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Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere: Theta Five (Discus)

The 5th album from the UK collective improvising progressive rock band of reedist Martin Archer, drummer Steve Dinsdale, bassists Lorin Halsall & Terry Todd, percussionist Walt Shaw, keyboardist Andy Peake, violinist Yvonna Magda and string player & vocalist Jad Todd, merging acoustic and electronic instruments in rich and often dreamlike forms that flow with spirited refinement.
 

Price: $14.95


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product information:


UPC: 5051078983721

Label: Discus
Catalog ID: DISCUS 101CD
Squidco Product Code: 29753

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Chairworks in teh UK, btw October 2019, and August 2020, by David Watts.


Personnel:

Martin Archer-saxophones, clarinet, flute, organ, mellotron, software instruments, voices

Steve Dinsdale-drums, synths

Lorin Halsall-double bass, electric upright bass, electronics

Yvonna Magda-violin, electronics

Andy Peake-rhodes, synths

Walt Shaw-percussion, electronics

frostlake (Jan Todd)-vocals, voices, lyrics, harps, electronics, laptop, midi keys, bowed acoustic bass guitar (on Obsidian), glockenspiel, 12 string guitar, Korg wave drum, Idiopan

Terry Todd-electric bass guitar, acoustic 12 string guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"Martin Archer was born in Sheffield, England, in 1957. He started playing saxophone at age 15 and first got active on the Sheffield improvisational scene in 1973. In the early '80s, he recorded an LP with Bass Tone Trap, his first group. In 1983 he formed the saxophone quartet Hornweb, which, in ten years of existence, released three albums. It is during that time that Archer released his first solo album, Wild Pathway Favourites (1988) and founded the Discus label on which he since releases all his music.

In 1993, he disbanded Hornweb and turned to synthesizers and sequencers while shifting his activities from stage to studio. He developed a compositional approach in which he records improvisers soloing, then manipulates this raw material, combining it with electronics and structuring it into a whole new piece. This technique is illustrated on Wild Pathway Favourites, Ghost Lily Cascade (1996), and Pure Water Construction (with bassist Simon H. Fell, released in 1999). Later works such as Winter Pilgrim Arriving (2000) moved toward more constructed and less abstract pieces, even making room for melodies and rhythm tracks at times.

Apart from his solo work, Archer is also involved in Ask, a duo with guitarist John Jasnoch, and Transient v Resident, an ambient electronics project with Chris Bywater."-All Music, François Couture



"Martin Archer is a composer / improviser who is equally at home on stage or in the studio. His own distinctive saxophone playing is rooted in AACM jazz. Through his use of keyboards and electronics, and as a studio producer, he extends this interest into extended song form and leftfield rock music. He is also co-director of the uncategorisably avant choir Juxtavoices.

His principle music work is the Discus Music label, the imprint for his various releases, notably by the groups described below.

His current jazz based projects include Engine Room Favourites (current a 4 drummer, 14 piece big band), Story Tellers (6 piece group including shaman instruments alongside the conventional instruments), plus various ad hoc smaller groups. All of these are strongly aligned with AACM tradition and teaching.

Archer has a long running duo with veteran vocalist Julie Tippetts. Each of their highly acclaimed CD releases deliberately explores song from a different perspective - the duo aims to be truly progressive, and takes in elements from jazz, rock, soul and pure abstraction.

Archer's main live performance vehicle is the trio Inclusion Principle with Herve Perez and Peter Fairclough. The group operates in a space between electronics, nu-jazz, contemporary electroacoustic music and free improvisation. In performance you will hear pure jazz skill, electronic beats and areas of texture and abstraction all seamlessly woven into a fascinating and constantly shifting tapestry of sound.

The sprawling Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere was formed by Archer as an improvising rock group with shades of Terry Riley, Magma, Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra, very much in the progressive / krautrock tradition, and noted for its large scale string, horn and vocal arrangements.

Also in rock music, Archer is a member of the USA based heavier than plutonium prog / sludge / zeuhl group Combat Astronomy under the direction of Jamie Huggett.

Surprising, delighting and occasionally alarming audiences for a number of years now, Juxtavoices is a 30 piece choir for mainly untrained voices co directed by Archer with Alan Halsey which has racked up dozens of performances and issued three CDs.

This eclectic combination of sources and highly individual applications makes Archer a unique inhabitant of the school of English maverick composer / improvisers. "-Discus

-All Music, Discus Records (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/martin-archer-mn0000146946)
6/16/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Steve Dinsdale plays keyboards and drums in the leading British electronic trio Radio Massacre International, who have released a plethora of albums over the last 20 years and played concerts in both Europe and America. He is also a member of Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere and Engine Room Favourites, and has several solo albums to his name."

-Bishop's House (http://www.bishopshouse.org.uk/index.php/events/315-das-rad-robinson-archer-dinsdale)
6/16/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Lorin Halsall is an English bassist, known for the group The Telescopes, The Dust Collectors, and Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere.

-Squidco 6/16/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Yvonna Magda is a violinist, improviser, composer and performer based in Bristol and Leeds. She plays violin in several ensembles including Halftone Quartet, 7 Hertz trio, Madame Laycock and Her Dabeno Pleasures, the Bennett/Cole Orchestra and is a member of Strati Project, a creative collaboration between dance artists and musicians. She also performs solo using a mixture of acoustic violin, electronics, loops and effects to create changing layers of sound, texture and harmony.Yvonna Magda

She has toured and performed at venues and festivals across the U.K. and Europe and her compositions have been featured on Radio 3 and Channel 4. Working in various contexts, she has improvised to live visuals, composed for film, theatre and animation and accompanied spoken word, dance and puppetry. She has studied music with, among others, Mark Dresser and Mark Feldman. In 2008 she composed and played in Rachel Dean's dance piece based on 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Love In Idleness', and went on to perform and compose for choreographer Kathinka Walter's mixed media installation piece 'Before I Decide' in 2008 and again in 2011. More recently, she has worked as a multi-instrumentalist, touring with Theatre Alibi and Dragon Breath Theatre, and as Musical Director for The Independent Scrutineers.

Yvonna teaches violin, improvisation and composition and has a particular interest in writing and performing music which is part written; part improvised.

Inspired by a range of styles including contemporary jazz, contemporary classical and folk, her music explores the spaces between harmony and discord; structure and spontaneous expression."

-Yvonna Magda Website (https://yvonnamagda.wordpress.com/)
6/16/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Andy Peake, aka The Jazz Orange, is a keyboardist best known for the groups The Comsat Angels, Lost Garden, and Soup.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/481139)
6/16/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Walt Shaw is a freelance musician and artist from near Derby in the Midlands. He has been involved in a host of arts projects for the last 28 years. Prior to becoming a freelance musician and artist he was, for 14 years, Head of Biology in a large Comprehensive near Burton-on-Trent. This was after teaching in Lincoln and northern Nigeria (VSO). His projects have ranged from exhibitions of paintings and sculpture, both solo and group, to installations, to cross-disciplinary collaborations with dancers and physical performers. In these latter projects his experimental percussion and low-tech electronics have always played a significant role.

In 1989, Walt, along with the artist Kevin Burnley, co-founded the artist group BET4. They exhibited widely in the Midlands and in Germany and Paris. By 1993, the group widened in scope, becoming increasingly involved with not just exhibitions but installations, live art and cross-disciplinary projects. These usually integrated elements of contemporary dance, live sound and physical performance along with a strong visual aesthetic. This gave Walt opportunities for experimenting with percussion in unusual contexts as well as the creativity of that visual aesthetic. Performances took place throughout England as well as Scotland, Paris and Germany. The work of BET4 had a profound influence on all the subsequent solo and collaborative projects Walt has been involved with.

Walt has enjoyed 3 major Arts Council England awards for projects. These were for 'Polarities', 'Timepoints' and 'Entropic'. Along with the artist Simon Piasecki he also carried out the A.C.E. project 'Mendel's Garden'. He has been a collaborative artist in many other A.C.E. projects. Details of all these can be seen in the 'Live Art / Cross-disciplinary' section.

Education has played a significant part in Walt's work, even after 1989.

He has carried out many workshops in both art and percussion in Primary, Secondary, F.E. and H.E. in the Midlands and the North. He has been an artist-in- residence at Melton Brooksby College in 2005 and Abbot Beyne School, Burton-on-Trent in 2009. Walt ran Creative Percussion Discussion in Derby from 2004 through to 2005, working with youngsters under the auspices of Derby Jazz. In 2006, Walt was a tutor in a Clore Duffield Foundation project working with teenagers in Belper, using an old car as a source for art, percussion and performance. 2006 saw a project alongside the inspiring musician Orphy Robinson, working in schools to make instruments from scrap objects and improvise with them. This was a Creative Partnerships project.

Walt has played with many leading improvising musicians from the U.K. and abroad and is presently playing in several bands (see 'Music') whilst still producing visual art ( see 'Visual Art'). It is fair to say he has an unease about specialism and arbitrary categorizations. His creative development over the years has always been very difficult to pigeonhole. His creative process is the same whatever the medium though, involving searching, experimentation, expression, pushing the boundaries and refining."

-Walt Shaw Website (http://www.waltshaw.co.uk/about.php)
6/16/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"frostlake is a solo songstress/ instrumentalist performer with songs featuring Terry Todd-bass (The Box, Comsat Angels) Andy Peake-piano (Comsat Angels) Steve Dinsdale-drums (R.M.I., Earth's Tilted Axis) Nigel Manning-flute (sax player ex Hornweb) Charlie Collins- percussionist extraordinaire and Mick Somerset Ward- bass recorder, bass flute, bass clarinet."

-Reverb Nation (https://www.reverbnation.com/frostlake)
6/16/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Terry Todd is an English bassist, known for the groups Jass, Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere, Soup, The Bone Orchestra, The Box, The Comsat Angels, and Workforce.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/610716-Terry-Todd)
6/16/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Obsidian (Overture) 7:46

2. Changeling 20:30

3. Pillared Space 42:04

4. Zyxomma 9:01
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The fifth album by this adventurous improvising rock group. This time round an expanded 8 piece version of the band improvised in the studio for two days in October 2019. These live recordings were extensively reworked and arranged over the following months with the addition of composed vocal and instrumental material. The end result is the band's most expansive and adventurous work to date, with a greater emphasis on improvisation not seen since the band's first album - but the improvised elements are contrasted strongly with the rhythmic and lyrical passages where the voice and some tighter structures come to the fore."-Discus



"The large ensemble harnesses a hybrid patchwork of electro-acoustic textures that brings to mind the spacey explorations of Alice Coltrane, Terry Riley, Tangerine Dream, Can et al. Choirs, choppy strings, throbbing beats, dreamy vocals and snarling bass rise and soar into bold themes creating a diverse and thrilling listen." - SID SMITH, PROG

Related Categories of Interest:


Rock and Related
Improvised Rock
Improvised Music
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Octet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Rock Forms
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
Frostlake
Ice & Bone
(Discus)
Deep Tide Quartet (Archer / Macari / Cole / Shaw)
See One, Do One, Teach One
(Discus)
Sunshine! Quartet (Archer / Mwamba / Bennett / Fairclough)
Sunshine! Quartet
(Discus)
Juxtavoices
Warning: May Contain Notes
(Discus)
Other Recommended Releases:
Inclusion Principle (Perez / Archer)
The Leaf Factory Fallback
(Discus)
Das Rad (Archer / Robinson / Dinsdale)
Adios Al Futuro
(Discus)
Caines, Ron / Martin Archer AXIS
Dream Feathers
(Discus)
Archer, Martin
Anthropology Band [2 CDs]
(Discus)
Frostlake
Ice & Bone
(Discus)
Archer, Martin
Another Fantastic Individual
(Discus)
Eclectic Maybe Band
Reflections In A Moebius Ring Mirror
(Discus)
Caines, Ron / Martin Archer Axis
Les Oiseaux de Matisse
(Discus)
Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere
Theta Four
(Discus)
Meloche, Chris / Martin Archer / Gino Robair / Lyn Hodnett
The Sincerity Of Light
(Discus)
Archer, Martin & Engine Room Favourites
Safety Signal From A Target Town
(Discus)
Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere
03
(Discus)
Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere
02
(Discus)
Archer, Martin
Story Tellers
(Discus)
Archer / Clark / Grew / Hunter
Felicity's Ultimatum
(Discus)



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