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Bertrand Denzler & ONCEIM - Morph

(ccs 37) 

Morph is another piece that is described by Denzler as a "pseudo-drone" which makes it a companion piece to Horns 1.2, the two being issued together by Confront in their appealingly distinctive square metal box packaging. While there are undoubted similarities between the two albums, the differences between them are more significant. Firstly, ONCEIM is a very different animal to Horns, consisting of thirty players—including Denzler, Gerbal, Laurin and Badaroux—on a variety of instruments taking in piano, accordion, reeds, brass, strings, percussion and electronics. Whereas the quartet Horns was created to play Denzler's pieces, ONCEIM is a well-established ensemble, having been founded in 2012 by Hubbub pianist Frédéric Blondy. The ensemble plays occasional gigs in Paris, at venues such as Église Saint-Merry, where this album was recorded in June 2014. While "Morph" and "Horns 1.2" are clearly based on the same principle, the greater number of players and the greater diversity of instruments in ONCEIM makes its music dramatically different to that of Horns. Its thirty instruments create a fuller, richer soundscape than the four horns while it evolves more slowly as each change by a musician is one thirtieth of the totality rather than a quarter. Consequently, the end result is more truly drone-like than its companion piece. Yes, the two are very different, but they shed light on each other and so are best heard together. The same is true of all three of these releases; together they are part of the evolution of Denzler and so each one is an important piece of an ongoing jigsaw.  (John Eyles)


((ONCEIM musicians))

Pierre-Antoine Badaroux: alto saxophone 

Félicie Bazelaire: cello

Sébastien Beliah: double bass

Frédéric Blondy: organ

Patricia Bosshard: violin

Cyprien Busolini: viola

Giani Caserotto: electric guitar

Xavier Charles: clarinet

Bertrand Denzler: tenor saxophone 

Benjamin Dousteyssier: baritone saxophone 

Benjamin Duboc: double bass

Yoann Durant: soprano saxophone

Rémi Durupt: percussion

Elodie Gaudet: viola

Antonin Gerbal: percussion

Louis Laurain: trumpet

Carmen Lefrançois: baritone saxophone 

Julien Loutelier: percussion

Jean-Sébastien Mariage: electric guitar 

Frédéric Marty: double bass

Arnaud Rivière: electronics

Joris Rühl: clarinet

Diemo Schwarz: electronics

Deborah Walker: cello 

Bertrand Denzler & Horns - Horns 1.2

(ccs 38) 

The quartet Horns is well-named, consisting of two saxophones—Denzler on tenor and Pierre-Antoine Badaroux on alto—plus Fidel Fourneyron on trombone and Louis Laurain on trumpet. Some seven years after Denzler was one quarter of the saxophone quartet that recorded the ground-breaking Propagations (Potlatch, 2007), Horns feels very different but may be just as radical. The quartet was specially created to play the "Horns" pieces written by Denzler. The decision to mix saxophones and brass was a wise one, as this quartet breaks new ground and the timbres of its instruments ensure it avoids comparisons with the Propagations quartet. This album's only track, the forty-minute title composition, is described by Denzler as a "pseudo-drone" piece, with "the overall sound of the ensemble being structured by the decisions the musicians have to take in order to keep this sound alive while moving in a small, pre-established musical perimeter, and the acoustic phenomena resulting from these decisions." In practice, those words translate into a sustained piece to which all four players contribute to keeping the sound alive, subtly altering their contributions as and when they see fit, in order to blend in with the other three. It cannot be called a drone (hence, Denzler's phrase "pseudo-drone") as it never settles down to a steady state but is in a constant state of flux created by every decision made by each player. Those decisions are not entirely free but are constrained by Denzler's composition, with the consequence that the four instruments fit together well, combining into a piece that makes fascinating and satisfying listening. (John Eyles)


“Horns 1.2” is based on the same principle as “Morph” (CCS 37). It’s a “pseudo-drone” piece, the overall sound of the ensemble or orchestra being structured by the decisions the musicians have to take in order to keep this sound alive while moving in a small, pre-established musical perimeter.

The Horns quartet has been specifically created to play the “Horns”-pieces. Since 2013, the ensemble performs different pieces of the “Horns”-series on a regular basis in France. “Horns 1.2” is Horns’ first release. 

Ko Ishikawa / Tetuzi Akiyama / Hideo Ikegami -

Live at Kissa Sakaiki

(ccs 39) 

Ko Ishikawa : sho
Tetuzi Akiyama : acoustic guitar
Hideo Ikegami : contrabass

Recorded by Hideo Ikegami at Kissa Sakaiki, Tokyo on 31 July 2014
Sound Treatment by Taku Unami

Kissa Sakaiki is a café in Tokyo which supports the activities of musicians, dancers or other artists. I have played there many times, presenting a number of performances with musicians and dancers frequently. I have been collaborating with Tetuzi Akiyama as a duo for some time and one day had the idea to further our development by introducing another musician to form a new trio. Ko Ishikawa, a sho player was the first candidate in my mind. Fortunately, Ko agreed to play with us and I arranged a concert at Kissa Sakaiki. Tetuzi and Ko have played together several times previously but that was the first time to play together for Ko and myself. As I had hoped, the gig was successful and fortunately I recorded it. This release on Confront presents the complete document of all the music we played together that evening.
(Hideo Ikegami)



Ist : New York featuring John Zorn

(ccs 40) 

Mid-April 2001, Derek Bailey was invited to present a Company event at Tonic, the then home of adventurous music in New York. Besides himself, Derek took with him four other performers from the UK - tap dancer Will Gaines and the acoustic string trio IST, comprising of Rhodri Davies, Simon H. Fell and Mark Wastell. These five were joined for three nights of Company music by New York musicians Joey Baron, John Zorn, Jennifer Choi, Annie Gosfield and Min Xiao-Fen. The three nights of Company proper were preceded by an evening of music showcasing the music of the British based contingent. Bailey performed a fascinating duet with Gaines, followed by a lengthy set from IST. 

The music IST performed that evening is presented on this disc in its entirety. Bruce Gallanter, tireless proprietor of famed New York record store Downtown Music Gallery, was in the front row, taping direct onto his handheld recorder. He also recorded each and every night of the Company event, during which IST were paired with John Zorn, for a once only meeting, late in the evening of the second night. 

"IST played one of the most intense and balanced sets they've delivered in their four-year existence. The players pushed beyond decency into assaults on their instruments, causing the attentive observer to wince. Mark Wastell digs into his cello body with the end of his bow and leaves a white scar: his playing sears the memory likewise. Rhodri Davies' harp is Bailey's guitar writ large, the sound world of Pierre Boulez shot through with the funk and low-humour repartee of the improviser. The simultaneous crisis and hilarity of Simon Fell's two-bow assault on his instrument is audio-science and Dada in one." (Concert review extract from Derek Bailey And The Story Of Free Improvisation by Ben Watson / Verso Books)

The members of IST lovingly and respectfully dedicate this music to Derek Bailey (1930-2005). 

IST also extend warm thanks and appreciation to John Zorn for graciously permitting us to include his contribution.

Rhodri Davis : harp
Simon H. Fell : double bass
Mark Wastell : violoncello
John Zorn : alto saxophone (track 6)

Recorded live in concert at Tonic, Norfolk Street, New York City on 17 & 19 April 2001 by Bruce Gallanter.

Edited, mixed and mastered by SHF.

Paolo Valladoid & Gary Rouzer - Directions for Viola and Cello

(ccs 41) 

These tracks were recording in a large tunnel and its surroundings that is part of a bike path and nature trail in Alexandria, Virginia. Our viola and cello were joined by joggers, birds, traffic, flowing water, a cell phone, insects, and bicycles to create the music. We played for an hour, until it got dark and we could stand the biting bugs no longer. No further editing, processing, or post production was done other than fade in and fade out. 

Recording on 30 July 2011


Paolo Valladoid -viola
Gary Rouzer - cello


1 Overhead 4:26

2 Besides 3:34

3 Inside Out 3:31

4 From Within 5:23

5 Underneath 3:11

6 Sidelong 2:51


Gary Rouzer was born and still lives in Washington DC. He performs and records in small groups as well as solo. His solo project, Amptext, seeks to investigate the boundary between music/noise, sound/silence, and instrumental technique/gesture using cello, bass, clarinet, amplified objects, record player, and field recordings.


Paolo Valladolid is a sound artist based in the Washington DC area.  He plays viola and electronics with the group Android Nectarine and collaborates with other area musicians. 

Contest of (more) Pleasures - Ulrichsberg 

(ccs 43) 

Axel Dörner: trumpet
Jean-Léon Pallandre: phonographies, microphones 
John Butcher: saxophones
Laurent Sassi: phonographies, mixage et diffusion 
Xavier Charles: clarinet

Recorded live in concert, Ulrichsberg, 2009.

Limited edition of 180 CDs in metal DVD sized tin with 5 photographic postcard inserts and liner notes by David Toop.


Taumatrop - For John Ayrton Paris

(ccs 45) 

Ferran Fages: electronic devices
Eduard Márquez: percussion

Recorded in Barcelona on 20 May 2013

Thaumatrope: a card with different pictures on either side, which, when the card is twirled rapidly, appear to blend into one.

For John Ayrton Paris is the discographic debut of Taumatrop, a duo formed in the year 2013 by Ferran Fages and Eduard Márquez. During the months of March, April and May 2013, Taumatrop worked on the construction of long, dronic pieces (initially with guitar and ultimately with electronic devices), in which the intention was to produce slow and intense crescendos. For John Ayrton Paris is one of the most significant pieces of this prolific research phase.


James Weeks - mural

(ccs 47) 

James Weeks' mural is an extended work for two quartets of voices, a contemplation of our embeddedness within, and our being-at-one with, the world. Using texts from four different sources - writings of Cage and Pessoa, studies of Vermeer and the birdlife of Gateshead - the music accumulates brick-by-brick, reflecting the way we construct and enclose ourself within the spaces we live in, both interior and exterior.


Performed by EXAUDI directed by James Weeks.


Quartet 1:

Juliet Fraser, Cathy Bell, Stephen Jeffes, Jimmy Holliday.


Quartet 2:

Amanda Morrison, Tom Williams, Jonathan Bungard, Jonathan Saunders.


Recorded at City University, London, March-April 2014.


Sandy Ewen & Damon Smith - Valle de Mexico 

(ccs 42) 

Sandy and I stared working on our duo music shortly after I moved to Houston, Texas from California in 2010, as well as the duo music it became the core of several important projects with musicians such as Keith Rowe, Weasel Walter, Roscoe Mitchell, Jaap Blonk & Chris Cogburn. This concert was part a series called "Desbordamientos" at Cine Tonalá, in Mexico City, Mexico curated by Fernando Vigueras & Chris Cogburn pairing improvised music concerts while screening Derek Bailey's four part series on improvisation. Days before, Sandy & I played in the home of a favorite writer of mine, Octavio Paz. The Album and track titles are taken from his poem, Valle De México. (Damon Smith, March 2015)


Sandy Ewan - guitar

Damon Smith - double bass


Recorded October 28th 2012 at 'desbordamientos' at Cine Tonalá, Mexico City.



Leif Elggren & Joachim Nordwall - Prepresence

(ccs 44) 

Recorded live in concert at iDEALFEST, Fylkingen, Stockholm on February 28th 2011.


Heavy, lo-fi, monster drone set, featuring two of Sweden's most engaging performers. Sounds generated from the combination of electric hair clippers and analogue synthesiser are amplified, smashed and ground to a pulp, reformed and catapulted into the stars.


Matilda Rolfsson / Richard Sanderson / Mark Wastell - Live at l'klectik

(ccs 46) 

Richard Sanderson : amplified melodeon, dictaphones & small percussion
Mark Wastell : tam-tam, shruti box
Matilda Rolfsson : percussion 

Recorded by Adrian Northover at The Horse Improv Club, l'Klectic, Lamberth, London on 28th April 2015

This was my first trip to series of improvised music curated by Sue Lynch at The Horse at Cafe I'Klectik in SE London. What a treat! The evening opened with a sensitive and controlled duo of Hutch Demouilpied (trumpet, flute), Keisuke Matsui (guitar, electronics) this was followed by an intense and beautiful trio of Maggie Nichols (vocals), Caroline Kraabel (alto saxophone) and Charlotte Hug (viola, voice).

This I thought a very hard performance to follow. But the trio of Richard Sanderson (amplified melodeon, dictaphones and small percussion), Mark Wastell (tam-tam, shruti box) and Matilda Rolfsson (percussion) captured all that lay still in the air and produced a set of more, controlled, sensitive, beautiful and creative music.

At times it was hard to exactly locate where the sounds emerged from as the melodeon clicked to the drone of cymbals pulled across the surface of a drum and the tam tam shimmered in response to electronic sound boxes. At one point a small cowbell signalled the music to develop in a new direction and then again small sounds of stones striking together and then hitting the wooden rim of the drum ushered in the fuller overtones of the gong against repetitive figures on the melodeon that rose to complete the piece. As I left familiar words, on the outside wall of the cafe, reminded me as long as I listen and “gaze on Waterloo sunset I am in paradise”. 
(Stuart Wilding).


Jason Kahn - For Voice

(ccs 48) 

Two solo concert improvisations for unamplified voice recorded in Canberra, Australia at the SoundOut Festival in 2015 and in Tokyo, Japan at the Kid Ailack Art Hall in 2014.
Employing extended vocal techniques, I use the voice to activate the concert hall, probing both room acoustics and the social space between myself and the audience.
I've been working with voice for several years now. “For Voice” is the first release to document this work in a live context. These recordings are unedited. (Jason Kahn)
Jason Kahn // voice
1. Kid Ailack // 24:28
2. SoundOut // 23:32
Track 1 recorded by Jason Kahn May 9, 2014 at the Kid Ailack Art Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Track 2 recorded by Kimmo Vennonen January 31, 2015 at the SoundOut Festival, Canberra, Australia.
Many thanks to Seiji Hayakawa and Richard Johnson for making these concerts possible. 
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