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Ensemble Nist-Nah: Elders [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

The debut of Ensemble Nist-Nah, a nine-piece collective group of French percussionists led by Nantes-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie, incorporating a diverse set of influences including Gamelan performance, contemporary composition, noise and jazz into rich and ecstatic performances, an exciting album of informed approaches to modern and traditional percussion.

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product information:

UPC: 4250101433160

Label: Black Truffle
Catalog ID: BT 086LP
Squidco Product Code: 31595

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Australia
Packaging: LP
No recording data listed.


Ensemble Nist Nah-Gamelan Kyai Bremana, drums, percussion

Prune Becheau-performer

Charles Dubois-performer

Thibault Florent-performer

Will Guthrie-performer

Amelie Grould-performer

Mark Lockett-performer

Sven Michel-performer

Lucas Pizzini-performer

Arno Tukiman-performer

Jessika Kenney-voice

Toma Gouband-percusion

Annalee Rose Guthrie-Saron

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Artist Biographies:

"Will Guthrie is an Australian drummer / percussionist living in France. He works in many different settings of music: live performance, improvisation and studio composition using various combinations of drums, percussion, objects, junk, amplification and electronics..He plays solo and in various projects such as THE AMES ROOM & THE SOMMES ENSEMBLE. His music has been released on labels such as Gaffer Records, Erstwhile, Clean Feed, 23five, Editions Mego, Ipecac, iDEAL and his own label Antboy Music.

While studying jazz and improvised music(s) at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, alongside Ren Walters he started the weekly concert series 'Improvised Tuesdays', now known as the Make It Up Club and is Australia's longest running performance space dedicated to experimental and improvised musics. In Nantes, France he is part of the collective CABLE# which also organizes regular concerts and an annual festival. He also runs the experimental improvised CD label and mail-order service; ANTBOY MUSIC.

He plays solo using different combinations of drums, percussion, amplification and electronics, in minimalist/maximalist free jazz trio THE AMES ROOM (with Jean-Luc Guionnet & Clayton Thomas), as well as the improvised/composed ensemble THE SOMMES ENSEMBLE (with Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, Julien Desperez & Maxime Petit).

Regular collaborators past and present include Jérôme Noetinger, Oren Ambarchi, Anthony Pateras, Chulki Hong, Keith Rowe, David Maranha, Toma Gouband, Erell Latimier, Ava Mendoza, Adam Sussmann, Matt Earle, Ren Walters, Helmut Schafer, David Ades, Mark Simmonds, the film maker Hangjun Lee and choreographer/dancer Mette Ingvartsen."

-Will Guthrie Website (

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"Born in 1984, Amélie Grould studied the recorder from the age of 6 near Paris. Nine years later she began to study the percussion with Béatrice Répecaud and Jean Geoffroy. She graduated in 2006 (analysis, chamber music, percussion) - and also studied the history of music, the piano and jazz music. Then she entered the conservatory of Rueil-Malmaison (the class of Eve Payeur), graduated in 2007, and increased her knowledge of the contemporary repertoire and musical theater - it is to promote this music that she created, in 2009, the Tro ï ka Trio with Rose Devas and Bénédicte Albanhac.

For a few years, she has been carrying out an important work on chamber music (Luciano Berio, Steve Reich, Georges Aperghis, Maurice Ohana ...) often in direct collaboration with composers (Ivo Malec, Yann Maresz, Philippe Hurel, Bruno Giner, François Paris, Martin Matalon, Thierry De Mey, Philippe Leroux ...). She plays in different orchestras (Radio France conducted by Jun Märkl, Rungis conducted by Laurent Gossaert...) and ensembles including Court Circuit (Metropolis by Martin Matalon for the Fritz Lang's movie at the Vilnius Theater), Arcema (creation of Nahi by Isabel Urrutia), 2e2m, Ensemble C Barré or the Ensemble Links.

She has been a member of Aum Grand Ensemble since 2010 - 15 musicians performing a repertoire closer to new improvised music and contemporary jazz.

In 2013, she created the Phonochrome with saxophonist Safia Azzoug - an association which aims to promote contemporary and experimental arts - and the duo Les Discordantes with which they commission new pieces to composers (Chrysalis by Dominique Lemaître, Mer d'Adieux by Jean-Paul Buisson, De temps et d'eau by Julien Pontvianne, Zodiaques 1 by Augustin Belliot).

Attracted by multidisciplinarity, she expands her field by collaborating with the contemporary dancer Céline Quédeville and the company the Theater of the impossible or by accompanying contemporary and modern jazz dance classes. She created in 2019, with Les Discordantes and the electroacoustic composer Hubert Michel, a performance mixing acoustic concrete and electronic music, Sound Memory of Industries, as part of the Reynold Arnould exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Le Havre and in partnership with high school students.

Since 2012, she has been playing in Superposition, by Ryoji Ikeda, a unique sensory experience mixing sounds, images, physical phenomena, mathematical concepts, human behavior and random characters (world premiere in November 2012 at the Center Pompidou).

In 2016, she joined the Ensemble 0 - a variable-geometry band created in 2004 whose permanent members are Sylvain Chauveau, Stéphane Garin & Joël Merah - with which she performs pieces by American composers such as Moondog (ELPMAS) Julius Eastman (Feminine ) or Arthur Russel (Tower of meaning - recreation commissioned by the Nantes national scene, Le Lieu Unique - Variations festival).

After having taught for 6 years at Le Havre conservatory, she's now teaching percussion in Chelles, near Paris."

-Amelie Grould Website (

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"Jessika Kenney is unwinding and nourishing a harbor of voices. As a filter for sphygmoresonances, be they in forms of language or indecipherable metonymics, this functioning as process frequently manifests as: the intersection of melodic science (radifs, cengkok, unstable svaras, pulses) with the aural and textual transmissions of translated concepts... the sphygmological space between breathing bodies, canyons, and the asymmetrical harmonics of tuned metal... the exposure of first intention ontic wounds and corresponding temporal suturing.. as well as collective atemporal eversion between eras, iconicities, and untethered evolutions of cyclic inscriptions. She currently lives on Tataviam land near Los Angeles."

-Jessika Kenney Website (

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Toma Gouband plays percussions with singing stones, foliage, drums, pin apple, and develops rythms based on proportions, crossing speeds, colors.

"One doesn't even need to 'enter' into the music of Toma Gouband: our ears (and eyes, if we have the pleasure of seeing him at work) are invited, by the spectacular and extraordinary organisation of colors and timbres that make up his dreaming inventive universe. Pieces of flint, natural skins covering a horizontal bass drum, which has scattered upon it tiny bells or blocks of wood, branches and twigs... pebbles rolled on the ground, inverted cymbals collcting thus all sorts of natural resonators... The high-hat cymbals have been replaced by...they've also been replaced by stones! Animated by an interior pulsation made from the superimposition of mysterious cycles, like so many clocks telling life's time in polyrythms that collide and cross over each other, the music of Toma Gouband transcends the idea of an imaginary territory, for it invites us to approach it as we would a social rite or even a ceremony of love. A weaving of the tissues of sound, with wisdom, sio that we feel them as universal, as though they come or to become, for which the visual metaphor could be those traditionel Kuba cloths from Upper Zaire that made of fabrics sewn one on top of the other, to which are added motifs according to an organisation that is rigorous but seems to be governed by rules that have been transmitted only to the initiates who create them. Thus, this is a music initited by the history of the world, unique, free of the constrains imposed by convention and which responds only to its own interior strenght: a summit of the musical art."-Benoît Delbecq

-Astropi Records (

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


1. Geni / Tirta 11:11

2. Overtime 03:09

3. Planeker 06:26


1. Elders 13:50

2. Rollin 06:50
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Elders is the debut release from Ensemble Nist-Nah, a nine-piece percussion group led by Nantes-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie. The diverse group of French musicians that make up Ensemble Nist-Nah - whose collective experience encompasses traditional Gamelan performance, contemporary composition, noise, jazz, and everything in between - perform on drum kits, traditional and junk percussion, and a complete set of Javanese Gamelan instruments. Though building on the foundations of Guthrie's solo work with Gamelan instruments (Nist-Nah, BT057) and primarily performing his compositions, Ensemble Nist-Nah is a collective endeavour, propelled by a breathtaking enthusiasm that has seen the ensemble manage to rehearse, perform, and even tour Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

From the first seconds of opening track 'Geni / Tirta', it becomes immediately obvious that this is no dry academic exercise or exotic indulgence. Rapid arpeggiated figures are propelled by manically busy kit drumming while slow-motion melodic lines float above. After a series of abrupt tempo changes and fragmented unison passages that crossbreed the rhythmic intensity of the Balinese Kecak with the joyride of an Ornette Coleman head, the music slows to a monumental groove, equal parts Javanese court music and Dark Magus. Another sequence of thrilling divagations leads us to the unexpected guest appearance of acclaimed vocalist Jessica Kenney, who elaborates a haunting Javanese Bedhaya across a spacious backdrop of massive gong hits, shimmering cymbals, rustling bells, and gritty textures.

The remaining pieces that make up Elders explore a dizzying variety of approaches, from the shifting rapid-fire muted textures of 'Overtime' to the ghostly bowed tones and ominous swells of the title piece (developed from a track on Guthrie's solo Nist-Nah release), which gradually builds into waves of shuddering low resonance and asynchronous percussive clicks like a haunted clock mechanism. On the aptly titled 'Rollin', virtuosic twin drum kits criss-cross errant metallophone patterns in propulsive polyrhythms, while 'Planeker' manages to achieve a bizarrely effective fusion of Harry Partch and Autechre. Arriving bedecked in beautiful monochrome images of gongs drawn by ensemble member Charles Dubois, Elders is a feast for the ears: music that burrows deep into timbral and rhythmic possibility while possessing an intoxicating physicality and revelling in the joy of collective performance."-Black Truffle

Also available on CD.
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Compositional Forms
Percussion & Drums
Large Ensembles
Australian Improvisers, Composers and Experimenters
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