On Growth and Form
Sound Anatomy SA009
For our ninth release the Berlin label Sound Anatomy is highly delighted to present this recording from three of the world’s luminaries of free improvisation in a musical context which easily combines their influences and backgrounds in free jazz, electroacoustic music and “English” free music.
"The form, then, of any portion of matter, whether it be living or dead, and the changes of form which are apparent in its movements and in its growth, may in all cases alike be described as due to the action of force. In short, the form of an object is a 'diagram of forces', in this sense, at least, that from it we can judge of or deduce the forces that are acting or have acted upon it..." (D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, 1917)
D'Arcy Thompson's precise yet poetic disquisition on the processes which govern growth and structure in many areas of nature, from water droplets to the microorganisms which give their titles to the pieces on this album, is full of insights and metaphors which could be applied equally to these physical/biological phenomena and to the energies which shape a piece of improvised music, and might be particularly apposite here given Evan Parker and Richard Barrett's shared background in the biological sciences. While the forces and sounds brought into confluence in this trio, originally formed in 2007, are highly diverse, each resulting sound-form grows and differentiates with its own (non-eclectic) consistency and identity.
Evan Parker was born in Bristol in 1944 and began to play the saxophone at the age of 14, initially alto as an admirer of Paul Desmond, but switching by 1960 to tenor and soprano under the crucial influence of John Coltrane. He studied biology at Birmingham University but soon devoted himself completely to the freely improvised music which was then in its infancy, playing with - among many other members of this music's first generation - Howard Riley, John Stevens, Derek Bailey (with whom he founded the Music Improvisation Company and, together with Tony Oxley, the Incus label), and Alexander von Schlippenbach, in whose trio with Paul Lovens he has played for over four decades. Alongside collaborations with most of the leading players in improvised music, his own groups include a long-standing trio with Barry Guy and Paul Lytton, and the Evan Parker Electroacoustic Ensemble which develops his fascination with combinations of instruments and electronics. He is also celebrated for his solo performances, in which circular breathing together with a uniquely polyphonic technique on the saxophone create evolving textural structures of great complexity. He has been described as "one of the music's greatest living instrumentalists" (The Times), "one of the world's finest ensemble improvisers" (Chicago Reader) and "one of the modern era's most original voices" (The Wire).
Richard Barrett (Swansea, 1959) is internationally active as both composer and improvising performer, and has collaborated with many leading performers in both areas, while developing works and ideas which increasingly leave behind the distinctions between them. His long-term collaborations include the electronic duo FURT which he formed with Paul Obermayer in 1986 (and its more recent octet version fORCH), composing for and performing with the ELISION contemporary music group since 1990, and regular appearances with the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble since 2003. Larger projects include CONSTRUCTION, a two-hour work for twenty-three performers and three-dimensional sound system, premiered by ELISION in 2011, the hour-long life-form for cello and electronics, premiered by Arne Deforce in 2012, and world-line for electric lap steel guitar and ensemble for Daryl Buckley and ELISION, premiered in October 2014. He is currently working on a new evening-length project close-up collaboration with Ensemble Studio6 of Belgrade - and a new work for the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart. He studied composition principally with Peter Wiegold, and currently teaches at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague and at the University of Leiden, having previously held a professorship at Brunel University in London.
Michael Vatcher was born in 1954 in California. He played with reedist Michael Moore, with whom he has had a long musical relationship, with John Handy and with Terry Gibbs. After spending a year in New York City, Vatcher moved to Holland in 1981, where he has been based ever since, playing a central role in the creative music scene, alongside intensive work with improvised dance at Amsterdam's School for New Dance Development and internationally with dancers such as Katie Duck and Eileen Standley. Musical partnerships include the Tristan Honsinger Sextet, Maarten Altena Ensemble, Van Dyke Parks, The Ex, 4Walls (with Phil Minton, Tom Cora and Luc Ex) and many other groups with long term collaborator Michael Moore, John Zorn (including the Ornette Coleman covers album Spy vs. Spy), Simon Nabatov, Georg Gräwe, Ernst Reijseger and countless others, appearing on more than fifty albums.
released June 8, 2016
Evan Parker – tenor and soprano saxophone
Richard Barrett – electronics
Michael Vatcher- drums
Recorded 5 February 2009, Bimhuis, Amsterdam
Recorded by Philip ten Brink
Mixed by Richard Scott
Mastered by Richard Scott at Audience, Berlin
Image by Philippa Jeffrey
Design by Clarke Robinson
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