The Squid's Ear Magazine

Arcturus (Jean Nichel Van Schouwburg / Lawrence Cassserely / Yoko Miura: Sverdrup Balance On Tour (FMR)

A collection of live recordings from Sverdrup Balance, the trio of Lawrence Casserley on signal processing instrument, Yoko Miura on piano & Melodeon, and Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg on voice, recorded during their 2019 autumn tour in U.K., Belgium and North Italy, a skewed but generally optimistic group of ea- and voice improvisers with a wealth of creative inspirations.

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product information:

UPC: 748079797307

Label: FMR
Catalog ID: FMR 595
Squidco Product Code: 29904

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: UK
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded in concert during October and November, 2019. Tracks 1, 3, 5 and 8 - Oratorienhot, Leuven, Beldium, 27 October, 2019. Tracks 2, 4 and 7 - Ateulier Ruben Esposito, Spazio Lomellini 17, Genova, Italy, 16 November, 2019. Track 6 - Arch 1, London, UK ,22 October 2019


Yoko Miura-piano, melodion

Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg-voice

Lawrence Casserley-signal processing instrument

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"In October and November, 2019, following the release of their first album, Isla Decepción, the Sverdrup Balance trio toured in the UK, Belgium and Italy. While the album focused on specific areas of their playing, the tour gave scope for a broader spectrum. In this album of excerpts from the tour we visit some of that broader range of playing. Most of this CD comes from two of the most remarkable concerts, in Leuven and Genova. We have added an interlude from the first concert of the tour at Arch 1 in London.

In our first album Isla Decepción in 2018, we visited an island just off the Antarctic continent. Arcturus is the brightest star in the northern sky shining above the Arctic Ocean.

Our present album Arcturus is displaying deeper forays into our sonic universe and their components or streams in new kinds of constellations of energies, flows, inspirations and moments. Our music is based on spontaneous improvisation in the instant and built with different view points and musical references through the whole performance. Each member of Sverdrup Balance has his own background and musical aesthetic, our collaborative work is intended to extend and blend their own music into new realms and unexpected colours, shapes, interactions, dynamics.

The signal processing of Lawrence Casserley, heard with such luminaries as Evan Parker, Barry Guy, Phil Wachsmann, Viv Corringham, Martin Mayes and many others is transforming the sounds of pianist Yoko Miura and the voice of Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg in real time by manipulating their pitch, textures, speed, etc in a wide kaleidoscopic palette seeming to reach the infinity of outer space, from which we selected eight pieces from nine 2019 tour dates in London, Brighton, Leuven, Roccasparvera, Genova, Bergamo and Bologna."-Sverdrup Balance

Artist Biographies

"Born in Tokyo, Japan. Took classical piano lessons between the ages of 5 and 18. Having heard and been inspired by Jazz, Classical music. (for example, the music of Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy Paul Bley, Toru Takemitsu, Masahiko Togashi, Barbara), took classes taught by Masahiko Sato, Takashi Kako and attended a workshop by Takehisa Kosugi. Later took lessons from Yoshio Suzuki.took class by Naruyoshi Kikuchi at Eiga Bigakko. Has been playing music activities (at concerts) in Japan. Artists who I Played with ( in Japan) Noribumi Uchida (shamisen, bass)、 Nakao (sax, trombone, clarinet), Osamu Kuroda (performance), Isao Makino (painter), Ryouichi Saito (guitar), Jyunzo Tateiwa (percussion), SACHI-A (drs), Chintai jinkaku (theremin), Noribumi Uchida (shamisen, bass)

Since 2001, has been involved in making music overseas as well as in Japan.

Artists who I played with.( in Europe)

Teppo Hauta-Aho(bass) Raymod MacDonald(sax), John Russell(guitar), Lawrence Cassery( electro)Ove Volquarlz(bass clarinet), Jean Demey( bass), Jean Borde(bass) Paed Conca (bass, Clarinet, electro) Margrit Rieben (drs, electro) Hans Koch (sax, electro), Raed Yassin( el.bass) Steve. Beresford (electro), Didier.Lasserre (drs) Emmanuel Rébus (mathematical sounds), Arnaud BENOIST (drs) Claude Perle (accordion) Eugene Darredeau (art), Heike Fidler(poem),Steve Buchanan(drs)、Arnaud le Mindu (guitar), Mia Zabelka (violin),Pierre-Yve Martel(viola),Massiomo Carrozzo( clarinet),Simon Berz(drs)/ Matt Wilson(drs) recording in NY),...ect."

-Yoko Miura Website (

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"Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg ( JM VS ). Voice, performance, improvised music. Brussels. Born 1955. Member of Brussels' Inaudible Collective & Workshops since 1984. Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg develops vocal improvisation and voice extended techniques from low throat singing to high falsetto, overtones and yodels, mouth noises etc.. . " Phonoetry " (phonésie in french) describes the poésie sonore of his solo voice performance " ORYNX " (Orynx -Phonésie cd Inaudible 003.)

Solos in London, Lille, Slovakia, Liège and Brussels. Interested in telepathic interplay and adapting his sounds with different partners/ groupings. Worked with pianist Guy Strale and percussion poet and graphic artist Kris Vanderstraeten,first as a guitar player(...). Became vocalist gradually since the early 90's. Gingko 4 -JMVS, Guy Strale, flutist Adelheid Sieuw and guitarist Jan-Huib Nas- performed some years. (Freedom of The City 2006 cd Emanem 4139). Duos: guitarist John Russell, percussionnist Javier Carmona, singer Mara Pigeon, G. Strale, A. Sieuw and guitarist Pascal Marzan. The Mercelis Concert: John Russell / JM VS / Jean Demey (dblebass) cd Inaudible 006. SUREAU : Kris Vanderstraeten / Jean Demey / Van Schouwburg (Creative Sources CS112). Garden Gift: Adelheid Sieuw / John Russell / Jean Demey / JM VS Hurta Cordel 08 Madrid Performed with Jacques Foschia, Mike Goyvaerts, Lawrence Casserley, Paul Hubweber, Gianni Mimmo, David Leahy, Phil Minton and Ute Wassermann, Marco Loprieno, Jacques Fauville, Jean Coulon, José Bedeur, Michaël Delia,Timo Van Luyck, Hugh Metcalfe....

Festivals: Freedom of the City London, Sons Libérés Brussels, Hermes Ear Nitra, La Malterie Lille, Bevrijdt de Muziek Antwerpen, Hard Gaan Hasselt, Hurta Cordel 2008 Madrid with Garden Gift, R de Choc 08 Paris. Benjamin Péret's Poems Performance with Jacques Foschia's radios. Workestra of Inaudible.Since 1999, Inaudible has organized continuously workshops & concerts with Belgian and Foreign improvisers in Brussels. Inaudible members : Strale / JM VS / Nas / Sieuw / Loprieno / Legros / Demey etc... JMVS writes on the subject of improvised musics and his "Spontaneous Music Ensemble and John Stevens' Story" (1965-1994) was published in french magazine Improjazz.

Current groups are : Sureau with Kris Vanderstraeten percussion and Jean Demey double bass. Duos with Marjolaine Charbin piano and Audrey Lauro, sax alto. Garden Gift with Jean Demey, John Russell, guitar, Adelheid Sieuw, flutes & J-MVS. MouthWind with Lawrence Casserley and players Hubweber, Charbin, Sieuw and Foschia.

Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg belongs to the band : Adam Bohman / Zsolt Sörès/ Oli Mayne/ J-M Van Schouwburg. Works with composer and electro-acoustic musician Dario Palermo. Projects and performances with Adelheid Sieuw, John Russell, Lawrence Casserley, Jacques Foschia, Gianni Mimmo, Angelo Contini, Paul Dunmall, Paul Hubweber and some others. Performed also with Mike Goyvaerts, Mara Pigeon, David Leahy, Javier Carmona, Phil Minton, Ute Wassermann, Pascal Marzan, Dan Warburton, Pat Wichers, Gianni Mimmo, Enzo Rocco, Stefano Giust, Mick Beck, John Jasnoch, Hugh Metcalfe, Heddy Boubeker, .... Extracts of Orynx were selected in Peter Strickland's Katalin Varga soundtrack. Will play his singer's role in the movie Berberian Sound Studio of director Strickland."

-M-Etropolis (

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"Lawrence Casserley (born UK, 1941) has devoted his professional career, as composer, conductor and performer, to real time electroacoustic music. In 1967 he became one of the first students of Electronic Music at the Royal College of Music, London, UK, on the new course taught by Tristram Cary. Later he became Professor-in-Charge of Studios and Adviser for Electroacoustic Music at the RCM, before taking early retirement in 1995.

He is best known for his work in free improvised music, particularly real-time processing of other musicians' sound, and he has devised a special computer processing instrument for this work (picture above). He has worked with many of the finest improvisers, particularly Evan Parker, with whom he works frequently as a duo partner, in various larger groupings and in the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble. He also works as a soloist, processing sounds from voice, percussion and home-made instruments. CDs have been released by ECM, Konnex, Leo Records, Psi, Sargasso and Touch.

Much of Casserley's work has involved collaboration with other art forms, including poets, eg Bob Cobbing, and visual artists, including Colourscape artist Peter Jones. He is a Director of the Colourscape Music Festivals, presenting contemporary music in the unique environment of the Colourscape walk-in sculpture. He also collaborates with Peter Jones on sound/light installations.

Casserley's "instrumental" approach to live computer sound processing is the hallmark of his work; the Signal Processing Instrument allows him to use physical gestures to control the processing and to direct the morphology of the sounds. This is the culmination of forty years of experience in the performance of live electronic work; his earliest live electronic pieces were performed in 1969, and he has performed many of the live electronic "classics" of the 20th century; he has also collaborated with other composers to realise their electronic performance ideas. He is noted for the breadth and variety of his collaborations, which cross styles and generations."

-Lawrence Casserley Website (

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Track Listing:

1. Arc En Ciel 6:08

2. Arcadia 3:00

3. Arcana 3:45

4. Archangel 6:43

5. Archetype 8:53

6. Archipelago 6:46

7. Arcolai 16:23

8. Arcturus 6:58

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Unusual Vocal Forms
Trio Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms

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