Two cellists, Nikos Veliotis and Mark Wastell, employ a vast array of expansive techniques and approaches to an actively reductionist set of improvisations, using the natural reverb of All Angels church in Turnham Green, London as a third voice, as the duo listens attentively and advance their interchanges in intricate and riveting ways.
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Catalog ID: ccs 76
Squidco Product Code: 23304
Packaging: CD in a tin case
Recorded at All Angels, Turnham Green, London, England, 2001, by Tim Fletcher.
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"Just when I thought I had collected all the recordings I could of Mark Wastell playing cello he unearths another gem from his vault, himself and Nikos Veliotis playing acoustic cellos.
I started following Mark and the London/Berlin scene only about 6 years ago. I would be hard pressed to pick any other improvising cellists if had to choose a duet to hear. Lachenmann, Xenakis and Scelsi are my favorite cello composers and I imagine these two fellows are avid fans too. I missed out on the lowercase reductionist, whatever you want to call it, phase while it was happening so to hear this recording from 2001 is exciting. My only other recordings of Nikos feature him on amplified cello so this 100% acoustic set is special. The recording does not disappoint.
The space, All Angles church in London, acts an amplifier and contributor to the music as very small sounds become audible and large sounds scream. The cellos stop playing from time to time but there is no silence as noises inside and traffic outside become present. In addition to quiet sounds there are many dense, harsh, violent passages but not of the talkative, call-and-response kind that might be typical of two musicians improvising. It is more as if they were playing a Lachenmann string quartet and decided to go off on their own to see if the audience could tell.
The sounds range from double stops, con lengo, arco multiphonics, a variety of pizzicato, pure noise, and sine wave tones. It would have been wonderful to witness the live performance and be able to see the gestures and body language along with the sounds."-Gary Rouzer
• Show Bio for Nikos Veliotis
"Not many Greek improvisers have made names for themselves on the European free music scene; Nikos Veliotis did it by connecting with British musicians in the late '90s while researching issues relating to the performance of graphic scores at Trinity College of Music in London. As a cellist, Veliotis is manifestly interested in extending the sound-making possibilities of his instrument. He's a member of the trio Cranc with harpist Rhodri Davies and violinist Angharad Davies. He's also played with the London Improviser's Orchestra and in duos with guitarist John Bisset and cellist John Wastell. Veliotis is a dedicated performer of contemporary classical works by composers such as Xenakis, Sculthorpe, Cardew, and Bussotti. He's also a member of Texturizer, a duo with Greek electronica artist Coti K. Veliotis has played on an ad hoc basis with Evan Parker, Fred Van Hove, and John Butcher, among others. His solo album, Cello (2001), was issued in limited edition with 100 CDs on the Confront label. Veliotis was the curator for the Athens offshoot of 2:13, a pan-European improvisation club that also has branches in London and Berlin."-All Music (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/nikos-veliotis-mn0001928030)
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• Show Bio for Mark Wastell
"Mark Wastell Born 1968; cello.
Much of Mark Wastell's relationship with his chosen instrument is concentrated on the tactile, textural and sonic possibilities of both violoncello and bow. He is increasingly interested in working with extreme elements drawn from frequency, timbre and pitch.
His early activity was consciously and subconsciously influenced by a variety of improvising musicians including John Stevens, Barry Guy, Phil Durrant and John Russell. Subsequent exposure to contemporary composers lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of the works written for strings by Feldman, Cage, Nono, Lachenmann and Sciarrino. The use of live electronics and music concrete by Tudor, Parmegiani, Xenakis and others was another important early influence.
Wastell's current instrumental material primarily focuses on using abstract principles of space and texture - encompassing elements of new London silence, pro-instrument minimalism, new complexity and electro-acoustics. Because of the very nature of his chosen instrument, he tends to favour 'chamber' style ensembles and is a member of a number of regular groups:• Chris Burn's Ensemble, with John Butcher, Rhodri Davies, John Russell, Matt Hutchinson
• Derek Bailey's Company - with, for example, Will Gaines, Simon H. Fell and Rhodri Davies
• Evan Parker's String Project, with Peter Cusack, Hugh Davies, Rhodri Davies, Phil Durrant, John Edwards, Kaffe Matthews, Marcio Mattos, John Russell
• Assumed possibilities, with Chris Burn, Rhodri Davies and Phil Durrant
• The Sealed Knot, with Burkhard Beins and Rhodri Davies
• Necessaire with Alessandro Bosetti, Ignaz Schick and Burkhard Beins
• IST with Simon Fell and Rhodri Davies
• Quatuor Accorde with Tony Wren, Phil Durrant and Charlotte Hug
• Broken Concort, a duo with Rhodri Davies
Mark Wastell has also performed with many other leading musicians including John Zorn, Keith Rowe, Peter Kowald, Hugh Davies, Roger Turner, Veryan Weston, Lol Coxhill, Mark Sanders, Axel Dorner, Hans Koch, Phil Minton, Max Eastley and Steve Beresford.
As a soloist he has played at the Micro-classical Festival (London 1996), LMC Festival (London 2000) and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (2000). He has travelled extensively with various groups, performing on tour and at festivals in the USA, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Greece. Other work includes the launch in 1996 of his own record label, Confront Recordings. Wastell is also joint co-ordinator of the concert venue All Angels, together with Rhodri Davies."-European Free Improv (EFI) (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/musician/mwastell.html)
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