Sunday, September 20, 2009

HurdAudio Rotation: Forces, Sparks and Magic

Thomas Chapin: Third Force. 1991. [re-released as disc 1 of the Alive box set in 1999]. Knitting Factory Records: 35828 02482.

Thomas Chapin: saxophones, flute
Mario Pavone: bass
Steve Johns: drums

The debut recording from the trio format that provided such an important vehicle for this improviser. The rhythm section of Mario Pavone and Steve Johns is outstanding as Thomas Chapin takes multiple flights throughout his compositions. This group gets a good sound and this music is a staple of the '90s Knitting Factory scene. One of the interesting qualities of Thomas Chapin's composing and improvising is the creative range he finds in this music. His aesthetic isn't boxed in by inside/outside or straight/free ideals. He was willing to vamp along with the bass line when it was called for, soar into wickedly outside territory or step back and weave a lyrical passage on flute. Beautiful and profoundly human. And like too many musicians who have come before and after, all too frail with mortality.

Annie Gosfield: Flying Sparks and Heavy Machinery. 2001. Tzadik: TZ 7069.

EWA7 (1999)
Annie Gosfield: sampling keyboard
Roger Kleier: electric guitar
Ikue Mori: electronics
Jim Pugliese: drums, percussion
Sim Cain: drums, percussion
Hans-Gunter Brodmann, Matthias Rosenbauer: metal factory percussion on cylinders and combustion chamber

Flying Sparks and Heavy Machinery (2000)
Flux Quartet:
Tom Chiu: violin
Cornelius Dufallo: violin
Kenji Bunch: viola
Darrett Adkins: cello
Talujon Percussion Quartet:
Michael Lipsey, Dominic Donato, Tom Kolor, Jim Pugliese: percussion

Annie Gosfield's aesthetic mines a balance between attraction and repulsion. The mechanical, factory inspired materials of EWA7 - a piece composed to be performed on and within a factory in Nuremberg - weave together the timbral and rhythmic qualities that are both human and de-humanized. The use of sampling along with cyclical patterns giving a sequential feel that is both attractive and repellent at the same time. Full of life while at the same time aiming toward a machine-like accuracy and indifference. At times this music transcends. But it also falls flat.

Fantastic Merlins: Look Around. 2007. Innova: 670.

Nathan Hanson: tenor saxophone, electronics
Jacqueline Ferrier-Ultan: cello, electronics
Brian Roessler: bass
Federico Ughi: drums

The Twin City music scene is filled with so many gems that something as strong as this one might be overlooked or taken for granted. Working a sound that draws upon improvisation and chamber music this material takes tightly mapped, startling turns. At times energetic and introspective. Brilliant arrangements that withstand and even call for repeated listening.

1 comment:

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