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Consorts: Distinctions (Spoonhunt)

Composer Dominic Lash's Consort ensemble explores the possibilities of combining sustained-tone music, guided & free improvisation, and the relationship between acoustic and amplified sound, heard in this evolving, extended concert at Café Oto on Lash's 40th birthday, in a unique mix of acoustic & electronic instruments that even includes an amplified kitchen sink!
 

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product information:


UPC: 0604565552167

Label: Spoonhunt
Catalog ID: SHCD002
Squidco Product Code: 30996

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Cafe Oto, in London, UK, on January 13th, 2020, by Shaun Crook.


Personnel:

Douglas Benford-harmonium, percussion

Steve Beresford-electronics

Marjolaine Charbin-piano

Chris Cundy-bass clarinet

Seth Cooke-steel sink, metal detector

Angharad Davies-viola

Phil Durrant-modular synth

Matthew Grigg-guitar, amplifier

Bruno Guastalla-cello

Martin Hackett-Korg MS10

Tim Hill-baritone saxophone

Tina Hitchens-flute

Sarah Hughes-zither

Mark Langford-bass clarinet

Dominic Lash-double bass

Yvonna Magda-violin

Hannah Marshall-cello

Helen Papaioannou-baritone saxophone

Yoni Silver-bass clarinet

Alex Ward-clarinet, amplifier

Shaun Crook–live sound

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Artist Biographies:

"Douglas Benford is an English musician, curator, producer and co-founder of Sprawl. He lives and works in London, UK. Benford has had many recorded releases under many guises: mainly as Si-cut.db, but also Radial Blend, Phoenix Jig, Pantunes Music & Media Form (via Douglas's own imprint Suburbs Of Hell), covering electronica/drum n' bass/ambient, then microsound, glitch, dub and lately acoustic improvisation. He's the leader of the Brenford Underground DRUM AND BASS MAHOOSIVE sOUNd SySteM.

Benford has performed at various venues such as London's Tate Modern, The Roundhouse, Science Museum, Brentford's Watermans and Colchester's Art Centres as well as international festivals Synch, Mutek, Transmediale, and Bestival.

The first SI-CUT.DB release was in 1991, as SIDE>>CUT.DB (with later moniker LOVE>>CUT.DB). As Si-cut.db, Benford collaborated with Stephan Mathieu, Benge, Saint Etienne, Andrew Weatherall, Marc Weiser of Rechenzentrum and Momus amongst others. In 1999, Si-cut.db was ranked in the top 200 of US College Radio acts.

n 1996, Benford and Iris Garrelfs (German-born musician and photographer) founded and curated the London-based experimental music club Sprawl, described as 'underground playground and test tube for current sound'. Benford also runs the offshoot label Sprawl Imprint.

Its regular events have become a benchmark of experimental, electronic music. Artists featured have included Kim Cascone, Scanner, Talvin Singh, Kaffe Matthews, Christian Fennesz, Hayley Newman and more. Other events include the Interplay Festivals, SonicRecycler, the Groundswell Festival at ICA, as well presenting Vladislav Delay and Rosy Parlane at a concert organised in conjunction with the Tate Modern’s educational department and the Finnish Institute."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Benford)
10/13/2021

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"Steve Beresford (born 1950) is a British musician who graduated from the University of York. He has played a variety of instruments, including piano, electronics, trumpet, euphonium, bass guitar and a wide variety of toy instruments, such as the toy piano. He has also played a wide range of music. He is probably best known for free improvisation, but has also written music for film and television and has been involved with a number of pop music groups.

Beresford played in Derek Bailey's Company events and in the groups Alterations with David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack, and the Three Pullovers with Nigel Coombes and Roger Smith. He was also a member with Gavin Bryars and Brian Eno of the Portsmouth Sinfonia.

Beresford has continued to play free improvisation with a number of prominent musicians, including Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, John Zorn, and Han Bennink. He has collaborated extensively with Swiss-American artist/musician Christian Marclay and is an active member of the long-standing London Improvisers Orchestra.

From 2010 he performed various pieces by John Cage, including Indeterminacy with Tania Chen and comedian Stewart Lee, and a performance with Ilan Volkov at The BBC Proms 2012 at The Royal Albert Hall in London.

He has also worked with a number of popular musicians, including Ray Davis, The Slits, Frank Chickens, Ted Milton and The Flying Lizards. In 2015 he performed a duoproject with the upcoming Norwegian singer Natalie Sandtorv at the Blow Out! festival in Oslo, Norway.

He was awarded a Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists in 2012. He is a senior lecturer on the Commercial Music course at University of Westminster.

Beresford's music and his teachings have inspired the musical community in the UK for over a decade. British songwriter and performer Katy Carr cites Steve Beresford's lectures on musical themes associated with Free improvisation, Experimental music, John Cage, musique concrète, Diamanda Galás and The Slits as a source of initial inspiration with regards to the creation of her debut album, Screwing Lies released in 2001."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Beresford)
10/13/2021

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"Marjolaine Charbin is a French pianist based in London. Improvisation is the core of her work, but she also engages with compositions. Her sound is an ever mutating mix of keyboard technique and various inside-piano techniques using hands, objects, voice and contact microphones. Recent collaborations include Eddie Prevost, Angharad Davies, Jennifer Allum, Dimitra-Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Ute Kangiesser, John Butcher, Douglas Benford, Ken Ikeda and Ed Lucas.

Marjolaine was classically trained as a child, falling in love with jazz as a teenager and becoming passionate about all aspects of sound during a period studying sound engineering. She then attended the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels, studying jazz piano. Her interests in subtle listening, complexity and the endless possibilities of the present have led her to seek out ever more open forms of music making, developing her work through numerous projects and encounters, mainly with other musicians, but also with dancers, who have had a significant influence on her practice. When Marjolaine moved to London, she became involved in Eddie Prevost's workshop, which spawned several new ongoing collaborations.

Her other interests include literature, cinema and body/mind meditative practice. Also patisserie but that's a bit off subject. Marjolaine has performed in various venues and festivals across Europe, including London's Cafe Oto and Vortex, Berlin's Exploratorium, Hurta Cordel festival, Sound disobedience Festival, Huddersfield contemporary music festival and London's "Music We'd Like To Hear" festival."

-Marjolaine Charbin Website (https://www.marjolainecharbin.com/about)
10/13/2021

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"Playing bass clarinet, various saxophones, and other unusual woodwind instruments Chris splits his time between the UK where he lives and Canada. He has toured internationally with Cold Specks, Timber Timbre, Guillemots, and Fyfe Dangerfield and regularly accompanies songwriters such as Little Annie, Baby Dee, Devon Sproule, and Edd Donovan. His practice extends from popular music to theatre, experimental and improvised performances and he has appeared on over sixty commercial recordings. Recently Chris has started to release a series of albums under his own name.

Chris grew up in Medway, Kent and was drawn into the local music scene at a young age where he become friends with Billy Childish - artist, musician, and founder of Hangman Records & Books. During visits to Childish's kitchen Chris was exposed to the exploits of homemade music-making. This formative period instilled a DIY approach and by the time Chris was 14 he had already started out as a street busker. After hearing the Eric Dolphy Memorial Album he took up bass clarinet. He is self-taught.

He went on to study painting at Cheltenham art college. During this period he began to establish experimental projects including Grace & Delete - a duo with fellow painter and electronics musician James Dunn. He also started to explore self-developed playing techniques such as multi-phonics, circular breathing, micro tonality and generally speaking a more tactile approach to the instrument. This led him to working with composers including Thanos Chrysakis, and Pete M Wyer. At Cheltenham he also met songwriter Fyfe Dangerfield who he has continued to collaborate with on a number of occasions since - most notoriously as an additional saxophonist for the Mercury Prize nominated indie-pop group Guillemots.

Other projects include several albums with electronica group Longstone and performing music for Nofit State Circus. One off sessions have seen Chris performing with Moby, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Vieux Farka Touré, Fatoumata Diawara, Alexander Hawkins, and Lisa Hannigan. He has also written theatre music and recently worked with composer Jon Nicholls on an original soundtrack for Florian Zellar's The Mother starring Gina McKee."

-Chris Cundy Website (http://www.chriscundy.com/about.html)
10/13/2021

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"Seth Cooke is a sound recordist, drummer and process performer based in Bristol, UK. His location-based work explores aberrant mapping and perturbed environments. His solo performances involve feedback and resonance. As a percussionist he plays traps and waste disposal sink. He sometimes enjoys the flexibility of improvisation, open composition and field recording.

He used to play drums for Hunting Lodge and Defibrillators. Current projects include a duo with Dominic Lash and the Every Contact Leaves a Trace CDr label. He co-founded the Bang the Bore collective with Clive Henry in 2009."

-Seth Cooke Website (http://www.sethcooke.eu/info/)
10/13/2021

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"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)
10/13/2021

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"Phil Durrant. Born 1957; software synth/sampler, live electronics and acoustic violin.

Phil Durrant studied classical violin and piano at the London College Of Music. Since 1977 he has been a freelance musician, improviser and composer. He has performed at festivals all over Europe, U.S.A and Canada and has had his music broadcast on radio and television in many countries.

Current electronic projects include Ticklish, Secret Measures (with John Butcher), Lunge (with Gail Brand, Pat Thomas and Mark Sanders) and the international electronic orchestra, Mimeo. He also plays violin in Assumed Possibilities (with Chris Burn, Rhodri Davies and Mark Wastell), "Beinhaltung", a trio with Radu Malfatti and Thomas Lehn another trio with Berlin musicians, Burkhard Beins and Ignaz Schick, and the string quartet Quatuor Accorde, with Tony Wren, Charlotte Hug and Mark Wastell. Durrant has also played in the very influential trio with John Butcher and John Russell, as well as the Chris Burn Ensemble.

During his career he has played with many creative and important musicians, including: Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Grooverider, Shut up and Dance, John Zorn, Phil Minton, and Tom Cora. He has also been awarded various Arts Council grants to research and develop his use of electronics. Two current duo projects - at early 2001 - were: Durrant, violin and software synth/sampler with Wade Matthews, bass clarinet, alto flute; and Durrant software synth/sampler with Mark Sanders drums and sequenced samples.

Phil Durrant has also been collaborating and composing music for a wide variety of choreographers. These include PLastic chill, In the face of a stranger and Deja deux with Maxine Doyle; Salome, Concrete and On stage with Susanne Thomas; Partial site, near view and Delay for five with Gill Clarke; Future perfekt with Ana Sanchez-Colberg; and Borderlander and Home zone with Sophia Lycouris. Salome, Concrete and Partial site, near view were site-specific and involved speaker systems in a number of different rooms. He recently wrote the music for a new play by Nick Sutton called Home movies."

-European Free Improv (EFI) (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/musician/mdurrant.html)
10/13/2021

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"Matthew Grigg - guitar, amplifier. Bristol UK based musician, dealing predominantly with improvised musics.

Some of the bands I play with/have played with include: Yoke, Pigeon, Calcine (Trio/Quartet etc), Rebecca Sneddon//Matthew Grigg, Tobias Brügge Matthew Grigg Duo, Vostok 5, Stone Tongue, EP/64, Names of Things, Consorts, Helsons Angels, Cheltenham Improvisers Orchestra, Initiative Improvisierte Musik and others. I also perform in less stable/ad hoc configurations, and occasionally solo, under my own name.

I have been fortunate enough to play with numerous talented musicians including; Tobias Brügge, Simon Camatta, Eugene Chadbourne, Andrew Cheetham, Chris Cundy, Matt Davis, Robin Foster, Arvind Ganga, Phil Gibbs, Tim Hill, Tina Hitchens, Erhard Hirt, Paul Hubweber, Tom Jackson, Mark Langford, Dominic Lash, Thomas Lehn, Eivind Lønning, Hannah Marshall, Yvonna Magda, Kai Niggemann, Helen Papaioannou, Ross Parfitt, Espen Reinertsen, John Russell, Rebecca Sneddon, Roger Telford, Alex Ward, Alan Wilkinson and many others."

-Matthew Grigg Website (https://matthewgrigg.wordpress.com/bio/)
10/13/2021

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"Bruno Guastalla was born in France in 1957, and lives with his partner ceramicist Aline Stanway in Oxford (UK). His main activity for the past 40 years has been to restore and make violins and cellos, since 1983 as part of Oxford Violins. He is also a music performer and improviser. He plays cello and bandoneon in MUE, Set Ensemble, Ensemble Azut, Oxford Improvisers, Cold Harbour Trio, DEC Project. He has collaborated amongst others with Philipp Wachsmann, Dominic Lash, Cafe Reason Dance Company, Macarena Ortuzar, Helena Gough, Martin Hackett, Pete McPhail and various members of the collective Oxford Improvisers. Experience as an instrument maker influences his attitude to sound. He uses conventional notation, field recordings and various sound editing techniques. Questions around language, perception and shape making come up a lot. Song project is a collaboration with singer Sarah Verney Caird and poet Joe Butler."

-Bruno Guastalla Website (https://brunoguastalla.net/)
10/13/2021

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Martin Hackett plays Flutes, melodica, objects, analog synthesizer. Martin Hackett plays in Feldspath, La Pieuvre, Optronic, Le Grand Orchestre de Muzzix, Radiolarians de Michael Pisaro [Création 2021]

-Muzzix (http://muzzix.info/spip.php?page=article&id_article=25&lang=en)
10/13/2021

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Tim Hill is a British Jazz Saxophonist, known for the groups Consorts, Continental Drift, and Meltdown.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/616981-Tim-Hill-4)
10/13/2021

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"Tina Hitchens is a improviser, flautist and composer / sound artist who works largely in the fields of free improvisation, sound art, and contemporary classical music, playing and writing in a variety of musical groups as well as working with artists from other disciplines.

Recent projects include as a recipient of an 'Interpreting Isolation' grant from the British Music Collection and Sound & Music: Tina collaborated with artist Sam Francis to produce a new work, High Tide. In 2019-21 she was a commissioned artist for CANOPY, an arts network in the Forest of Dean, working towards creating a sound art piece focusing on a Phone Box using sounds and stories from the Forest area. Tina was composer for Freya Gabie's Grafted Chorus - a project for the 'Future Perfect' public arts programme; a Halftone collaboration with artist Benjamin A Owen at Supernormal Festival; and Amalgams, produced by the ONOMATO collective. She was a composer / improviser for artist Benjamin A Owen's Goldfinch film events, collaborated with Field Sports / Fold Music, was a flautist for Song 5 of Welsh National Opera's Occupation - Five songs that shook the world, and performed orchestral piccolo for the world premiere of Andrew Wilson-Dickson's Karuna - an oratorio for compassion.

Tina currently writes / improvises / performs in a range of settings - see the Projects / Groups page for details.

Tina has worked with the Welsh National Opera, National Dance Company Wales, PM Music Ensemble, National Theatre Wales, The Sherman Theatre, and multiple smaller groups. She co-founded Cardiff New Music Collective, a group dedicated to performing rarely-heard repertoire, as well as commissioning new works. Tina was a composer / performer for Dots.filmband, who composed and improvised live soundscapes for contemporary short films, and composed, played synth and sang with Whitebelt, a post-punk / wonky pop 3-piece. She has been a session musician for various pop / TV / radio / film / theatre / dance projects.

Tina initially studied classical flute performance (with Roger Armstrong and Christine Messiter) at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she was fortunate to attend Keith Tippett's educational sessions on free improvisation. These sessions contributed to the broadening of Tina's musical world and she became increasingly involved in contemporary music during her time at the College, gaining the MMus and BMus (hons) degrees. She was awarded an EMI Music Sound Foundation scholarship, an Ashley Family Foundation scholarship, and the Daniel Emlyn Davies Award."

-Tina Hitchens Website (https://tinahitchens.com/)
10/13/2021

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"Sarah Hughes is a London-based improviser playing the chorded zither, piano and e-bow. she is part of the Loris ensemble."

-Squidco 10/13/2021

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Mark Langford is a UK multi-reedist, known for the groups Mark Langford Blazing Flame Quintet, Blazing Flame Quintet/6, Consorts, and Konik.

-Mark Langford Website (http://www.marklangford.co.uk/story.html)
10/13/2021

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"Born Cambridge, England, in January 1980; played bass guitar since 1994; studied with Hugh Boyd and Pascha Milner and at Basstech (London) with Rob Burns, Terry Gregory and others. Played double bass since 2001; basically self taught, with grateful thanks to Simon H. Fell. First class BA in English Literature from Oxford University (2002). Received MA Composition from Oxford Brookes University in 2003, having studied with Paul Whitty, Ray Lee and others. Received PhD from Brunel University in 2010, having studied the work of Derek Bailey, Helmut Lachenmann and JH Prynne and been supervised by Richard Barrett and John Croft."

-Dominic Lash Website (http://dominiclash.blogspot.com/p/dominic-lash_5.html)
10/13/2021

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"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/)
10/13/2021

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"Hannah Marshall is a cellist who is continuing to extract and invent as many sounds and emotional qualities from her instrument as she can , playing experimental & freely improvised music and collaborating with other musicians, theatre and performing artists in the UK and Europe. She trained at The Guildhall school of music and Drama from 1992-1996. She plays regularly with The London Improvisors Orchestra and has performed at various festivals including VNM-Graz, Freedom of the City - London, Fete Qua Qua, Nickelsdorf-Konfrontationen, Banlieue Bleu-Paris, Jazz em Agosto-Lisbon, Barcelona Horta Cordel, ring ring-belgrade, Wels Unlimited- Austria, Alpen Glow - UK/Austria, Taktlos, Nantes festival, Saalfelden jazz festival, Red Ear Amsterdam, thirstyfish festival - London, Konfrontationen, Akouphene-Geneva, Europa Jazz Festival, Joyful Noise Festival- Swtizerland, Blurred Edges Festival- Hamburg. She has been invited by Fred Frith, Thomas Lehn and Suichi Chino in their residencies at café Oto, and by Evan Parker in his monthly residency at The Vortex Club."

-Music Teachers UK (https://www.musicteachers.co.uk/user/6fdca7e3c5ca7ab082f8/biography)
10/13/2021

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"Helen Papaioannou is a composer and baritone/alto saxophonist based in Sheffield, UK.

Her new solo project, Kar Pouzi, intertwines saxophone and electronics with a focus on squeezing out the maximum from small collections of sounds.

Helen has a fascination with the dynamics of group interaction, and has collaborated with a variety of performers and ensembles including Workers Union Ensemble, Ensemble neoN, Nieuw Ensemble, Galvanize Ensemble, Xenia Pestova Bennett and Pascal Meyer, Cobalt Duo, Michael Speers/Renzo Spiteri and LSO.

Garlic Hug, her duo with Alessandro Altavilla, combines a playground of instruments in droney swamps, hiccuping beats and clamorous riffs. Helen improvises and performs with various collaborators, and has played as one third of the bands Beauty Pageant and HOKKETT."

-British Music Collection (https://britishmusiccollection.org.uk/node/65229)
10/13/2021

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"Info

Yoni Silvers plays the bass clarinet (extended/constricted/strangulated), as well as alto sax, violin, piano, voice, some computer fiddlings and some general fiddlings. Improvisation, composition, performance, and much in-between.

These are some of the combos I am a part of these days:

- Hyperion Ensemble, led by Rumanian Hyper-Spectralist composers Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram.

- Denis D'or, with Grundik Kasyansky on electronics and Tom Wheatley on double bass

- Trio with Mark Sanders on drums and Tom Wheatley on double bass

- Duo with Steve Noble

I also play or have played with people such as Jean Claude Jones, Harold Rubin, Steve Noble, Eddie Prevost, Angharad Davies, Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O'Malley, Eran Sachs, Alex Drool, Maya Dunietz, Wolfgang Fuchs, John Edwards, Toshimaru Nakamura, Ghédalia Tazartès, Ehran Elisha, Alex Ward, Sharon Gal, Mark Sanders, Günter Baby Sommer, Eyal Maoz, Daniel Davidovsky, Ofer Bymel, Damon Smith, Birgit Ulher, Fritz Welch, Daysuke Takaoka, Neil Davidson, Tim Hodgkinson, Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides, Seymour Wright, Catherine Lamb, Hannes Lingens, Tom Wheatley, Dylan Nyoukis, Yonatan Avishai, Steve Beresford, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, London Improvisers Orchestra, Thanos Chrysakis, Mazen Kerbaj, Heiner Metzger, Ute Kanngiesser, Dominic Lash, Ariel Shibolet, Eivind Lønning, Sophie Angel, Grundik Kasyansky, Konzert Minimal, Crank Sturgeon...

I've composed and arranged music for film directors Avi Mograbi ('Z-32'), and Josef Pitchhadze ('Year Zero'); theatre director Ariel Efraim Ashbel (The Empire Strikes Back); artists Alona Rodeh ('Over and Above') and Gilad Ratman ('The Workshop' for Venice Biennale 2013); and poets/spoken-word-artists Roman Baembaev and Pyotr Shmugliakov. Also did arrangements for singer-Israeli songwriters Rona Kenan, Shlomi Shaban, and others have been played by ensembles such as the Israeli Philharmonic and Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble, and been a member of the Israeli rock band Habiluim and metal/circus-core band Midnight Peacocks.

I've also composed pieces for ensembles such as the Israeli Contemporary Players, and numerous ad-hoc ensembles."

-Yoni Silver Website (https://yonisilver.wordpress.com/info-2/)
10/13/2021

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"Alex Ward was born in 1974. He is a composer, improviser, and performing musician. His primary instruments are clarinet and guitar, and he has also performed in public and on recordings on alto sax, piano/keyboards, bass guitar, and as a vocalist. He was based in Oxford from 1992-2000, and since then has lived in London.

His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. As an improviser, he was initially principally a clarinettist (sometimes also playing alto sax), but since 2000 he has also been active as an improvising guitarist. On both instruments, hIs longest-standing collaborations in this field have been with the drummer Steve Noble.

From 1993 to 2001, most of his activity as a composer took place in collaboration with Benjamin Hervé, mainly in the context of the rock band Camp Blackfoot. From 2002-2005, his writing was mostly done solo, and was primarily focused on songs. Since 2006, he has been heavily involved in both solo and collaborative composition, predominantly (though not exclusively) of instrumental music. Much of his writing and performing during this time has been done with Dead Days Beyond Help, a duo with drummer Jem Doulton. He also currently leads a number of bands including Predicate, Forebrace, The Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet, and Alex Ward & The Dead Ends.

He has been a member of many other groups including ensembles led by Eugene Chadbourne, Simon H. Fell and Duck Baker, and has also done various work as a session musician and in collaboration with other media. Since 2005, he has co-run the label Copepod Records with composer/performer Luke Barlow. He does the recording, mixing and/or mastering of most of his own music, and for many of the groups he plays in."

-Sites.Google.com (https://sites.google.com/site/alexwardmusician/biography)
10/13/2021

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track listing:


1. Distinctions 46:05
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"For upwards of a decade, Dominic Lash has been a humbly major presence on the UK experimental music scene, his numerous collaborations manifesting the catholic expansiveness so heartening in the current generation of experimental musicians. Lash performs relatively infrequently as a leader, and this album, recorded live at Café Oto at his 40th Birthday Concert, represents the largest group he has thus far assembled.

Lash writes: "Consorts is a flexible ensemble formed in 2013 to explore the possibilities of combining sustained-tone music, improvisation (both guided and free), and the relationship between acoustic and amplified sound." Within English court music of the 16th and 17th century, the consort named a configuration somewhere between orchestral and chamber music, providing a usefully ambiguous model for the flexible line-ups of Lash's ensemble(s).

Consorts might be either 'whole' - comprised of instruments of the same family - or 'mixed'- comprised of different instrumental families. This group clearly manifests the latter type. As well as a range of wind and string instruments, we find more unusual choices: Bristol-based Seth Cooke, curator of the Bang the Bore series, plays an amplified kitchen sink (giving new meaning to the metaphorical phrase), along with a metal detector; several musicians are credited with amplifiers as well as conventional instruments. This range of soundproducing possibilities and approaches is reflected in the music.

Approaches to large groups have been a challenge for free improvisers, but Lash's distinctions manifests a remarkably fresh approach to the problem - and excitement - of large-group playing. The title lends itself to intriguing structural speculations: does 'distinctions' refer to time divisions? Distinctions between instrumental groups? Distinctions between composed and improvised sections? "Furtively and visibly" runs a phrase from the Mallarmé poem Pierre Boulez used to give some sense of his Pli Selon Pli (Fold Upon Fold) which also usefully suggests the particular character of the present album: its combination of stealth, strategy, methods hidden or obscured, with the 'visible sense' of improvised interaction and structured patterning.

Favouring lower-end instruments and instruments capable of sustaining longer tones, distinctions opens with brief drones, electronic sine waves, saxophone harmonics, the mellow thud of a bass clarinet. The boxy quality of what sounds like a stylophone disrupts the music's tendency to reverie, mixing grit and grace as tones rise and shift in alternation, the crack of shifting seats and the movement of instruments in hands a part of the music's patient, open texture. Instruments are heard in alternating segments, rather than simultaneously, giving a sense of line and finely gradated texture. What's stressed is neither soloistic voicing, nor an all-over collective texture: individual instruments are readily identifiable, yet tones and voices uncannily cross and weave. A

s the piece progresses, Consorts revel in the timbral possibilities of high-volume instrumental combinations: a particularly rich whorl of caterwauling bass clarinets, baritone saxophone and rising ensemble tones at the 29-minute mark renders dissonance positively sensuous. As the piece moves towards its conclusion, the clarinets reach for the upper frequencies over a resounding, quasi Doom Metal repeated bass note of indeterminate source: the closest analogy I can think of is the London Improvisers' Orchestra meets Sunn 0))). It's cathartic, glorious: a cross between an aural bath and a cold shower. 'Cacophony', ecstasy, chaos, are the words critics tend to reach for to describe such moments. But this music resists any readily-drawn binaries between 'structure' and 'feeling', improvisation and composition, dissonance and consonance. Distinctions brings together in thick chorus a rich panoply of voices and influences that sets the stall for future work. Hear for yourself."-David Grundy

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Large Ensembles
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


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