The Squid's Ear Magazine

Foster, Michael: The Industrious Tongue (Relative Pitch)

It's not just the tongue that drives these compellingly irascible and unexpected sounds from the saxophone, augmented at times by samples and oscillators, as NY saxophonist Michael Foster applies technique beyond extended to a tenor and soprano saxophone, in two multi-part works of solo utterance: "Libidinal Fragments" in seven parts, and "Celluloid Nightmares" in two.

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product information:

UPC: 5904224870829

Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPRSS006
Squidco Product Code: 32256

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at GSI studios, by Jason Rostkowski.


Michael Foster-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, samples, oscillators

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The Industrious Tongue of Michael Foster is a 2-part work probing the most intimate and sensitive glands of the saxophone's internal architecture. This work is dedicated to several filmmakers whose work exploring the erotic extremities and complexities of contemporary intimacy has served as a focal point of inspiration for this album: Hisayasu Sato, Takashi Ishii, Naomi Tani and Jacques Rivette."-Relative Pitch

"The aptly named solo album by Michael Foster is a two-part release. Part 1 is called 'Libidinal Fragments' and consists of seven shorter pieces and thirthy minutes of free impro. Part II "Celluloid Nightmares" has two parts, a short one and a longer one (almost 14 minutes). Foster takes us inside the sax (tenor and soprano) and lets us hear what impossible sounds are possible with the saxophone. Heavy on extended techniques, his tongue is working overtime to make all the fluttering, stacattissimo or legato, or a lot of watery sounds. In just a few tracks, there are melodies to be heard. Mostly, it's about texture, be it combined with samples or oscillators or his voices pressed through the instrument. Especially the last track (the longer part of "Celluloid Nightmares") sounds like a harsh, noise-infused visceral nightmare with a lot of leaky fluids. Hisayasu Sato, Takashi Ishii, Naomi Tani and Jacques Rivette are the persons to which this release is dedicated. Takashi Ishii remade a Japanese pink film (a movie containing nudity: be it a drama, comedy or a yakuza movie) originally starring Naomi Tani, a well-known pink film actress in the fifties, sixties and seventies, with S&M as her subgenre. Anyway, I might be looking into all these dedicatees for research purposes. Michael Foster has made it his quest to get all sorts of unsexy sounds out of the soprano and tenor sax. And he succeeds splendidly on this release. Be warned: this is not for the faint of heart. For the rest of us: check this one out and his many collaborations with other like-minded musicians."-Vital Weekly

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
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Get additional information at Vital Weekly

Artist Biographies

"Michael Foster is a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist working in the fields of free improvisation, noise, free jazz, graphic & video notation, performance art, and other forms of weird music.

Foster utilizes extensive preparations of his saxophone, augmenting it with amplification, objects, balloons, drum heads, vibrators, tapes, and samples as a method of subverting and queering the instrumentÕs history and traditional roles.

His current ensembles include duos with cellist Leila Bordreuil, percussionist Ben Bennett, poet/vocalist Lydia Lunch, vocalist Anais Maviel, Richard Kamerman, The Ghost (with Henry Fraser & Connor Baker), Barker Trio (with Tim Dahl, James Ilgenfritz, & Andrew Barker), While We Still Have Bodies (with Sean Ali, Ben Gerstein, & Flin van Hemmen), Weasel Walter Large Ensemble, and BDM (with Ben Bennett and David Grollman).

Selected notable venues he's performed at include Bowling Green State University (Ohio), The Stone (NYC), BimHuis (NL), Jazzfestival Groningen (NL), Fabrica Bra¨o de Prata (PT), Death By Audio (NYC), Studio Loos (NL), Betalevel (Los Angeles), Webster Hall (NYC), XI20 (LT), Jazzclub Erfurt (DE), and many more."

-Michael Foster Website 6/7/2023

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Track Listing:

1. For Naomi Tani 1:48

2. Skins Of Satin 3:49

3. Function Smothered In Surmise 5:42

4. Spirit As Organ 3:45

5. Following The Brush 5:28

6. The Invisible Prick 4:46

7. Hana To Hebi 3:27

8. Vibrator Torture 2:42

9. The 3 Positions (For Jacques Rivette) 13:34

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Solo Artist Recordings
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
New in Improvised Music
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
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