The Squid's Ear Magazine


Speak Easy (Wassermann / Minton / Lehn / Blume): @ Konfrontationen (Confront)

Since 2009 the UK & European ea-improvising quartet Speak Easy with two remarkable vocalists, Phil Minton and Ute Wasserman (also on birdcall whistles), Thomas Lehn on analog synthesizer and Martin Blume on drums & percussion, have startled and amazed listeners, as heard here in this extended performance at the 2016 Festival Konfrontationen in Nickelsdorf.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Ute Wassermann-voice, birdcall whistles

Phil Minton-voice

Thomas Lehn-analogue synthesizer

Martin Blume-drums, percussion


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Label: Confront
Catalog ID: ccs 99
Squidco Product Code: 27945

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: UK
Packaging: CD in a tin case
Recorded at Festival Konfrontationen, in Nickelsdorf, Austria, on July 22nd, 2016, by Hans Holler.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"An absolute dedication to craft requires an equal dedication to appreciation on the part of the audience. Two of Europe's most body-centric improvising vocalists converse with a bed of drums and analog synth for the ultimate showdown of humanness. "-The Attic, Preview: Konfrontationen 37


Artist Biographies

"Ute Wassermann studied fine arts focusing on sound installations and performance at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg. Among her teachers were Henning Christiansen and Allan Kaprow. She continued her studies in fine arts, music and singing at the University of California, San Diego. She was a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in 1993-94 and at Civitella Ranieri in Italy in 2015.

Ute Wassermann has developed her own unique vocal techniques. She explores them in different forms such as voice performances, compositions, improvisations and installations. The human voice is extended in many different ways in her work and often plays with all kinds of other sound connotations. This also results in an extensive use of bird whistles, different kinds of resonating objects and prepared loudspeakers.

She is one of the founding members of the artists collective Les Femmes Savantes Other members of this Composer-Performer-Ensemble are Sabine Ercklentz, Andrea Neumann and Ana Maria Rodriguez. She also performs with Richard Scott and Emilio Gordoa in parak.eets and with her quartet speak easy (with Phil Minton, Thomas Lehn and Martin Blume)She also often plays as an Improvisationsduo with, for example, Aleksander Kolkowski, Rhodrie Davies, Joke Lanz, Birgit Ulher, Els Vandeweyer, Charlotte Hug, Richard Barrett und John Russel.

Ute Wassermann also performs compositions by others. She has interpreted works by Chaya Czernowin, Henning Christiansen, Hans Joachim Hespos, Salvatore Sciarrino, Luciano Berio, Simon Steen-Andersen, Matthias Kaul, Cathy van Eck, und Richard Barrett."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ute_Wassermann)
4/10/2024

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"Phil Minton comes from Torquay. He played trumpet and sang with the Mike Westbrook Band in the early 60s- Then in dance and rock bands in Europe for the later of part of the decade. He returned to England in 1971, rejoining Westbrook and was involved in many of his projects until the mid 1980's.

For most of the last forty years, Minton has been working as a improvising singer in lots of groups, orchestras, and situations, all over the place. Numerous composers have written music especially for his extended vocal techniques. He has a quartet with Veryan Weston, Roger Turner and John Butcher, and ongoing duos, trios and quartets with above and many other musicians.

Since the eighties, His Feral Choir, where he voice-conducts workshops and concerts for anyone who wants to sing, has performed in over twenty countries."

-Phil Minton Website (https://www.philminton.co.uk/8-2/)
4/10/2024

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"Thomas Lehn was Born in Fröndenberg (Germany) in 1958. Since the early 1980s Thomas Lehn has been working as a author and performer of contemporary music. After studying recording engineering - piano with Prof. Wilfried Kassebaum - at the Music Academy of Detmold in Germany, studies at the Music Academy of Cologne with Peter Degenhardt and Prof. Klaus Oldemeyer (classical piano) and with Frank Wunsch and Francis Coppieters (jazz piano) completed his academical education. In the 80ies he took part on courses of Studio for pianistic interpretation held by Prof. Jürgen Uhde.

As an interpreting pianist he has been playing concerts since 1982 - performing both contemporary new music including numerous first performances and traditional composed music of the classical and romantical period. In 1989 he initiated the chamber ensemble Trio Dario and four years later the Mengano Quartett, performing compositions of the contemporary avant-garde, in particular numerous first performances of comissioned works. Developed parallel to his work as a pianist, since the early 1990s his major and widely reknown work has been performing and producing live-electronic music. Rooted in the experience of a wide spectrum of musical fields based on his background as an interpreting and improvising pianist in classical-, contemporary and jazz-music and having been involved in numerous other projects like music theatre, dance, multi-media, studio pre-/post-production etc., he has been developing an individual 'language' of electronic music.

The electronic equipment he uses consists of analogue synthesizers of the late 1960s, and since 1994 in particular the EMS Synthi A. Besides the substantial sound qualities of its analogue synthesis, the facilities of this modular instrument - for example to modify electronic sounds very directly as well as to combine and to control several parameters of the sound synthesis at the same time - allows him to spontaneously act in close contact with the various structural degrees of the musical process.

In 2000 his solo album Feldstärken had been released on German label Random Acoustics. Up today, his discography enclosures about 80 CD publications. Numerous appearances at major international festivals of contemporary musics and concerts tours in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungaria, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA give evidence of his international profile and recognition.

He has been involved in projects promoted and/or supported by the Goethe-Institutes in Belgrade, Boston, Bratislava, Budapest, Chicago, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Lille, Lissabon, London, Manchester, Marseille, Milano, Montreal, Palermo, Rome, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto, Warsaw, Wellington and York. His musical activities enclosure long term and newer ensemble collaborations as well as involvements in numerous specific single projects. Long term collaborations are ensembles like KONK PACK, TOOT, THERMAL, FUTCH, MIMEO, SPEAK EASY, 6IX, VARIO-34, as well as the duo works with Marcus Schmickler, Tiziana Bertoncini, Gerry Hemingway, Paul Lovens, Frédéric Blondy Urs Leimgruber and John Butcher. More recently formed ensembles are the duos with Benoît Moreau and with the video artist Kjell Bjørgeengen, trio formations with John Butcher involving pianists John Tilbury and Matthew Shipp.

Further he is pianist and founding member of the ensemble]h[iatus, an ensemble for interpretation and improvisation of contemporary music, whichs members are all experienced interpreters and improvisers. The ensemble compiles concert programs integrating/alternating notated and real-time-created contemporary music. It has been first-performing commissioned works by Vinko Globokar, Peter Jakober, Jennifer Walshe, Anthony Pateras besides performing compositions of the contemporary repertoire. Besides performing his own electronic music, in the recent years Thomas Lehn became more active as a synthesizer interpreter of electronic compositions. The realisation of Boguslav Schaeffer's Electronic Symphony - live performed in 2010 and 2011 - has been documented on the CD PRES Scores on polish label Bolt/Monotype. In 2012 he world premierred OCCAM VI for synthesizer solo by Éliane Radigue at Berghain Berlin during festival Faithful! and - together with KlangForum Wien - dort for synthesizer and 15 piece ensemble by Austrian composer Peter Jakober at musikprotokoll Graz and at Konzerthaus Vienna."

-Thomas Lehn Website (http://www.thomaslehn.com/read/vita_e.html)
4/10/2024

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

"Martin Blume - drums, percussion, composition

Born 1956 in Arnsberg/Westfalen. Has worked since 1983 as a performer and composer with several musicians and in different musical situations, both as a collaborator and in leading his own groups including musicians like Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald, Helmut Joe Sachse, Luc Houtkamp, Johannes Bauer, Conny Bauer, Marcio Mattos, Jay Oliver, Phil Minton, Lol Coxhill, John Butcher, Mario Schiano, Georg Graewe, Frank Gratkowski, Dieter Manderscheid, Hans Schneider, Wolfgang Fuchs, John Edwards, Werner Lüdi, John Russell, Chris Burn, Roger Turner, Joëlle Leandré, Axel Doerner, Horst Grabosch, Melvyn Poore, Earl Howard, Richard Teitelbaum, Jim Denley, Alfred Zimmerlin, Dorothea Schürch, Phil Wachsmann , Mats Gustafsson, Xu Feng Xia, Thomas Lehn, Fred van Hove, Wilbert de Joode, Ken Vandermark, Kent Kessler, Cor Fuhler a.m.o.Toured in Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, France, England, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, USA, Canada and Australia and performed at Festivals."

-Martin Blume Website (http://www.martinblume.de/)
4/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Speak Easy (Wassermann / Minton / Lehn / Blume) 52:10

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Unusual Vocal Forms
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Quartet Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Confront.


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