CD Reviews

Ferran Fages, Ernesto Rodrigues – Cru

December 12, 2014

CD Creative Sources Now this is a curious one, likely to be overlooked and possibly misunderstood if not paid proper attention to. Cru is another release involving Ernesto Rodrigues on his incredibly prolific Creative Sources label, one of five to include the violist in the most recent batch alone. I have yet to listen to […]

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CD Reviews

Christoph Schiller, Lee Danzeisen – 47°13′N7°E

March 27, 2013

Creative Sources CD One of who knows how many releases on the Creative Sources label sat awaiting my eventual attention here right now, Christoph Schiller and Lee Danzeisen’s 47°13′N7°E might just be the only improvised spinett duo I’m ever likely to hear. In truth, before I first heard Schiller’s music a few years back I don’t […]

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CD Reviews

Chris Cundy, Dominic Lash – Two Plump Daughters

August 15, 2012

CD Creative Sources Pleased to finally get a day off of work tomorrow after what I think has been seven straight days slog. Its been nice late tonight to sit then with an album I have played on and off over the last month or so, when I’m in the right mood for it. Tonight […]

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CD Reviews

Monday 12th April

April 12, 2010

Tonight I listened to another Creative Sources disc though, one of the most anticipated from the new batch this time, a quartet recording by Ernesto and Guilherme Rodrigues (cello and violin respectively) alongside Carlos Santos’ electronics and on this occasion Martin Küchen’s saxophone. Regular readers will know I am a big fan of Küchen’s music, or at least the one side of it I know well, he also plays a lot of free jazz. His new trio release with Seymour Wright and Keith Rowe is another great one I’ve been playing a lot and really must write about soon. How he would work alongside the familiar sound of Rodrigues senior and junior was interesting to me. Opening up the CD sleeve as I first played this disc a week or two back I also discovered the brief but thoroughly interesting liner notes were written by none other than Brian Olewnick, which only added to my interest in the music contained on the disc.

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CD Reviews

Monday 5th April

April 5, 2010

So I spent today listening to Luigi Nono’s music for much of the journey, though initially I had tried to listen to Regen, the disc I am to write about tonight, another Creative Sources release, this one some four years old and by the duo of Christoph Schiller (spinet) and Harald Kimmig (violin). Although its a somewhat dated release now I only bought my copy earlier this year at a concert involving Schiller that particularly impressed me. It was one of two discs I purchased, on Simon Reynell’s recommendation, the other I reviewed here, and I promised that once I had spent time with both I would let him know which I preferred. So here we are.

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CD Reviews

Friday 2nd April

April 2, 2010

So today’s listening and consequent writing didn’t quite go to plan. Since I recently received nine new discs from Creative Sources in the post I figured I would work my way through some of the remaining discs left from the last parcel Ernesto sent last year, and as much as I dislike doing it, the plan was to write a series of capsule reviews a la Brian’s so to get up to date and write longer pieces on some of the new discs. Well I set out with this in mind, and put the first disc into the player, a CD by Sylvain Chauveau named Touching Down Lightly, and then somehow I didn’t listen to anything else the rest of the day. This CD is really rather beautiful indeed. The disc contains one piece of solo piano music, lasting forty-eight minutes, played by Chauveau, who I know nothing other than his website lets me know, but it would appear he has quite a number of solo discs available. It is both inevitable and predictable that a review I might write of a solo piano work I like reminds me of Feldman, but Touching Down Lightly really does. The music drifts along at a mostly slow pace with carefully picked out notes allowed to hang in the space and dies slowly, often very slowly indeed. There are little repeated patterns, lengthy spaces left between segments and a kind of melancholic grandeur about it all. If these traits don’t allow me to mention Feldman then I guess nothing will…

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CD Reviews

Thursday 11th March

March 12, 2010

An easier day today, my penultimate day in my current job role before a holiday and then a change of role that should in theory see these posts get written earlier in the day. We shall see. I have been listening some more to Daniel Meyer Grønvold and HÃ¥vard Volden’s eponymously titled duo album from last year on the Creative Sources album today then. These two young Norwegian musicians both play acoustic tabletop guitar, an unusual pairing. Each embellishes their set up with lo-fi electronics, while Grønvold adds a dictaphone and Volden a Discman. I’m not sure how the dictaphone is used here, but certainly Volden uses his Discman as a source of interference near a pick-up rather than as a method of playing sounds recorded on CDs.

The music on this release has a very slow, delicate feel to it. Quite often things slip into drone territory, but when they do I am reminded of the shifting detailed drones of Keith Rowe and Toshi Nakamura’s collaborations rather than any heavy oppressive dirge. Given the similarity of the two musicians’ chosen instrumentation it isn’t easy to tell who is making which sound here, so it is probably best if I don’t try and instead just describe the music. Everything sounds very considered, with sounds used sparingly, arriving slowly, entering cautiously but then often staying n place for a little while as the music around it changes very gradually. Mostly the sounds belong in the area we might expect, textural rubbing and scraping, eBowed tones, blurry feedback and chiming struck strings, but there are a few sounds here and there that buck the trend, looping synthetic sounding electronic belches or sudden squeaks of who knows what. These little intrusions into the otherwise comfortably balanced music keep things from slipping into uninteresting drone territory, providing just enough angular uncertainty to the music. There are two tracks here, the five minute long Prevent, Suspend opens the disc, and is followed by the twenty-three minute piece Trimerous / Sticks of steel and plastic, the doubled barrelled title of the second piece possibly referring to the two definite parts to the track, which are split at the eighteen and a half minute mark by two minutes of complete silence. The unexpected space in the music is another element that drags the music here away from standard drone fayre

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CD Reviews

Wednesday 3rd March

March 4, 2010

So, a day late, here are my thoughts on Savagnieres, the duo disc released a few years back by Cristoph Schiller and Peter Baumgartner on the Creative Sources label. Apologies for writing about something that has been available for a while now, but it is certainly still available, and as it passed me by when it first came out I have no problem writing about it now. Savagnieres is one of two discs involving the Spinett player (spinettist?) Schiller that I purchased from him when I saw his live duo with Sebastian Lexer a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed his live performance a lot, and that coupled with the enthusiastic recommendations of Simon Reynell encouraged me to pick up the two discs, Savagnieres being the first of the two I have listened to.

I have written many times before that my natural taste in improvised music tends to lean towards a blend of electronic and acoustic instrumentation, and this CD is quite an extreme example of that musical configuaration. For those unaware of what a spinett is, it is best described as a small harpsichord, with Schiller’s personal instrument also modified slightly to allow additional preparations. Baumgartner on the other hand plays here using a laptop, but in a manner that is decidedly artificial and about as far away from the plucked strings and acoustic resonances of the spinett as is possible. While Schiller’s sound changes frequently, full of rattles, clatter, chiming strings and resounding hollow notes, so Baumgartner’s contributions to the five tracks on Savagnieres tend to be deep, semi-rhythmic pulses and drones that change only slightly over time and tend to add a colour and atmosphere to the duo, that Schiller than paints into with his smaller, incidental sounds.

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CD Reviews

Friday 4th November

December 4, 2009

Tired tonight, but glad the week is over as far as work is concerned. Sunday, and hopefully also Monday I’ll be in London to catch Taku Unami play, which is always a pleasure, so a good weekend ahead if I’m not so tired as to sleep right through it. Today I have been listening to […]

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CD Reviews

Saturday 10th October

October 10, 2009

Looking back over recent posts this morning it occurred to me that it has been a good while since I wrote about any acoustic improv, and even longer since I took a Creative Sources disc from the pile to play. Tonight then I have been listening to Fower, the latest release on Creative Sources by […]

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CD Reviews

Thursday 3rd September

September 4, 2009

I think its Thursday the 3rd isn’t it? Did no one notice that most of the dates for the last few days were wrong, (I’ve corrected them now) or do people just accept the slapdash unprofessionalism of this blog as the norm these days? Maybe you just have to be really nerdy to notice? Thanks […]

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CD Reviews

Monday 24th August

August 24, 2009

Well after writing last night’s post, which told of the lovely meal we ate, I went to bed feeling quite at one with the world. About two hours later though I awoke with violent stomach pains that lead to spending most of the night hunched over the toilet bowl depositing the aforementioned meal into the […]

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CD Reviews

Tuesday 18th August

August 19, 2009

Another from the Creative Sources pile tonight. Tonight’s selection though was one of the discs I actually wrote to Ernesto about purchasing in the first place, before he sent me the additional mini avalanche. Noite is a disc by the quartet of Jean-Luc Guionnet, (alto sax) Ernesto Rodrigues, (viola) Guilherme Rodrigues, (cello) and Seijiro Murayama […]

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CD Reviews

Sunday 9th August

August 9, 2009

It was much nicer outside today so I sat for much of it in the garden reading and listening to a new two disc release on Wandelweiser composed by Antoine Beuger. Oddly, and unusually for me though, when I came indoors to write something about it I found myself sat looking at a blank screen […]

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CD Reviews

Tuesday 5th August

August 5, 2009

Tired and run down by the endless drudgery of a tedious dayjob tonight. So much so that I really didn’t feel I had the energy to do much else but fall in bed tonight. However I somehow summoned the energy to play the CD I walked to work with again this evening. I am determined […]

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CD Reviews

Sunday 2nd August

August 3, 2009

Tonight I went to Oxford for a meal (Mongolian) with Julie, and so my listening in the car was mainly Spandau Ballet and A-ha, but this afternoon, once I had stopped working my way through assorted string quartets I listened to a couple more CDs from the Creative Sources pile, and then span them again […]

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CD Reviews

Saturday 18th July

July 18, 2009

An early post today because I am going away with Julie tonight for a bit of a break that won’t involve music. Of course it won’t be a very long break and I will post again tomorrow. 😉 This morning I have been listening to two recent releases by Improvising Orchesrtras, one by the Swiss […]

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CD Reviews

Tuesday 14th July

July 14, 2009

OK I won’t start tonight’s post with a moan about anything. The problem is, if I don’t do that then I don’t know how to start a post otherwise. Hmm. Some more from Creative Sources tonight, and a disc released late last year on the label called 3:1 by the trio of Mazen Kerbaj, (trumpet) […]

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CD Reviews

Friday 10th July

July 11, 2009

I usually shift colds really quickly. I get them bad but they don’t last long. This one is still here and it is still really getting me down. I feel like one big snotty tissue right now, and am getting fed up that they only make one flavour of Lemsip. Ah well. If you’ve got […]

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CD Reviews

Tuesday 9th June

June 10, 2009

I won’t bore you with another story of my tough day tonight. You know how it goes by now… Just tomorrow to get through and then I have four days off, three of which will be spent at the Unnamed Music festival in London and Leeds. Sorry if I keep mentioning the festival, but it […]

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CD Reviews

Thursday 4th June

June 4, 2009

So some notes this evening on another Creative Sources release, this one recorded all the way back in 2003 and released not that long after, but it is a new one to me, having got somewhat lost in the Creative Sources deluge of releases. the release is named belvedere dans l’étendue (belvedere in the expanse) […]

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CD Reviews

Sunday 31st May

May 31, 2009

So the first two Creative Sources releases then. The first here is titled Abstract Mechanics and is credited to João Lucas, who is the composer here and one half of the musical duo that performed the music, playing piano, accordion and electronics alongside cellist and long-term collaborator Miguel Mira. The music was composed to accompany a […]

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Uncategorized

On Creative Sources

May 31, 2009

Before I post tonight’s mini-reviews of two recent Creative Sources releases I thought I would share a few thoughts on the label that I have had today. CS gets a lot of stick, unlike that received by any other label operating today bar maybe Leo. There seems to be two main threads to the criticism. […]

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CD Reviews

Friday 15th May

May 15, 2009

Improvising Orchestras are odd animals. I have to say that until my very recent experience with the 40 musician strong London Improvising Orchestra at the Freedom of the City festival the times I have witnessed large group improvisations haven’t been that inspiring. I had seen the London group early on in their existence, and had […]

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CD Reviews

Monday 30th March

March 31, 2009

First of all thank you to everyone that wished me a happy birthday either here or elsewhere. As birthdays go I didn’t have a bad one at all. Cheers So back to listening to music again today after a bit of a palette cleansing weekend. I played a new release this morning by the UK […]

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