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ist (The Improvising String Trio) of Rhodri Davies (harp), Simon H. Fell (bass) and Mark Wastell (violincello) performing at The Natural Music Club in London, 1997, using unorthodox techniques in indeterminate systems and free improvisation for fascinating results.

Ist (Davies / Fell / Wastell)
Consequences (of Time and Place)

Ist (Davies / Fell / Wastell): Consequences (of Time and Place) (Confront)

Label: Confront    
Released in: Great Britain    

"The Improvising String Trio is a group which sets out to explore extended techniques within the territory of the extreme avant garde classical tradition. The combination of harp, cello and bass may have been a matter of accident rather than design, but the concentration on acoustic stringed instruments lends both an unusual range and an enviable specificity to the group sound. They eschew fully notated pieces in favour of either indeterminate systems or completely free improvisation, largely because conventional notation has not a hope of capturing their individual vocabularies. In concert they can be heard performing aleatoric works specially commissioned for the group; here, the focus is on sponteneous group interaction.

Davies is probably the only player around making such extensive use of preparations on the harp; and he proves that such an approach can bear fruit in an improvising context. Wastell's cello is a source of some beautifully-controlled harmonic clusters, while Fell, who is rapidly becoming one of our most respected composers for improvisers as well as one of the finest British bass players of his generation, has a hundred ways to make a noise with his bass aside from actually playing notes. For much of the time, however, these noteworthy individual voices are surrendered to the greater cause of the group sound. All three are often immersed in an anonymous scratching-and-rattling which superficially implies that their instruments are under attack from hungry chickens, but which actually contains a wealth of detailed melodic and rhythmic information relating directly to its larger musical context.

Each piece seems to begin with one player's gesture, which it proceeds to explore, elaborate on and ultimately move beyond. The group cover the whole spectrum from near-silence to high-energy screaming, normally in a controlled but organic way. Although influenced by Cage's anything-can-happen philosophy, at their best they maintain a logic which holds the interest in a completely different way."-Richard Cochrane - Musings

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Stringed Instruments
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Trio Recordings
Trio Recordings

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Price: $9.60
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 4.00 units

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Product Information:

Label: Confront
Catalog ID: ccs 25
Squidco Product Code: 18751

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: CDr in a tin case
Reissue of 1997 Confront CDr album.

Recorded at The Natural Music Club, in Stockwell, London, England, on April 9th,1997 by Mark Wastell.


Rhodri Davies-harp

Simon H. Fell-double bass

Mark Wastell-violoncello

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Track Listing:

1. Buntata Le Rusg 6:45

2. Betingo! 16:23

3. Improvised Explosive Device 8:44

4. Joe Parsley 17:34

5. Tangled Mess... A Cross Section 1:29

6. Broad Strokes (For Franz Kline) 9:07

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