Sunday, July 17, 2011

HurdAudio Rotation: Every Second of Every Minute of Every Hour

AMM: Laminal. 1996. Matchless Recordings: MRCD31.

The Aarhus Sequences
December 16, 1969. Denmark
Cornelius Cardew, Chrisopher Hobbs, Lou Gare, Keith Rowe, Eddie Prevost

The Great Hall
February 20, 1982. London, England
John Tilbury, Keith Rowe, Eddie Prevost

May 3, 1994. New York, New York
John Tilbury, Keith Rowe, Eddie Prevost

Over this sampling of three full concerts taken from three different decades one can hear the relative stasis and evolution of the AMM sound. The collective restraint that allows the individual instruments to sublimate themselves into a singular aural presence. The extended durations that pull the mind toward a trance state. The technology used to record and produce this music shifts subtly beneath the singular intention that informs each of these performances. Taking these three discs in one sitting drives home the sense of continuity that informs AMM practice. While this music is not without its forceful moments, for the most part it is the restraint that allows things to breathe over the stretch of hours, years and decades.

Dave Rempis/Tim Daisy: Back to the Circle. 2004. Okka Disk: ODL10008.

Dave Rempis: saxophones
Tim Daisy: drums

Listening to this set of sonic dialogues between these creative musicians on the heels of AMM is a clear reminder that improvisation is many things. Dave Rempis and Tim Daisy draw upon a fabric of jazz linguistics and free improvisation on this mix of compositions from each as individuals and a collaborative track. Their impressive musicality is enhanced by a willingness to lay back and let the other fill the foreground. At times one can hear the performers actively listening before bringing their own sound into the mix. Their sense of time gives this music its innate momentum as they play within and against the pulse. "Alexandria" offers up a clear form that allows Dave Rempis to develop from a breathy lyricism toward a more aggressive sound that sweeps the ears along its crescendo before settling back toward its natural coda. Building along a beautiful melody of sustained tones along the way and exemplifying the manner each of the pieces in this set develops and grows along its own inner logic. The unison shapes crafted between single notes and cymbals on the opening of "Huff" before moving toward an organic exploration of independence between players offers another glimpse into the intuitive forms that make up these intelligent compositions. This is a music of textural changes that could easily sustain beyond the forty minutes offered here.

Michael Vlatkovich Quartet: Alivebuquerque. 2003. pfMentum: PFMCD045.

Christopher Garcia: drums, percussion
Jonathan Golove: electric cello
David Mott: baritone saxophone
Michael Vlatkovich: trombone, percussion

Early on with Alivebuquerque it is abundantly clear just how "on" this quartet is as this unusual instrumentation plumbs a rare musical intuition that shows off both the compositional material and the improvisation of the moment in an ideal light. The electric cello in particular cuts through this percussion plus low brass and reed texture with razor sharp precision. Deftly allowing its amplification to alternate between blending within the overall sound and carving out moments of serious contrast. But it is the subtle pull and drag at the collective sense of time that makes this set so engaging for the full hour. That and the ability to hang spontaneous detail along its aurally poetic lines.

No comments: