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Burn, Chris / Matt Hutchinson: Untuning The Sky (Bead)

Developing their dialog and language during the 90s through mutual work with organizations including King Ubu Orchestra and Chris Burn's Ensemble, the unique approach to free improv between keyboard & electronic artist Matt Hutchinson and trumpeter Chris Burn are heard in these three UK concerts from 2005 & 2006 at Red Rose Club, the White House and The Music Room.

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product information:

Label: Bead
Catalog ID: Bead CD09 SP
Squidco Product Code: 33039

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2012
Country: UK
Packaging: Jewel Case
Tracks 3, 4, 7 to 9 recorded at the Red Rose Club, in London, UK, in September, 2005.

Tracks 1, 2, 6, 10 recorded at the White House, in Buckland, UK, in March, 2006.

Track 5 recorded at The Music Room, in London, UK, in July, 2006.


Chris Burn-trumpet

Matt Hutchinson-synths, electronics, piano

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Artist Biographies:

Chris Burn, piano: "Following on from a relatively formal music education and a few years of involvement in Jazz, the beginning of the 1980s saw Burn thoroughly embracing freely improvised music. His pianism was almost exclusively devoted to inside playing. In 1985 the large group 'Ensemble' was formed and have subsequently made five CDs and given concerts in the UK, mainland Europe and Canada; along with a number of radio broadcasts. Burn often performed as soloist; both improvising but also playing Henry Cowell and John Cage.

In 1993 he made a CD of a selection of Cowell's piano pieces and made a programme for BBC R3. He has played numerous concerts and festivals in UK, Europe and Canada both as soloist, with Ensemble and with a host of improvisers from around the world. Since 2000 he has renewed his work in both composition and arranging; writing a number of pieces for solo piano and pieces for brass and percussion along with arrangements of improvisations by Derek Bailey and recordings of Alan Lamb. He continues to perform as both pianist and as trumpet player. In recent years he has performed twice at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival with groups led by John Butcher and Simon Fell.

In addition he is participating of the Reverse Collection exhibition at the Tate Modern, Summer 2016."

-Chris Burn Website (

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

"Started on clarinet after seeing the Benny Goodman Story, a year later aged 16 my 1st jazz gig on a float through Kingston(Surrey). where I had begun a 4 yr fine art diploma course. In 1960 bought a nice piano at auction for £3 having heard Errol Garner Red Garland and Dave Brubeck (pre Take 5). Played piano in a no of Jazz groups in the '60s including Gare/Prevost quintet - involvement shortlived after leaving piano parts on car roof (I like to think this spurred Eddie on to 'dot free' improvisation). Joined the R+B and Jazz group; the Sidewinders with Marc Charig which was chosen to back (little) Stevie Wonder's 2nd British tour. His MD didn't read music so the band's rehearsals involved learning the program by ear from 45's. We played venues such as the Cavern Club, the Marquee, Klooks Kleek (right next to Decca Studios my future employer!)

Having played with Mike Osborne at home earlier in the decade, met him again at drummer Terry(Nillson)Love's Redhill Jazz club where Terry and I were in the house band. Mike guested there regularly he asked me to play some gigs as a quartet c1967/8 . Also joined another regular group there; the London based unruly Mingus influenced experimental 'Hotshot delivery Service' that often sported 2 bass players and drummers incl Dave Wickens . It was here that I did my first purely free improvisation in public as member of 'Free Root' trio in 1968. That year went to one of the first Barry Jazz course's and encountered pianist John Burch and his then famous 'Jazz blackboard' and Derek Bailey whose music room unfortunately lacked a piano! Other pupils on the course incl Keith Tippet, Nick Evans and Marc C. and here the seminal KT band was born I believe.

The early 70's was mostly spent composing and playing for various Jazz groups in and around London that included Dick Pearce, John Williams, Maggie Nicolls, Harry Smith etc. In 1973 composed and organized a piece '(Underneath)The Archers' possibly as a belated revenge for that soap replacing 'Dick Barton Special agent' when I was a kid. A kind of an 'everyday story of rustic looking musos' these incl. Howard Riley, Henry Lowther, Ron Mathewson, Harry Smith, Alf Waite etc in a big group, plus tape loops, large bucket of cow dung with stirrer, Milkmaid and yoke, hay etc .

Meeting Richard Beswick, a trainee producer at Decca' connected me to a another side of free impro in the forms of Tony Wren and Phil Wachsmann and Bead records. Had also got into to electronic treatments and synths and augmented their group 'Chamberpot'. Later in the early 80's met John Butcher in one of John Williams's larger jazz ensembles and many improvisers in other situations: Mick Beck, Will Evans, Sue Farrar. Paul Hession, Parney Wallace, and Hugh Metcalf to name but a few. Later, collaborations again with Phil Wachsmann as well as with Chris Burn dominated a lot of my musical activities in the '90s ; and presented opportunities to record, and to play in Europe and N.America ; and to work in bands such as King Ubu Orchestru that included Wolgang Fuchs and Dorothea Schurch, the Milo Fine group as well as the various permutations of Chris B's Ensemble that included Jim Denley, John Russell, Stevie Wishart. This group collaborated with the likes of Lol Coxhill, Derek B, Evan Parker, I also performed with the Mhu Mhu Orchester with Pauls Lytton and Rutherford and Johannes Bauer. Became a regular performer at the LMC and legendary Red Rose Club and also Hugh M's Klinker club. Other musical encounters variously included Simon Rose, Venessa Macness

Occasional diversions into other musical situations included being the unenthusiastic half of a Jacques Brell tribute duo , Driving legendary Jazz pianist Joe Albany on tour around England, and receiving an ACGB grant to make an electronic exploration of the piano.

Towards the end of the decade played in N16 IMPRO 21 with Peter Cusack ; 'Huchinsack' duo and was privileged to appear in the London Contemporary Piano Festival in 1998 alongside Stan Tracy, Michael Finnissey, Mervn Afrika, Rene Reznek.

The new millennium saw me continue in Ensemble as well as work with smaller groups particularly Duos with Chris B and Phil W and subsequent albums with both. Played my debut solo piano set at Mopomoso at the Vortex recently where I've performed many times. This appeared to go down well, though generally I feel more inclined to musical collaborations, though a solo piano Cd with or without electronics could be in the pipeline. Other projects for the near future include a 4 hands 1 piano duo, a Piano /Violin/ Cello trio, and possibly recording improvisations to a piano roll."

-Matt Hutchinson Website (

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track listing:

1. Lipizzaner 6:05

2. Cordax 6:15

3. Salvation Echoes 5:30

4. Twilight Enclosed 3:44

5. Birdwing Shadow 9:47

6. Salvation's Echo 3:22

7. Paderewski's Spider 12:01

8. Colour The Moment 6:46

9. Dusk Disturbance 7:05

10. Harmony Of The Angles 5:43
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Recorded in 2005 / 2006 by two essentials of the London improvised scene subscribed to the Mopomoso concert series at the old Red Rose where some of the songs from this album were recorded. Pianist Chris Burn, who plays the trumpet here, co-directed this series with John Russell and collaborated for a long time with John Butcher. Matt Hutchinson has developed the use of synthesizers and electronics with ductility and readability between mezzoforte peaks with all the nuances of dynamics up to the limit of the audible. We have often heard him with Phil Wachsmann, with whom he recorded a beautiful duet (Startle the Echoes / Bead), and within the Chris Burn Ensemble of which he seems to form the basic core with the trumpet of its leader. Each instrumentalist shares a sense of breath, a metaphysics of tubes, the electronics engineer evoking the sudden skids of a mouthpiece and the trumpet player waving the air in space. This is the place where the wind passes, the pressure of the lips crushing the column of air. The search for timbres and sounds is absolutely fascinating, far from the ritual outbursts of free music. The projection of electronic sounds is remarkable in every respect, the frequencies spread naturally in space creating moving shapes as an acoustic instrument could not, thereby justifying its use. We quickly forget who plays what to focus on the orchestration of the duo. Chris Burn seems to be a Sunday trumpeter, a melancholic colorist who transforms a deliberately minimal game into a relevant musical discourse, ghostly suspended above drones in slow misty glissandi (Salvation Echoes). Each piece completely renews the sound geography of this improbable duo. In Birdwing Shadow, Matt is at the piano and Chris gives a superb demonstration of the crazy timbres he draws from his instrument by methodically exploring it. Truly remarkable. The sonic palette of Matt Hutchinson's electronic keyboards is oddly enhanced by the trumpeter's two-and-a-half-note melodic hints better, in fact, than an impressively technical saxophonist could. I remind you that it is with these musicians that the proponents of the "new" improvisation have emerged, including Rhodri Davies, Mark Wastell, Phil Durrant, Jim Denley, Axel Dörner etc... but also Butcher, Marcio Mattos... We must therefore do not hesitate to discover these two equilibrists of atmospheres, sensitive artists of the extension of meaning. British improvisers have an innate sense of cultivating the unreasonable, the eccentric and that spirit of fantasy that is the hallmark of improvisation. Here you will find an irrefutable demonstration. With similar material, Germans would have razed us mercilessly. Cheers for Matt Hutchinson and Chris Burn!!"-Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, Orynx Improv Sound (translated by Google)

Get additional information at Orynx Improv Sound
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