Two recordings from spina!studio in St. Petersburg during the Teni Zvuka 2013 Festival, one a duo btween Keith Rowe and Alfredo Costa Monteiro, and the other filling out to a quartet with Ilia Belorukov and Kurt Liedwart; detailed interactions with impressive restraint.
Rowe, Keith / Alfredo Costa Monteiro / Ilia Belorukov / Kurt Liedwart
Label: Mikroton Recordings
Released in: Russia
"A duo recording of Keith Rowe and Alfredo Costa Monteiro and a quartet recording of them with Ilia Belorukov and Kurt Liedwart, two recordings made at the same day at spina!studio in St. Petersburg during Teni Zvuka 2013 festival.
Keith Rowe is mainly known as the pivotal and crucial musician standing in the forefront of the first wave of the European free improvisation, co-founder of AMM in 1965 and inventor of tabletop guitar playing techniques which remained his central sound tool until now and which he extended with a lot of electronic and other gadgets and devices. It's his third release on our label following "Shifting Currents" with Bill Thompson and Rick Reed and his composition "A Quartet For Guitars" performed last winter in 2013 with his Nantes colleagues Emmanuel Leduc, Anthony Taillard and Julien Ottavi, the quartet which is known as NG4 Quartet.
Alfredo Costa Monteiro is a musician with almost the same biographical details which you find in Rowe's, both studied art and unexpectedly moved to music and sound art worlds. He's mainly interested in unstable processes and raw gestures, often manipulating objects as instruments and instruments as objects what you actually hear in his playing manner of accordion here. He works in other projects like Cremaster with Ferran Fages, I Treni Inerti, Astero and 300 Basses.
Ilia Belorukov hails from St. Petersburg and works mainly with prepared saxophone in the field of improvised, noise and electroacoustic music. He's a member of different projects like Wozzeck, Wooden Plants and others. He practices an experimental approach of sound extraction on alto saxophone and uses laptop, electric guitar, drums and other instruments. He also runs our partner Intonema label and organizes with us Teni Zvuka festival in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
In 2009 he joined his forces with Kurt Liedwart, a Moscow-based musician and curator of Mikroton Recordings and organizer of Teni Zvuka festival. When the duo started Liedwart was using only sinewaves and field recordings adding more sounds and noises with time. Liedwart works mainly with computer, electronics, synthesizer and objects, sometimes deleting the line separating concerts from performances or installations, at the same time he's active in the fields of electroacoustic improvisation and sound art.
In 2013 Kurt Liedwart with Ilia Belorukov decided to invite Keith Rowe and Alfredo Costa Monteiro to the 4th edition of Teni Zvuka festival. It was the first time when they played at the festival's recording sessions together in duo and in quartet with Ilia Belorukov and Kurt Liedwart. Their duo recording forms an exchange of personal experiences that bring the music into rather dry territories, with an acute sense of musicality. They conjured a unique sound world with accordion and prepared guitar, combining different sound qualities at the same moment. The quartet recording goes even beyond prevalent methodologies of working with sound, unpushingly pushing the sound around and violating many rules of the nowadays improvisation."-Mikroton
"No need for much procedural analysis of this one, just an hour's worth of your plain, old-fashioned improv gathering with Rowe (guitar, electronics), Costa Monteiro (accordeon, objects), Belarukov (alto saxophone, objects, ipod, mini-subwoofer, mini-speaker) and Liedwart (objects, electronics). IT's all very subdued and all quite good really, Belarukov once again impressive in his reticence while still often using pure tones, no mean feat. Though I may be mixing him up here with Costa Monteiro if the latter is occasionally summoning similarly pure tones from his squeezebox. No matter, ore to the point that each of the two tracks breathes freely, stretches out quite ably. One notices, after dealing with the guitar quartet release that that one dealt pretty much in short phrases while this is about long-held sounds, much to its benefit. One wonders about similarly "awkward" playing using this formation, if it's more difficult to "underwhelm" in a more stasis-prone environment. Whatever, it's an excellent set, focussed and considered, working up to a subtly exciting rumble towards its conclusion. Well worth hearing."-Just Outside, Brian Olewnick
• 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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At The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
Objects and Home-made Instruments
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Label: Mikroton Recordings
Catalog ID: 32
Squidco Product Code: 19623
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Spinalstudio, in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, on April 29th, 2013 by Ilia Belorukov.
Keith Rowe-guitar, electronics
Alfredo Costa Monteiro-accordian, objects
Ilia Belorukov-alto saxophone, objects, ipod, mini-subwoofer, mini-speaker
Kurt Liedwart-objects, electronics
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