A performance of improvised and notated music by Maddog & Michael Kieran Harvey.
This is a trio where the players operate in vastly different sonic dimensions with variant objectives. There is then a very clear polyphony of intention in the music — and it is up to the listener to weave the threads.
Jim Denley (saxophone and flutes) makes wind/percussive events that sit ambiguously in a grey zone between tone and noise. He presents transitional evolutions where listeners are asked to define events — am I hearing fibrillation or rhythm? Is it texture or tone? Is it tone or overtone? He works at making distinctions difficult and, often sits outside of accepted systems of tonal organisation.
Andy Butler would have been described as a Jazz pianist a few years ago — now, there are almost no stylistic elements in his sound you would describe as Jazz. He elicits a sparse unrelenting choice of tones from the piano that is reminiscent of some contemporary classical composers, specifically Morton Feldman. When he embarks upon an ecology of chosen notes, the dynamics and attack have a trajectory that is always distinct to the background. These episodes, highly defined at instigation, sit very definitely within the well tempered tonal system. He never accompanies.
Jon Smeathers (electronics) operates in another separate sonoverse — his sine tones rarely have a specific attack — they exist more as atmospheres or washes of tone, sitting outside any notion of well tempered tonal organisation, but commentating on and interacting with it. In the mix he wants his direct sound to be quiet so that one mainly perceives its interaction with the other instruments. It’s almost as if he produces a sonic gravity field on space/time, that the piano and wind instruments dive into and are warped by.
The space between these separate sonoverses is where the music is made. The trio run in parallel — there is no attempt at synchronised co-ordinated predetermined events. But through careful listening and an awareness of balance between the elements, new structures emerge.
The Founders Room
(entry via Wooby’s Lane)
Wednesday 22 February 2017 @ 7:30pm
Tickets available at the door
Image Credits: Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library