Recordings

FURT. Sense.   Two methods of creation play out on this disc by FURT, the British electronic composition-performance duo of Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer. The track Uranus is a forty-six-minute studio composition developed over a two-year period. In contrast, Curtains, the second track on the CD,[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 107

Lori Freedman. Bridge. Bridge largely emulates the pattern of one of Freedman’s solo clarinet concerts, exploring the relationships between composition, interpretation, and improvisation. If composition and improvisation were once separated by a gulf, here they’re constructed as a continuously[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 107

The Element Choir. At Rosedale United.   Christine Duncan leads the most unlikely ensemble devoted to collective improvisation, Toronto’s fifty-one-voice Element Choir. The choir’s improvisation is strongly shaped by Duncan’s ongoing “conduction.” In performance, members respond to a series of[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 107

Kyle Brenders. WAYS.   Saxophonist-composer Kyle Brenders has assembled a sextet from among Toronto’s community of improvising musicians to perform an extended composition called Ways. Five segments of the work are heard here (Sections 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8) so the recording explicitly resists the notion of[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 107

Burkhard Beins. Structural Drift.   Conceived, created, recorded, and mixed during a three-month residency in Worpswede, Germany, composer-improviser Burkhard Beins’ CD Structural Drift uses found sounds along with custom-made electronics, an e-bow zither, various percussion, and synthesizer to reflect Worpswede[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 107

Rainer Wiens. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.   More frequently heard playing guitar and prepared guitar in the context of jazz and improvised music, Rainer Wiens performs here on kalimbas—African thumb pianos possessing a distinctive metallic resonance—which are heard prominently at the beginning and end of this unusual[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 106

Birgit Ulher. Radio Silence No More.   Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher uses her improvisational prowess to shape this program, treating as full partners the extended drones and blurry hisses that emanate from a stand-alone radio and its speaker. On the nine mid-length tracks here—all with the suffixes ‑welle or ‑[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 106

Toca Loca. P*P.   Toca Loca is a kick-ass ensemble with some of the heaviest performers in new music: Gregory Oh, piano and voice; Simon Docking, piano and voice; and Aiyung Huang, percussion and voice. All of them deserve kudos for this ambitious project of taking on pop music in the context of peer-to-[...] Read more

Recordings Allison Cameron Issue 106

Saint Dirt Elementary School. Ice Cream Man Dreams.   This newest effort from St. Dirt offers the most vivid image of this Toronto-based “junkyard jazz” combo. Whereas their two previous discs offered a rawer live feel and catchier tunes, the overall sophistication and nuance of Ice Cream Man Dreams showcases both the[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 106

Quatuor Qwat Reum Six. Live at Festival NPAI 2007.   With textures and timbres often as inscrutable as the band’s name, four of France’s most accomplished improvisers explore non-idiomatic sounds. This continuous, though segmented, performance is not only tonally mesmerizing, it also negates, through the use of extensions and[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 106

Olga Neuwirth and the ICI Ensemble. Who am I? No More.   Animated with sonic jump-cuts and unexpected timbral juxtapositions, these compositions—described as two audio films—by Austrian Olga Neuwirth, demonstrate that she is young enough to be influenced by John Zorn-styled musical pastiches, as well as by conventional music. That[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 106

Marteau Rouge and Evan Parker. Live.   Devoting more than forty years to the painstaking development of an individual style doesn’t mean that British tenor saxophonist Evan Parker eschews new challenges and collaborations. Live is notable, however, because Parker manages, without altering his distinctive reed patterns,[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 106