horn_bill london 9th Jan
a concert of solo reed music from:
9 January 6pm £8
291 Hackney Road
The solo concert offers the purest opportunity of experiencing a single human being engaged in their productive process. In ensemble performance, collective music making distributes responsibility for the sound and structure of improvisations. In solo performance, no such diffusion of responsibility occurs; aside from the ambient sound that occurs at any concert, there is only one source. Even solo playing however contains material derived from interactions with other musicians, perhaps from previous playing encounters or by listening to them on record. The history of solo saxophone playing extends backwards through Braxton's seminal 'For Alto', to Coleman Hawkins's 'Picasso' and will be represented in this concert by six musicians whose relationships to that tradition vary.
"In the end the saxophone has been for me a rather specialised biofeedback instrument for studying and expanding my control over my hearing and the motor mechanics of parts of my skeleto-muscular system" (Evan Parker - Man and Machine, 1992).
Evan Parker will be performing at horn_bill almost 30 years after his first ever soprano saxophone solo concert in 1975 (released as the seminal recording 'Saxophone Solos'). He has been one of the main forces in extending saxophone language over the past forty years.
"A lot of the material I work with is right at the border of the instrument- the reed seizing up and breaking down - it's on the edge of controllable sound" (John Butcher - Paris Transatlantic, 2001).
John Butcher is one of the world's leading saxophone players and improvisers. He has honed a unique, and uniquely saxophonic textural vocabulary, is in international demand for solo performances and we are delighted to be able to present him in this company.
"An approach farther away from that of his contemporary in free music, Evan Parker, is difficult to imagine. Perhaps therein lies the stylistic conundrum that took Lou Gare out of the frame in the general perception of how free music should evolve". Eddie Prévost (liner notes to AMM - At the Roundhouse).
Lou Gare's presence in AMM during the '60s and '70s placed him in an entirely different trajectory to his contemporary Evan Parker but we hope to reconnect their very different legacies through this concert, which itself follows our presentation of the most recent incarnation of AMM in December 2004.
The only non-saxophonist in this concert, Kai Fagaschinski's clarinet playing on Absinth's recent 'Berlin Reeds' album has given his fascinating, detailed solo playing welcome wider exposure. Kai, a Berlin-based composer/performer, focuses on the subtle musicality of noise phenomena.His abstract music includes an insidious expressivity and an almost pre-melodic quality [...] on the borderline of composition, improvisation and conceptualism. This will be his first visit to London.
(further info at:www.charhizma.com/rebecca/fagaschinski).
"His approach to 'playing' the saxophone is quite unique and is, at first, quite comedic. He uses his saxophone as an acoustic amplifier as opposed to a melodic, reed-based instrument; kissing, sucking and blowing the different sound holes to create percussive and otherworldly sounds. At other times, he uses small electric appliances in contact with the sax". (Neil Kleiner -Invisible Press 2003, describing English alto saxophonist Seymour Wright).
Seymour has described his approach to playing the saxophone as "like an operation", citing guitarist Keith Rowe as a key influence. His strong fresh voice is deeply - if deceptively - rooted in the history of the saxophone tradition.
"Nathaniel Catchpole impresses with his contrarian approach to conversation[...] He's as uncategorisable as Hitchens". (Walter Horn - bagatellen.com, 2003).
London-based tenor player Nat Catchpole's approach to the instrument perhaps in some way parallels Ami Yoshidas's so-called 'howling voice' technique. His unamplified laminal abstraction seems to be concerned with the basic building blocks of duration and timbre, in stark contrast to sound that is electronically generated and processed in the digital domain. He is strongly motivated by the political dimensions of freedom and his playing is simultaneously cool, intense and assured.
Playing music is fundamentally about the production of sound, creating something where otherwise it wouldn't exist. Solo wind playing relies entirely on the musician to put the forces of production into motion - the interaction of breath with reed and mouthpiece, and of hands or other objects with the body of the instrument. Sounds can't be reduced in this context, they can only be produced at a lesser rate of occurrence or volume, or not at all.
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