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Geordie Approach, The (Birkeland / Fadnes / Charkey): Shields (Discus)

Two Norwegians and a Geordie (ie, NE Englander), from drummer Stale Birkeland, saxophonist Petter Frost Fadnes, and guitarist Chris Sharkey, since 2007 creating epic works of rich electroacoustic improvisation, recording their third album after extensive touring through Europe and Japan, using the the natural resonance of the Chapel FM, in Leeds to enrich their sound.

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product information:

UPC: 5051078973326

Label: Discus
Catalog ID: 84CDd
Squidco Product Code: 28720

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Chapel FM, in Leeds, UK, in Autumn, 2015, by Hakon Holmas.


Stale Birkeland-drums

Petter Frost Fadnes-saxophone, electronics

Chris Sharkey-guitar, electronics

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Artist Biographies:

Norwegian drummer Ståle Birkeland is a known for the groups Kitchen Orchestra, and The Geordie Approach.

-Discogs (

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Petter Frost Fadnes: "I'm a saxophone player, and Director of Studies (jazz) at The Department of Music and Dance, University of Stavanger.

I've played regularly since the age of 16, performing within everything from heavy metal to ska, improvised music and jazz. In 1996 I moved to the UK to do a degree in jazz; staying in Higher Education for eight years, ending up with a PhD in Performance in 2004. I've been active in and around the vibrant Leeds music-scene for a number of years, and co-founded Leeds Improvised Music Association (LIMA).

A few years ago I moved back to my hometown to work as a freelance musician, while taking up a post at the University of Stavanger. I perform with players from Norway and the UK, and continue to seek 'the perfect melody' through eclectic musical approaches. I perform regularly with Kitchen Orchestra, The Geordie Approach, Metropolis and The Thin Red Line.

My main research interest is looking at improvisational processes through musical performance. In other words, I'm keen on picking musicians' brains by actually playing with them (which is not just an excuse to play ' honestly!). My overall mission is to demystify improvisational music making, and reveal the musical thought lurking within the performance."

-Rhythm Changes (

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"Chris Sharkey is a musician from the north-east of England.

Based in leeds since 1999, chris has dedicated the last 20 years to making forward-thinking new music that blurs boundaries between improvisation, production, composition and the associated genres of these often separated fields.

He is an active national and international performer as a member of Acoustic Ladyland, Triovd, Shiver, The Geordie Approach, Roller Trio and as a solo artist.

Chris is a also a producer and has recorded, mixed and remixed music for for ACV, Mole, Taupe, Seb Rochford, Oliver Coates, Troyka, World Service Project, Triovd, Shiver, Beyond Albedo, Session Fries, The Geordie Approach, Roller Trio, The Orchid And The Wasp and more."

-Chris Sharkey Website (

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track listing:

1. North 26:36

2. South 37:22
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The Geordie Approach is 2 Norwegians and a Geordie. They met in Leeds and play improvised music. They have been doing it since the early 00s. The name? A stupid comment about the correct volume to operate amplifiers (loud enough to disrupt all surrounding activity and stimulate acts of desperate violence) that became a kind of mantra to how the band would approach its performances and recordings.

Both of the band's previous records (on Simon H. Fell's Bruce's Fingers label) featured edited improvisations, cut to 'song length' to emphasise the group's highly compositional approach to improvisation; opting for focused episodes of layered improvisation over the more stream-of-consciousness approach of some free improvisation.

In the lead up to The Geordie Approach's latest album Shields, the band toured extensively around Europe and Japan honing their episodic, 'everything-is-permitted' approach to improvisation. Following festival performances in the UK, the band set up in a re-purposed Methodist church in Leeds with a handful of microphones and played two 30 minute pieces. These two pieces, 'North' and 'South' comprise the album. What you hear is what we played. No edits. No fixes. We have travelled and played quite a lot with this band over the years, and had always felt that we fell short of capturing the excitement of our live gigs onto tape. We remember discussing the Kind of Blue session, how they set up and recorded as a live band at Columbia 30th Street Studio - just like playing any other gig - and how the 'liveness' of that album comes through in the music. Recording this session at Chapel FM in Leeds, we tried to do the same; setting up a PA, in the same space, no headsets, playing to each other and the room as we normally do. And we felt that finally, finally, we managed to actually record what we do.

We are very proud of this record. The patience and slow, focused pace of the music is something we've been striving for, for a long time and it makes for an extremely satisfying listen for us as a group."-The Geordie Approach

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Trio Recordings
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