Featuring Richard Barrett on electronics and Han-earl Park on guitar. Richard Barrett is a UK composer as well as an improvising electronic musician who plays in Furt, Forch and with Evan Parker, all of whom record for the Psi label. Originally UK-based guitarist Han-earl Park has been living in NY for the past couple of years and working with many Downtown players like Louise Jensen & Michael Evans (who he played with here at DMG last Sunday – 1/20/13), Harris Eisenstadt, Tim Perkis and Anthony Braxton. When Mr. Park was living in the UK, he worked with Paul Dunmall, Charles Hayward and invented a device called io 0.0.1 Beta, that played its own improvisations. An impressive resume for sure. Han-earl left us with this duo effort and I’m glad he did.
I dig the intense exchange between these two gifted improvisers. There are a number of bent sounds which make it hard to determine who is doing what. What electric guitar sounds I recognize are sharp, focused and quickly formed & let loose. Han-earl does not sound like a jazz guitarist and doesn’t play any of those popular licks. More often he is playing a series of broken yet tight phrases which fit perfectly with Mr. Barrett’s more rounded electronics. The fractured phrases that erupt throughout this disc often sound like just one musician playing by himself since we never know where one sound begins or ends or what it will turn into. There are a few rubbed string sounds which remind me of Fred Frith at times but that is the reference I can pull out of my own listening encounters. Otherwise this is duo is completely unique, exciting and engaging.
btw, I have yet to perform with Mr. Braxton (I assume Bruce meant Wadada), and I’m from California, but otherwise the description, especially “fractured phrases that erupt throughout this disc often sound like just one musician playing by himself since we never know where one sound begins or ends or what it will turn into”, is pretty accurate! Thanks for listening, Bruce.
Kudos to Ras Moshe and everyone at The Brecht Forum, and to Bruce Gallanter (hey, it was good to talk and catch up, Bruce!) and Manny Maris of Downtown Music Gallery for hosting and curating the events. (And apologies to Ras and the other performers at The Brecht Forum for not being able to stick around for the other sets.) Thanks again to Kevin Reilly for the video documentation of the DMG performance, and thanks, as always, to all who came to listen and witness music in interaction and in real-time.
Le gargarisme est convaincant. D’un côté les electronics de Richard Barrett, de l’autre la guitare d’Han-Earl Park. Tous deux grouillent et cisaillent les volumes, réactivent la matière folle, rendent la télégraphie à sa fonction première : transmettre (Tolur). Leur improvisation en miroir engorge leur transe succube, fait déborder le vase, bouche la robinetterie (Tricav).
Parfois, au milieu des monstres soniques qu’ils viennent de créer, émerge une guitare façon Bailey (Ankpla). Mais rarement rassasiés (Uettet pour me faire mentir), les voici rassurant leur nervosité naturelle en un final aux brûlures fatales (II……). Le gargarisme est convaincant. Le vertige, tout autant.
The demanding music radio show Délire Actuel (CFLX-FM 95.5, Sherbrooke, Quebec) unveiled today its top 30 experimental music albums you shouldn’t have missed in 2012. This list culls 30 titles, the 2012 crème de la crème in demanding music, i.e. the avant-gardist or experimental fringe in every music genre (contemporary, avant-garde jazz, free improvisation, avant-rock, electronica, etc.)….
Two special editions of Délire Actuel will be broadcasted tonight (December 11) and next Tuesday (December 18), from 8 pm to 10 pm (EST), on CFLX 95.5 FM in the Sherbrooke area and live on the web at www.cflx.qc.ca/en-direct/. The show is broadcasted in French, but the music is universal. A track from each selected CD will be featured. The Top 30 was posted this morning on Mr. Couture’s blog Monsieur Délire…. Shows are available to stream or download from CFLX’s website for a week after their broadcast date. [Read the rest…]
I’m honored to find our record in such distinguished company.
Westerhus, Stian: ‘The Matriarch and the Wrong Kind of Flowers’ (Rune Grammofon)
Drake, Bob: ‘Bob’s Drive-In’ (ReR Megacorp)
Bishop, Jeb/Blonk, Jaap/Mallozzi, Lou/Rosaly, Frank: ‘At the Hideout’ (Kontrans)
Perkin, Miles Quartet: ‘Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear’ (ind.)
Assai suggestivo l’interattivo duo protagonista: Barrett… sospinge oltre l’ostacolo dei vincoli della forma le pulsioni delle elettroniche di cui dispensa e vaporizza esponenzialmente le valenze e i caratteri timbrici, laddove Park, forte della sperimentazione viva e costante sullo strumento a sei corde, assai esagitato nel potenziale armonico-melodico, dilata le ispirazioni a nervi scoperti e le destrutturazioni alla Derek Bailey, e il tutto scattando un’immagine in movimento ed (es)agitata di una avant-garde – già, di suo, indocile soggetto – e che qui trova convinti e motivati praticanti – esegeti.
Cinque tracks-passaggi per un’ora esatta di forte urgenza espressiva che si staglia dimensionalmente per impeto psico-attivo, densità partecipativa ed acidità di smalti e pigmenti – reinterpretata e rivissuta dal concentratissimo duo Barrett-Park, Numbers si fa “danza interattiva ad alta energia e a passo veloce, scriteriata, looping a due mani, danza contorta, interattiva e resa udibile, unità di estemporizzazione intensa e da brivido” secondo la concitata definizione autoriale e che, così enunciata, lascerebbe assai poco di accattivante al pubblico generale – ma poco importa, data la vocazione settoriale e la dedizione (peraltro con coscienza perseguita e coronata) all’acting gravido di rischio e all’esplorazione avventurosa.
Je connais de nombreuses pièces de Richard Barrett enregistrées, écrites ou improvisées. C’est une ﬁgure importante de la musique contemporaine, malheureusement sous-estimée en France. Je vous invite vivement à écouter ce répertoire et vous plonger dans cette solide radicalité: l’écoute de la pièce symphonique Vanity (1996) devrait remettre de nombreuses pendules à l’heure. Lorsqu’il improvise (compose en temps réel), m’avec un dispositif électronique lui autorisant avec souplesse les parcours les plus inattendus.
Nous connaissons déjà plusieurs disques avec Furt, où il intervient avec Paul Obermayer, se jouant lui aussi d’un système électronique.
Je découvre ici sa collaboration avec le guitariste Han-Earl Pak [sic] (un autre créateur plutôt discret sur les scènes hexagonales), qui s’inscrit dans la tradition “post Derek Bailey” avec une saine volonté d’en découdre (cet artiste est aussi concepteur de systèmes interactiﬁ originaux).
Sportif et dynamique.
Thanks to Lê Quan Ninh for helping source the text of the review.
Quem partir para a audição de “Numbers” com uma ideia feita do que esperar de Richard Barrett e Han-Earl Park ficará, com certeza, surpreendido. Se o Barrett compositor de música contemporânea e o Barrett improvisador de electrónica no duo Furt e no Electro-Acoustic Ensemble de Evan Parker são, já à partida, bastante diferentes (apesar da sua convicção de que improvisar é apenas outra forma de compor), o que deste ouvimos agora distancia-se do “sampling” esquizóide a que nos habituou – os seus “outputs” neste disco identificam-se mais com as sonoridades sintetizadas dos antigos jogos de computador e videojogos. Por sua vez, o Park que aqui está não é o inventor e construtor de robôs e próteses musicais, mas o guitarrista. Percorrer outros caminhos implica neste disco aspectos positivos e negativos, mas verdade seja dita que a energia, o “drive” e o labor de sedimentação do ruído que vão desenvolvendo depressa nos conquistam. [Original article…]
Meanwhile, Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes suggests the recording might be a way to have your “brain zapped and scrambled by the rivalry between transonic beauty and extreme structural atomization”:
…It is… impractical to verbally interpret the bazillions of events that this CD warrants, for the joy of individuals who take pleasure in getting their brain zapped and scrambled by the rivalry between transonic beauty and extreme structural atomization. This is in fact a full hour of frantically jagged live improvisation that will definitely expose, in a good number of subjects, the inability of receiving and synthesizing a large quantity of data, given the inborn impossibility of switching to multi-channel mode in their neural constitution. These persons will end describing this barely imaginable tit-for-tat as unendurably non-brooding, or just “out of fashion”. Indeed the methods through which the (mostly) clean sounds of the electric guitar get stretched, warped, mangled and thrown back at the source demolish any propensity to rumination. As if a premix of Fred Frith, Hans Reichel and – why not – Christopher Willits had been subjected to a journey inside the circuits of a billboard. Mere seconds before its explosion, that is. [Read the rest…]
I wonder if Ricci had anyone particular in mind when he wrote of those with an “inability of receiving and synthesizing a large quantity of data, given the inborn impossibility of switching to multi-channel mode in their neural constitution” 😉
Electronician Richard Barrett (of Furt) and guitarist Han-earl Park are working together to create music both spontaneous and premeditated, music that launches into several directions at a time (that’s Furt’s trademark). The guitar is wildly spatialized, and the electronics intermingle with it, manipulating in real-time, adding pointillistic fluries of sounds that make it impossible de isolate a single contribution. The result is lively, relevant, dizzying electroacoustic music; music that seems to be daring us to try and catch it.
Death of an Accountant? In his review at Chain D.L.K. of Richard Barrett and Han-earl Park’s ‘Numbers’ (CS 201 cd), Vito Camarretta imagines an unfortunate scenario for an “accountant, a computer expert or an operational researcher”, and describes an “acoustic lucid computational delirium, whose trajectory is impossible to outguess”:
You can easily imagine an accountant, a computer expert or an operational researcher in the act of falling prey of frightening hallucinations after a session of intensive work on numerical models, impressive balance sheets or other number-covered screed and their colossal equations or string while getting turned into ominous entities which paralyze their own maker in order to obsess, harass and torture him till death while listening to this amazing and fuzzy release by Welsh electronic musician and performer Richard Barrett (some well-trained listeners could know his collaborative project FURT with Paul Obermayer as well as his work within the Elision Ensemble) and guitarist, improviser and very talented performer Han-Earl Park. By means of an intricate web of sonic hiccups, scrapes, scouring, gluts, gargles and cuts, they build an acoustic lucid computational delirium, whose trajectory is impossible to outguess.
Bazillions of events… for the joy of individuals who take pleasure in getting their brain zapped and scrambled by the rivalry between transonic beauty and extreme structural atomization. This is in fact a full hour of frantically jagged live improvisation…. [More…]
Kaleidoscopic music, a rubato flux of superimposed noises in which lightning-fast progression from one galvanising sound event (noise thru silence) to another, and the musicians’ constant attention to overall form… it’s music of the moment, a process of constantly tweaked evolutionary recombination. [More…]
Numbers is a high-energy, quick-footed, scatter-brained two hander—a looping, convoluted, interactive dance made audible—a musical fender bender involving electroacoustic complexities and (physio)logical splutter-cuts, jump-cuts and match-cuts—an intense white-knuckle extemporization unit—the duo of composer, performer and electronic musician Richard Barrett and guitarist, improviser and constructor Han-earl Park.
Celebrated for his dense, complex, intricate music, Richard Barrett is perhaps best known for his work with Paul Obermayer as part of FURT, as part of the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, and his close collaborations with the Elision Ensemble. At home in both composition and improvisation, Barrett’s music increasingly problematizes the distinction between them. Described by Brian Morton as “a musical philosopher… a delightful shape-shifter”, Han-earl Park is drawn to real-time cyborg configurations in which artifacts and bodies collide. He has performed with some of the finest practitioners of improvised music, and is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith. First performing together as duo in at AUXXX, Berlin, October 2010, Barrett and Park engage in a continuing improvisative conversation; alternately claiming autonomy and independence, and group action and solidarity.
Richard Barrett (www.richardbarrettmusic.com) 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. Recent projects include “CONSTRUCTION”, a two-hour work for twenty performers and three-dimensional sound system, premiered by Elision in November 2011. He is based in Berlin and currently teaches at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague. His work as composer and performer is documented on over 20 CDs, including five discs devoted to his compositions and seven by FURT.
Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (www.busterandfriends.com) works within/from/around traditions of fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, mostly open improvised musics, sometimes engineering theater, sometimes inventing ritual. He feels the gravitational pull of collaborative, multi-authored contexts, and has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries and concert halls in Austria, Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and the USA.
He is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, and is involved in ongoing collaborations with Bruce Coates, Franziska Schroeder, Alex Fiennes and Murray Campbell. He has recently performed with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Lol Coxhill, Pat Thomas, Paul Dunmall, Mark Sanders, Matana Roberts, Richard Barrett, Pauline Oliveros, Thomas Buckner and Kato Hideki. Festival appearances include Sonorities (Belfast), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), and CEAIT Festival (California). His recordings have been released by labels including Slam Productions and DUNS Limited Edition.