar processes and materials have a demonstrable relationship, drawing on my interest in equivalent practices in visual art.
divisions that could be autonomous but that comprise the whole (2009 - ) is a series of pieces which use the same score format: single pages containing sound events spread across a variable duration of between 40" - 1'20". The pieces in the series are performed as self-contained compositions. Any pages from the series may be combined and performed under the overall series title. The title comes from a text by Sol LeWitt in which he explains seriality in his own work:
"Serial compositions are multipart pieces with regulated changes. The differences between the parts are the subject of the composition. If some parts remain constant it is to punctuate the changes. The entire work could contain sub-divisions that could be autonomous but that comprise the whole. The autonomous parts are units, rows, sets, or any logical division that would be read as a complete thought. The series would be read by the viewer in a linear or narrative manner even though in its final form many of these sets would be operating simultaneously, making comprehension difficult."
Sol LeWitt, 'Serial Project No. 1 ABCD', Apsen Magazine, 5/6 (1966)
The title of the individual pieces are all excerpts from artists' statements. Each title was selected to describe a particular situation found in the piece. In some cases, the title came first, helping to generate a way of working with the available instruments, whilst in others it came after the piece was completed.
imperfections on the surface are occasionally apparent (2009) was written for Michael Pisaro, and first performed by him with the Experimental Music Workshop at the wulf, Los Angeles, 16 October 2009. It is for ten players, each with a cardboard takeaway-coffee cup and five different surfaces. The cups act as resonators when dragged across the surfaces. The performers must each source different surfaces (e.g. glass, brick, felt, sandpaper) such that there are 50 different surfaces in total. As with all the pieces in this series, the score pages may be played in any order, and each comprise a time structure which determines when sounds are to be made. The title is taken from Sol LeWitt's text Wall Drawings (1970).
PART OF IT MAY ALSO BE PART OF SOMETHING ELSE (2009) was written for Philip Thomas, and first performed by him at BMIC Cutting Edge, London, 5 November 2009. It explores the similarities between decaying piano sounds and sustained tones on the melodica and harmonica, and between radio static and breath. The title is part of Robert Barry's Art Work, 1970 and references the interchangeability of pages within this piece with others in the series.
components derive their value solely through their assigned context (2009) was written for this recording, and subsequently performed by Parkinson Saunders at the Soundwaves Festival, Brighton, 16 July 2010. It uses bowed wood and radio static, both played at low volumes. Its title, taken from Jack Burnham's essay System Esthetics (1968), refers to the way each sound is subtly coloured by other sounds which may be present, and that the particular combinations that arise in performance are made without prior agreement by the players.
materials vary greatly and are simply materials (2010) was a wedding gift for Tim Parkinson and Angharad Davies, and written for Rhodri Davies, who first performed it in Portmeirion, 22 October 2010. It uses ten different materials placed in a harp, and then bowed. The materials are drawn from the list of traditional gifts given for the first ten wedding anniversaries, and may be freely selected within this constraint by the performer. The title is taken from Donald Judd's essay Specific Objects (1964).
although it may appear to vary by the way in which units are joined (2009-10) was written for Stephen Chase and first performed by him at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, 21 April 2010. The ordering of pages is constrained by the requirement that the end of one page and the beginning of the next share a common sound, and the title is taken from Mel Bochner's essay The Serial Attitude (1967). It is scored for radio, melodica, and guitar, which is bowed with a pencil.
any one part can replace any other part (2010) was also written for this recording. The three players each have an identical sound-producing action which is repeated in a recurring time structure. The resultant sounds - a violin noise harmonic, bowed metal sheet, and cup on a brick - are all unstable and subject to small amounts of change. The title is taken from Carl Andre's statement Anaxial Symmetry (1970).
• Show Bio for Philip Thomas
"Philip Thomas (b.1972, North Devon) specialises in performing new and experimental music, including both notated and improvised music. He places much emphasis on each concert being a unique event, designing imaginative programmes that provoke and suggest connections.
He is particularly drawn to the experimental music of John Cage, Morton Feldman and Christian Wolff, and composers who broadly work within a post-Cageian aesthetic. In recent years he has been particularly associated with the music of Christian Wolff, giving the world premiere of his Sailing By in 2014 and Small Preludes in 2009, the UK premiere of Long Piano (Peace March 11), having co-edited and contributed to the first major study of Wolff's music, Changing the System: the Music of Christian Wolff, published by Ashgate Publications in 2010, and currently recording all of Wolff's solo piano music for sub rosa. He is an experienced performer of John Cage's music, having performed the Concert for piano and orchestra with both Apartment House and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as well as most of the solo piano and prepared piano music, including a unique 12-hour performance of Electronic Music for piano
He has commissioned new works from a number of British composers whose ideas, language and aesthetic have been informed in some ways by the aforementioned American composers, such as Stephen Chase, Laurence Crane, Richard Emsley, Christopher Fox, Bryn Harrison, John Lely, Tim Parkinson, Michael Parsons, and James Saunders.
In recent years Philip has pursued a passion for freely improvised music, after significant encounters with the music of AMM and Sheffield-based musicians Martin Archer, Mick Beck and John Jasnoch. He has worked with improvisers in a variety of contexts and recently devised a programme of composed music by musicians more normally known as improvisers as well as others who have been influenced by improvisation in some form. This led to a CD release, Comprovisation, which featured newly commissioned works by Mick Beck, Chris Burn and Simon H Fell. Other CD releases include music by Martin Arnold, Laurence Crane, Christopher Fox, Jürg Frey, Bryn Harrison, Tim Parkinson, Michael Pisaro, James Saunders, Christian Wolff, as well as with improvisers Chris Burn and Simon H Fell.
Philip is a regular pianist with leading experimental music group Apartment House, with whom he has performed in festivals across the UK and Europe. He has also performed with the Quatuor Bozzini, and in duos with Mark Knoop, Ian Pace and John Tilbury (piano duet and two pianos) and James Saunders (electronics).
In 1998 Philip was awarded a PhD from Sheffield University in the performance practice of contemporary piano music. Between 2000 and 2005, he was Head of the Sheffield Music School whilst pursuing an active performing and teaching career. He joined the staff team at the University of Huddersfield in 2005, and became Professor of Performance in 2015. Philip is one of the Directors of CeReNeM, the University's Centre for Research in New Music. He continues to live in Sheffield, where he premieres the majority of his programmes, with his wife Tiffany and children Naomi and Jack."-Philip Thomas Website (http://www.philip-thomas.co.uk/biog.html)
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• Show Bio for Angharad Davies
"Angharad Davies is a violinist, one at ease in both improvising and composition, with a wide discography as part of varied range of ensembles and groups. She's a specialist in the art of 'preparing' her violin, adding objects or materials to it to extend its sound making properties. Her sensitivity to the sonic possibilities of musical situations and attentiveness to their shape and direction make her one of contemporary music's most fascinating figures. 2015 has seen her being commissioned for a new work at the Counterflows Festival, Glasgow and premiering Eliane Radigue's new solo for violin, Occam XXI at the El Nicho Festival, Mexico.
She's performed at, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, BBC Proms, Music We'd Like to Hear's concert series, is an associate artist at Cafe Oto, is a member of Apartment House, Cranc and Common Objects, been artist in residence at Q-02, and played live with Tony Conrad in the Turbine Room at the Tate Modern. Other collaborations have featured the likes of John Butcher, Daniela Cascella, Rhodri Davies, Julia Eckhardt , Kazuko Hohki, Roberta Jean, Lina Lapelyte, Dominic Lash, Tisha Mukarji, Andrea Neumann, Rie Nakajima, Tim Parkinson, J.G.Thirlwell, Stefan Thut, Paul Whitty, Manfred Werder, Birgit Ulher, Taku Unami and she's released records on Absinth Records, Another Timbre, Potlatch and Confrontrecords."-Angharad Davies Website (http://www.angharaddavies.com/biog.html)
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Saunders / Thomas / Parkinson / Davies / Chase / Davies (Edges Ensemble)
divisions that could be autonomous but that comprise the whole