Monday, January 31, 2005

Contextual, New York 1994

The esteemed Eddie Prevost. Posted by Hello

Today I completed my Laminal listening experience by putting on disc 3 and sending my ears back to May 3, 1994 at Context Studios, New York City.

Much of the AMM approach to free improvisation has remained constant from 1969 to 1994. But the recording technology used to document their output has improved a great deal over those years. Each player is heard distinctly and well-balanced in sharp contrast to the less-defined quality of the 1969 recording.

By 1994 AMM has settled into a trio of John Tilbury on piano, Keith Rowe on guitar/prepared guitar and Eddie Prevost on drums. They are seasoned, expert improvising artists. Prevost's drumming (already impressive on discs 1 & 2) catches my ears on this one. He has a good sense of contrast in his playing as he varies the density of sound proportionally to the sonic canvas of the moment.

AMM retains the tension of working with quiet volumes while they roam freely through an urban range of textures. Where disc 1 was the sound of a human cry disc 3 is the sound of neurons firing under steady, unspoken stimulation. The expressive range has moved from the confines of angst toward a more introspective composite of complex feelings.

The evolution of the AMM sound is fascinating and Laminal presents a chance to hear a sampling of the growth that happens when players work together on a long collaborative endeavor such as this.

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