CD reviews: io 0.0.1 beta++

io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)
io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) © 2011 Han-earl Park

First set of reviews of the CD ‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) including Beppe Colli’s take in which the “flesh-and-blood musicians” (Han-earl Park, Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder) demonstrate “excellent rapport” and “a good dose of telepathy”, while the machine musician (io 0.0.1 beta++) “works as a valuable stimulus for its fellow musicians”:

Closing track here, Return Trajectory is a good for instance of the excellent rapport existing among the aforementioned [“flesh-and-blood”] players, whose parallel traveling seems to suggest a good dose of telepathy—check the final moments, the two winds going towards a note in teleological mode. This is the track that, in my opinion, clearly shows more than a trace of these musicians’ formative influences, with Schroeder’s soprano reminding me of Evan Parker (elsewhere on the album she sounds quite more personal), while Coates’ alto is clearly reminiscent of the zig-zag wondering of Anthony Braxton (an influence that is also quite apparent elsewhere on the album, both on alto and sopranino). Han-earl Park’s guitar sits somewhere halfway between Joe Pass and Derek Bailey, being quite aware of the jazz vocabulary and the art of comping, though of course filtered through a modern sensibility, starting with timbre, but not as ‘indifferent’ to the surrounding as Bailey’s sometimes could be.

Were the album as good as its closing track, well… we’d only have a good album, nothing more. But—surprise!—as per its title, we have an ‘unknown quantity’ called io 0.0.1 beta++: a ‘musical automaton’ created by Han-earl Park whose improvising—so rich when it comes to timbres (which are sometimes more than a bit old-fashioned, a fact that goes well with its bizarre physical aspect, so reminiscent of 50s sci-fi movies), so mysterious when it comes to its decision-making—works as a valuable stimulus for its fellow musicians.

If on an aesthetic plane the main parallel that I can trace (one that I hope can be useful to readers) is with mid-80s Company, here the work as it’s offered to the listener appears to highlight the issue of the decisional process which is at the basis of improvisation when seen as a conscious ‘discipline of choices’. And in the CD liner notes penned by Sara Roberts I seemed to detect more than an echo of those debates which flourish about the famous (?) Turing Test. [Read the rest…] [In Italian…]

— Beppe Colli (CloudsandClocks)

François Couture’s review of the “faux-quartet” with the “créature mécanique” io 0.0.1 beta++ which is “physically present on stage… and it interacts and improvises with the human improvisers”:

Ce quatuor (ou faux-quatuor, à la limite) propose des improvisations libres exigeantes faisant appel à de nombreuses techniques étendues, des pièces aux gestes décomposés, aux timbres déstabilisants, mais à la synergie impressionnante.

This quartet (or faux-quartet, if you prefer) performs demanding free improvisation calling on a range of extended techniques. Pieces of dismantled gestures, destabilizing timbres, and impressive synergy. [Read the rest…]

— François Couture (Monsieur Délire)

And Bruce Lee Gallanter who teases a Turing test around io 0.0.1 beta++:

…More rare is that these three human musicians are improvising with a machine called io 0.0.1 beta…. Io was constructed by Han-earl Park and is an integral part of this quartet…. Io… adds its own diverse yet fractured sounds to the blend. On “Pioneer: Dance” Mr. Coates plays slightly twisted alto sax while io adds similar textural sounds. If I didn’t know better, I would think that this was a successful session of European improv by a quartet of gifted yet thoughtful [human] players who take their time to explore similar textures and terrain together. I am not so sure that machines will ever take the place of human improvisers in the future, however this disc shows that someone is working in the right direction. [Read the rest…]

— Bruce Lee Gallanter (Downtown Music Gallery)

‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) with Han-earl Park, Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder is available from SLAM Productions. [More info…] [All reviews…] [Get the CD…]

arts council logo

The construction of io 0.0.1 beta++ has been made possible by the generous support of the Arts Council of Ireland.

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