The Squid's Ear Magazine


Davies, Rhodri: Trem (Amgen Records)

Reissuing his 2003 album on the Confront label, Rhodri Davies' first solo album is a captivating set of uniquely voiced free improvisation, using a pedal harp, radio and tape recorders and percussive devices, and recorded in the natural resonance of All Angels, St Michael and All Angels Church in London, creating narrative and drama through Davie's intuitive sense of timing.
 

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Personnel:



Rhodri Davies-pedal harp, tape, percussion, electronics


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UPC: 5904224871567

Label: Amgen Records
Catalog ID: AMGEN 006
Squidco Product Code: 32754

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded live at All Angels, St Michael and All Angels Church, in West London, UK, May 10th, November 22nd, 2001, and December 7th, 2001, by Tim Fletcher.

Originally released in 2003 as a CD on the UK Confront label with catalog code confront 11.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Trem is Rhodri Davies' first solo album, and it stands as one big achievement. There are many misconceptions circulating about the harp. Furthermore, in avant-garde circles, a harpist attempting to find his or her own voice has to struggle with the towering presence of Zeena Parkins, who, while setting the instrument free of its quiet-angelic-fragile-girlish attributes, imposed another set of parameters as to what experimental harp music should sound like.

Davies' music is the antithesis of Parkins. Quiet, attentive to detail, often minimalist in means if not in essence, it engages the listener with a bag of riddles rather than overt challenges. Davies' harp is polymorphic. It can evoke a violin (Phil Durrant's), a cello (Mark Wastell's), a piano played inside out (Reinhold Friedl's), bowed metal or percussion (Michael Vorfeld's, to name just one). And yet through all these shapes, it retains a unique essence, a personality that allows the acquainted listener to identify it almost immediately. This essence resides in the color of its strings ("Undur"), in the sound they make when they are scraped or bowed ("Berant"), but most of all in Davies' sense of space.

These seven pieces were recorded at the St. Michael and All Angels Church. Half of his actions as a musician consist of pausing to let the sound just played fill the air, bounce off the walls, and vanish. Some pieces (like "Atam") explore microscopic dynamics and sounds associated with the onkyo scene, but elsewhere (as in "Cresis") the artist shows he can put a lot of stamina in his effort to turn the harp into something...else. This album is not for the faint of heart, but it offers a more comfortable listening experience than you might imagine."-Francois Couture, All Music



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Artist Biographies

"Rhodri Davies was born in 1971 in Aberystwyth, Wales and now lives in Gateshead in the northeast of England.

He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice and fire harp installations. He has released four solo albums: Trem, Over Shadows, Wound Response and An Air Swept Clean of All Distance.

His regular groups include: a duo with John Butcher, Common Objects, HEN OGLEDD: Dawson - Davies, a trio with David Toop and Lee Patterson, Cranc, The Sealed Knot and a trio with John Tilbury and Michael Duch.

In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on 'Self-cancellation', a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow.

New pieces for solo harp have been composed for him by: Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Christian Wolff, Ben Patterson, Alison Knowles, Mieko Shiomi and Yasunao Tone.

In 2012 he was the recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists Award."

-Rhodri Davies Website (http://www.rhodridavies.com/words/)
7/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Cresis 8:42

2. Undur 5:15

3. Trem 8:29

4. Beres 6:14

5. Plosif 3:07

6. Berant 5:55

7. Atam 3:39

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Field Recordings
Solo Artist Recordings
Recordings Utilizing the Natural Resonance of a Space
Jazz Reissues
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Search for other titles on the label:
Amgen Records.


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