The Squid's Ear Magazine

Smith, Roger / Neil Metcalfe: S & M (Incus)

Flute and acoustic guitar duets recorded in a variety of places under widely varying conditions in 1994 and 1995 between guitarist Roger Smith and flutist Neil Metcalfe, including recordings from Metcalfe's flat to concerts in Hollywell to a proper studio in London showing many facets to these free improvisers strong rapport and creative skills.

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Roger Smith-guitar

Neil Metcalfe-flute

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Label: Incus
Catalog ID: CD24
Squidco Product Code: 6763

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1996
Country: UK
Packaging: Jewel tray
Recorded in London by Ian Vickers on December, 22 1995; Recorded in concert at the October Gallery, London during the Incus Festival 1995; Recorded by Michael Gerzon at the Hollywell Room, Oxford on October 22, 1995; Recorded by Martin Davidson in London on July 24, 1995; Recorded in London on July 26, 1994 by Ian Vickers.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"These flute and acoustic guitar duets were recorded in a variety of places under widely varying conditions in 1994 and 1995. They range from Ian Vickers' and Neil Metcalfe's flats to concerts in Hollywell to a proper studio in London. Despite the discontinuity of their circumstances, these proceedings do provide a flow-through -- if not see-through -- listen to the incremental process of improvisation that occurs between Smith and Metcalfe. Sonority is the elemental base from which tonal extensions are built. These joint sonances are wrapped around one another in arpeggio strings, legato phrases, and even a percussively ostinato thrust. When they reach a level of tension that pushes the tonal envelope to the point of fracture, long detours are taken down the various paths the improvisers took to get there. It's remarkable, really. It feels a little bit like Alice down the rabbit hole in its maze-like construction. And perhaps that is due to the sheer genius of the sequencing here. This doesn't listen like a recording that was assembled despite its disparate sources; it feels like an extended improvisation on three or four themes and variants worked out on the spot. There is no ebb to this music; it is all flow, ever downward, spiraling through the maze of its mystery and deep into the heart of the open-minded listener -- another winner for Incus."-Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

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Artist Biographies

Roger Smith is a British guitarist known for his work with London Musicians' Collective, his duo with Neil Metcalfe, plus duos with Adam Bohman, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Pascal Marzan, etc.

-Squidco 2/21/2024

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Neil Metcalfe is a UK flutist who has been a member of groups Evan Parker Octet, Garage, London Improvisers Orchestra, Paul Rogers Freedom Orchestra, The Dedication Orchestra, The Intuitive Art Ensemble, The Runcible Quintet, Transatlantic Art Ensemble, Trio F O, and Unlaunched Orchestra.

-Discogs (

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Track Listing:

1. Ian's Flat in December-A (6:25)

2. Ian's Flat in December-B (2:27)

3. Ian's Flat in December-C (1:19)

4. Ian's Flat in December-D (2:49)

5. October in November (5:11)

6. Hollywell in October-A (4:51)

7. Hollywell in October-B (8:42)

8. Hollywell in October-C (5:08)

9. Hollywell in October-D (5:19)

10. Hollywell in October-E (5:50)

11. Ian's Flat in July-A (8:01)

12. Ian's Flat in July-B (6:52)

13. Ian's Flat in July-C (4:39)

14. Ian's Flat in July-D (4:13)

15. Neil's Flat in the Previous July (5:04)

Related Categories of Interest:

October 2006
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Duo Recordings
Guitarists, &c.
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