20 maggio 2019

Richard Lee ha seguito giovedì scorso il debutto londinese della Granite Band guidata da Kate Westbrook e ne scrive in termini assai positivi per LondonJazz. Ma non è tempo di riposare sugli allori, perché ora si rimette in pista il Westbrook-Blake... A Mosca! A Mosca!

The latest formation of the Blake band travels to Moscow for a performance of The Westbrook Blake at The Dom on May 22nd, as part of a UK-Russia Year of Music Festival. Joining Phil Minton, Kate Westbrook and Mike Westbrook will be Billy Thompson, violin, Karen Street, accordion, Chris Biscoe saxophones and Steve Berry, double bass. They will be working with a 15-piece choir, directed by Zoya Savinkov.


19 maggio 2019

Andrew Greenaway, uno dei massimi conoscitori zappiani, ha visto poche sere fa a Londra il controverso concerto che utilizza in scena, tra i musicisti in carne ed ossa, immagini tridimensionali in movimento del compianto Frank Zappa: The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa. E gli è piaciuto: "Much tosh has already been said and written about this tour, and I confess I was initially sceptical about the concept. But the reality is clear and simple: outstanding musicians playing some of the world's finest music with fun visuals. What's not to like?"


18 maggio 2019

Di ritorno dall'edizione del Rock In Opposition francese appena conclusa a Lione e Bourgoin-Jallieu Nicolas Bevernage e Sylvie Hamon pubblicano alcuni contributi fotografici e video presso i rispettivi spazi web. Tra le curiosità documentate un intervento pomeridiano fuori programma di Tim Hodgkinson nel set di Geoff Leigh (con Maximiliano D'Ambrosio) ricambiato poco dopo dalla partecipazione del flautista - con Keith Macksoud, bassista dei Present - a un omaggio ai Gong di Daevid Allen e Gilli Smyth (The Isle of Everywhere) offerto come bis da The Watts (Hodgkinson appunto, Chris Cutler e Yumi Hara).


17 maggio 2019

Il libro, si sa, sarà pronto a settembre, ma lo si può richiedere già ora a ReR. Esiste in due edizioni, una accademica e una tascabile, con notevole differenza nel prezzo: Henry Cow-The World Is A Problem, di Benjamin Piekut.

Lo presenta Chris Cutler: "This is an academically motivated, but for the most part straightforwardly told story that tries painstakingly to piece together what was going on in Henry Cow in respect both of its individual internal relationships, and in the way these intersected with the band’s collective negotiations across the interlocking spheres of the world at large (commercial, political, sexual, theoretical, practical &c.) It tracks the band chronologically from its inception to its orderly close, employing a wealth of testimony, interviews, contemporary documentation and private records. All the surviving members of the band co-operated, giving Ben whatever materials they were willing to make public - some more than others, which is why, inevitably, the perspectives of the more generous record-keepers are more prominent. Ben also interviewed everyone he could find who had ever worked or travelled or had significant contact with the band; listened to every bootleg and read every article and interview: the research is extremely thorough. For the rest, Ben has had to interpret, edit and, occasionally, take sides as he tries to fit what he has into a sociological narrative. No one in the band will agree fully with his analysis, but neither would they agree fully with one another’s; subjectivities are profoundly complex. For most of the book, Henry Cow’s actions and negotiations with the world are well served - it’s a very thorough and detailed history. Bit when it comes to their negotiations with one another the narrative necessarily takes the form of a - mostly plausible - attempt by the future, guided by its own biases and interests, to unearth things that were already hidden when they were current: I mean motives, hopes, ambitions, insecurities and all the ties that bind, and undermine. This aspect of the book is uneven because the testimonies are uneven. That clarified, I think every Henry Cow fan will need it since it’s a mine of invaluable information – just sometimes best read between the lines."


16 maggio 2019

Appuntamento oggi al King's Place per il debutto londinese di Granite, lo splendido lavoro di Kate Westbrook ambientato negli emozionanti paesaggi rocciosi di Dartmoor, che da lì si estendono lungo il tratto sud-occidentale della costa dell'Inghilterra fino a Bodmin Moor, Carnmenellis, Land's End e le Isole Sorlinghe. Le musiche sono di Mike Westbrook, e la formazione in concerto è la stessa dell'omonimo album: Kate, Mike, Roz Harding, Jesse Molins, Matthew North, Billie Bottle e Coach York.

Andy Robson lo ha recensito per Jazzwise: "Granite is an evocation of all things granitic as found amid the unforgiving Dartmoor landscape. Granite could be seen as a counterpoint to Alice Oswald’s Dart poems: Westbrook’s songs of obduracy, immovability and timelessness contrasting with Oswald’s poems of fluidity and flux.The passage of time may bring constraints to performance - ‘I am restrained’ Westbrook sigh-sings on ‘Winter’ - but it also brings affordances: she can rock out (all pun’s intended) on the opening energies of ‘Tracks of Desire’, but be yearning personified on ‘Curlew Cry’. Her sung-spoken, cabaret style cracks open ‘Spread-Eagled’, with Harding’s keening tone superb, as it is throughout.Westbrook's is a voice for winter, exile, anger: but also for love and prophecy. Mike Westbrook’s settings leave that voice unrelentingly in our presence, while the addition of found sounds reflecting from granite surfaces further propels the ritualistic, ever re-cycling patterns of these songs into mythic proportions. Like A Lark Ascending, Granite etherializes into an aery nothingness, as the Westbrooks dissolve into nature itself. On the climactic ‘Yearning Bird’, Mike Westbrook’s chords decay beneath Kate’s voicings as her whistled fragment of ‘Let’s Face the Music’ fades into wind sigh and bird song. Magical."


15 maggio 2019

A l'improviste, Le Cri du Patchwork, Le Portrait Contemporain, Tapage Nocturne, Couleurs du Monde Ocora, e forse altri ancora... La minacciata chiusura dei suoi programmi più informativi e avanzati nel campo della ricerca, la sperimentazione, l'avanguardia, l'improvvisazione e l'apertura a molteplici culture musicali porterà Radio France a imporre a France Musique di cambiare nome, coerentemente: France Mutique. Lo afferma Jean-Jacques Birgé, artista indipendente, regista e compositore tra i più attivi sulla scena eterodossa francese - fondatore tra l'altro di Un drame musical instantané e dell'etichetta discografica GRRR6 - che molto ha prodotto per l'emittente anche nel recente passato, e che assieme a una raccolta firme di protesta ora alza una delle voci più forti contro l'insensata decisione: "Ce n'est même pas criminel, c'est suicidaire".


14 maggio 2019

Nei propri guai finanziari la piattaforma di crowdfunding PledgeMusic ha trascinato tra i molti anche John Zorn, che ad essa si era rivolto per co-finanziare l'impegnativa produzione del Book Beri'ah. E il buco è davvero serio per Zorn e la Tzadik: quasi 200mila dollari!

John Zorn, the prolific and brilliantly iconoclastic composer, realized a dream of sorts last year when he released The Book Beriah — a box set of 11 new albums, featuring as many different groups interpreting music he had written for that purpose. The 92 songs in the set amounted to the final column of an impressive edifice: the Masada songbook, which he began just over 25 years ago, building on the legacies of Jewish folk music. Originally limited in scope to a single working band called Masada, the project expanded to include many branches and collaborators and a series of releases on Zorn's label, Tzadik.
The Book Beriah was a Tzadik release too, though its elaborate sprawl and high production costs led Zorn to involve an outside partner: PledgeMusic, a British-based, direct-to-fan crowdfunding service designed to help bring musical projects to fruition. "The only way we could have broken even was going on a platform like this," Zorn tells NPR Music. Now, after a calamitous turn for PledgeMusic — which announced last week that it is headed for bankruptcy — Zorn hopes to recoup a substantial loss: $197,559, all of it raised through the platform and still owed to Tzadik.


13 maggio 2019

Presentato a inizio mese nei giorni dell'omonimo festival presso il Cafe Oto londinese, ora è anche in libreria: Flutter Echo-Living Within Sound, atteso racconto autobiografico di David Toop disponibile finora soltanto in Giappone. Lo pubblica l'Ecstatic Peace Library di Thurston Moore: "Ecstatic Peace Library are pleased to announce the publication of Flutter Echo: Living Within Sound by English musician, composer, writer and sound curator David Toop. His thoughtful studies on listening and sounds have become significant touchstones of contemporary music writing, revealing the breadth of his musical tastes and the immensity of his sonic world. For the first time David Toop has opened up about his own experiences, musical journeys, bands, collaborations, studies, travels, editorial and curatorial assignments, family, friendships and ideas on community. Flutter Echo is his memoir of a life enchanted with all aspects of music that is witness to some of the most significant events in modern music history. From recording for Brian Eno's Obscure Records imprint in 1975 to co-publishing the radical music magazines Musics and Collusion to developing music programming for the BBC to releasing recordings he made of Yanomami shaman rituals to working with artists such as creative pop icon Björk and Jamaican dub pioneer Prince Far-I, Toop brings his own life in music to focus in a remarkable, wonder-filled, engaging read. Approaching age 70 David Toop has opened his heart with these deeply intimate meditations on the heartbreak and harrowing moments in his personal life, as well as shared moments of bliss finding truth in sounds, shared vibrations and silence. 'A memoir,' he says, 'is simply a vehicle to talk about the ideas I find important, the difficulties and inspirations of following a life dedicated to marginal music, the richness of collaborative work and the inseparability of life and art'."


12 maggio 2019

Richard Marsella - più noto come Friendly Rich, titolare in proprio di diversi album e autore di curiose pubblicazioni a metà tra il satirico e il bizzarro - conduce da qualche tempo un ciclo di ascolti e conversazioni con amici artisti e musicisti di area canadese dal titolo Industry Tactics. Tra i più recenti episodi, conservati in forma di podcast presso Soundcloud, c'è l'incontro con John Oswaldhttps://soundcloud.com/industry-tactics/ep-65-john-oswald

11 maggio 2019

Diamanda Galás riprende possesso del proprio catalogo discografico e annuncia l'avvio di numerose ripubblicazioni a partire dall'autunno. Primo titolo, su etichetta Intravenal Sound Operations, dovrebbe essere il celebre The Litanies Of Satan. Intanto dà il via libera a Spotify, Tidal e Bandcamp.


10 maggio 2019

La collaborazione tra Peter Hammill e il gruppo svedese Ilsidurs Bane all'origine dell'album In Amazonia è accolta con grande favore, specialmente da chi ne ha seguito la presentazione dal vivo pochi giorni fa al festival portoghese Gouveia Art Rock. Con loro c'era anche Karin Nakagawa. coinvolta fin dall'inizio nella realizzazione del progetto. Scrive Richard Williams: "I love this record, for itself as well as for the fact that it arrives at a place where European rock music seemed to be heading when it veered away from American influences 50 years ago. To fulfil some of the promises made so long ago, while, sounding completely fresh and contemporary, is quite an achievement. And Hammill, 70 years old, is still going at full throttle, intensity and creativity undimmed." E anche il diretto interessato è soddisfatto: "It’s been an unusual writing process, working from the inside out and never quite sure what the ultimate destination was going to be. From my own point of view, in itself this produced a loose linkage, some narrative and musical connection between the pieces. Naturally, since the stuff isn’t structurally based on my own architecture, it’s also a long way from any (musical) norms of my own, so I think I’ve come up with something quite unusual."


09 maggio 2019

Al via da oggi a sabato i tre giorni di concerti e incontri in programma a Lione e Bourgoin-Jallieu (Francia) per la nuova edizione del Rock In Opposition capitanata da Michel Besset: "La scène de Musiques Actuelles, Les Abattoirs à Bourgoin-Jallieu et le Périscope à Lyon, en partenariat avec Dur et Doux, concoctent un nouveau rendez-vous au mois de mai avec l’accueil du festival de renommée internationale, celui des musiques indomptables: Le Rock In Opposition. Des créations hors normes, des artistes et des visiteurs du monde entier se donnent rendez-vous pour se délecter de concerts complètement à part, le Rock Progressif et plus, dans tous ses états…"


08 maggio 2019

Michael Björn di Popgruppen cerca di rincorrere la magia della voce di Wyatt negli affossamenti tortuosi dei paesaggi sonori creati in KiTsuNe / Brian The Fox da The Future Eve: "Over the course of a full album’s worth of music, we only get to hear his voice a handful of times. Over the rest, we wander through an alien landscape of electronic sound that while feeling surprisingly organic definitely sounds completely otherworldly. And when Wyatt is singing I can’t help but feel that the sounds are too alien for his voice; they seem to play from another dimension rather than with him."


07 maggio 2019

Fred T. Baker svela al mondo i segreti di God Song inaugurando una nuova sezione ('Master Classes') presso il Phil Miller-The Legacy: "In this first of a series, Fred takes a fascinating and detailed look into one of Phil’s earlier pieces, explaining not only how to play it but also shares his great expertise on why it is such a great piece of music."


06 maggio 2019

Aymeric Leroy prende le immagini di David Ashcraft tratte da un concerto dei National Health alla Hull University nel novembre 1977, vi aggiunge un estratto audio da quello stesso concerto e ne ottiene un documento di 3 minuti e 33 di delizia pura: "This clip was made using David Ashcraft's excellent photos from National Health's gig at Hull University in November 1977, and the music is from the same performance. It is an unrecorded piece by Dave Stewart which began life as the second half of The Bryden 2-Step then acquired a life of its own as Cold As Starshine - or maybe it was the other way round ? [The title appears on an early [1976] setlist, shown in the clip.] It notably incorporates a short keyboard riff by Alan Gowen later recycled into Bruford's Hells Bells (thus Alan's credit as co-writer)"...


05 maggio 2019

(Bruce Bickford, 1947-2019)

04 maggio 2019

Eugene Chadbourne e Henry Kaiser sono insieme anche in un altro titolo prodotto da Relative Pitch, una raccolta di duetti per chitarre (e banjo) di Wadada Leo Smith: Wind Crystals.


03 maggio 2019

Son più divertenti che improbabili i gemellaggi incrociati proposti da quattro moschettieri dell'invenzione strumentale e compositiva: Bruce Ackley e Aram Shelton (sassofoni), Henry Kaiser e Fred Frith (chitarre e altro) in allegra rimpatriata californiana, con brani originali oppure presi al volo da Eugene Chadbourne, Steve Lacy e John Zorn: Unexpected Twins, per Relative Pitch Records.


02 maggio 2019

Marie Richeux ha incontrato Fred Frith per il programma Par les temps qui courent di France Culture, approfittando della presenza del chitarrista a Parigi per una personale di tre giorni nel cartellone di Instants chavirés a Montreuil. Frith è stato successivamente anche al Torino Jazz Festival con un'esibizione in solo al Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi, documentata su YT. In rete si trova traccia anche della sua apparizione di fine marzo a Napoli, presso L'Asilo.

"Je suis fasciné par le rythme, il est au cœur de tout ce que je fais. En tant que compositeur, c’est le rythme qui me donne l’impulsion de faire des choses. Je suis un batteur, peu importe l’instrument. J’aime le rythme parce c’est très physique, c’est une manière de ressentir les choses par le corps, parce que le corps c’est le centre de la musique, et je pense que c’est avec le rythme que le corps s’exprime le plus directement."


01 maggio 2019

In partenza tra un paio di giorni per un intenso ciclo di concerti in Germania assieme a Chris Cutler (Sound Trips no. 44) con un programma non-stop che prevede conferenze, seminari e incontri con numerosi musicisti locali, per concludere poi con The Watts l'11 maggio a Bourgoin-Jallieu (Francia) al Rock in Opposition Festival. Tim Hodgkinson festeggia così il suo compleanno, e sono settanta. Auguri!