Idiom, tradition, identity, history (personal or collective) are things that I value. I tend not to subscribe to the vanilla notion of a pure, non-idiomatic state. I value the meeting: I want to know who you are, who I am, and that fascinating stuff is when those things collide—what we have in common, and what separates us. Border crossings are always fascinating; full of contradictions and (potential) misunderstandings….
…Meetings and border crossings make me think of brief encounters, limited investment, not long-arc relationships. Is that what free improvisers are left with: connecting only in that moment? Is that initial collision potentially more interesting to hear than when musicians get to know each other intimately (and calculate accordingly)?
…I do value the band, of long-term collaborations. It allows for greater complexity of interaction, greater speeds of decision making, more oblique, unexpected, choices. We, Eris 136199, coined a new term—‘weirderation’—after our last performance, to denote something—a set of relationships, decision making process—getting just that little bit weirder with each iteration.
On the other hand, spaces such as Crucible Sound have their own value. I’m not sure ‘brief encounters’ necessarily equates to ‘limited investment’ in those relationships.
In line with the current series of download releases, this record is hosted at Bandcamp, and available as a ‘name your price’ album. Although you can download the recording for free (name €0 as your price) with certain restrictions, please consider paying at least the recommended price. Your generosity will help support the performers and their work.
…Eschewing conventional groove but adhering to solos and telepathic communications, conjuring the jazz trio hierarchy as imagined by Albert Ayler. Dunmall even channels some Ayler, his tenor growling and moaning through key moments as Park handles guitar and bass duty simultaneously. Only Sanders’ occasional chiming percussion bespeaks a more contemporary vibe. As always, Park fills out the texture as much or more than do most keyboard instruments, but his playing is never overwhelming and always tasteful.
Free jazz, in no uncertain terms. I don’t know what it is about Han-Earl’s groups’ sounds. Ten seconds in, I think to myself, “Man, this isn’t my thing.” But by the time the tune is over, I realize that I’m totally into it and enjoying it. If a musician can convert my ears within the span of one tune, in my eyes, that’s a sign of talent.
On sait les liens qui unissent Dunmall et Sanders – ce qu’ils ont pu donner par le passé : de Shooters Hill enregistré en sextette en présence de Paul Rutherford à I Wish You Peace du Moksha Big Band –, c’est donc la présence de Park – que l’on a pu entendre récemment auprès d’un autre britannique de taille, Lol Coxhill, sur Mathilde [Mathilde 253], et se fit remarquer déjà auprès de Dunmall et Sanders sur un Live at the Glucksmann Gallery – qui intéresse ici. Aux salves imparables du ténor, il oppose des nappes et quelques arpèges accrochés quand Sanders compte les points avec aplomb.
Plus loin, c’est à la cornemuse puis au soprano qu’intervient Dunmall : pour déjouer ses tours (de force et d’adresse), Park choisit une nouvelle fois la subtilité : ses accords étouffés renversent les échanges du trio, transformés bientôt en horizontalité sur laquelle les trois hommes s’entendent alors en apaisés.
Two non-stop sets of improvised music. This live recording juxtaposes the formidable creativity and muscular technique of veteran improviser-saxophonist Paul Dunmall, the imaginative cyborgian virtuosity of guitarist Han-earl Park, and the ever inventive playing of Mark Sanders, arguably the most sought-after improviser-drummer of his generation. The performance took place three months after Park and Sanders’ improvisative meeting with another saxophonist, Matana Roberts, and a month prior to Dunmall and Sanders’ performances with another guitarist, Hasse Poulsen.
For thirty years Paul Dunmall has carved out a reputation for himself and is now widely recognised as one of the most uncompromising and talented reed players on the international improvised music scene. Whether playing in small groups or big bands his musical sensitivity and imagination combined with a powerful sound make him one of the most distinctive improvisers playing today.
His octet and Moksha big band showcases his abilities both as a composer drenched in the Jazz and Folk traditions and as a sympathetic leader able to give maximum freedom to an elite group of fellow improvisers.
Founder member of groups Spirit Level, Tenor Tonic, Mujician, Paul Dunmall Quartet and Paul Dunmall Octet.
Has played in Nigel Morris’ trio, the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, Danny Thompson’s Whatever, several of Elton Dean’s ensembles, Brian Irvine’s 14 piece band amongst others.
Launched own improvised music record label with Philip Gibbs in 2000 called Duns Limited Edition, which has 52 releases to date.
“Whether in a trio with Mujician’s rhythm section or with the larger band of sympathetic fellow improvisers, Dunmall consistently produces powerful and passionate music.”
(BBC Music Magazine)
“…Robust and heavy-hitting performer who has gone on to concentrate largely on free improvisation without sacrificing a rigorous melodic logic, a sparing lyricism and the technique to drop in on bebop occasionally.”
John Fordham (The Guardian)
Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park has been crossing borders and performing fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics for over fifteen years. He has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries, concert halls, and (ad-hoc) alternative spaces in Austria, Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and the USA.
Park is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, and Numbers with Richard Barrett. He is the constructor of the machine improviser io 0.0.1 beta++, a project performed in coalition with Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder. He has recently performed with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Dunmall, Lol Coxhill, Mark Sanders, Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, Pat Thomas, Andrew Drury, Josh Sinton, Dominic Lash, and as part of ensembles led by Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker, and Pauline Oliveros. Festival appearances include Freedom of the City (London), Sonorities (Belfast), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), and CEAIT (California). His recordings have been released by labels including Slam Productions and Creative Sources.
Park taught improvisation at the UCC Department of Music, and founded and curated Stet Lab, a space for improvised music in Cork.
“Guitarist Han-earl Park is a musical philosopher…. Expect unexpected things from Park, who is a delightful shape-shifter….”
Brian Morton (Point of Departure)
Mark Sanders has played with many renowned musicians from around the world including Evan Parker, Peter Brotzmann, Derek Bailey, Myra Melford, Paul Rogers, Henry Grimes, Roswell Rudd, Okkyung Lee, Barry Guy, Tim Berne, Otomo Yoshihide, Luc Ex, Ken Vandermark, Sidsel Endresen and Jean Francois Pauvrois, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.
New collaborative projects include ‘Riverloam Trio’ with Mikolaj Trzaska and Olie Brice, ‘Asunder’ with Hasse Poulsen and Paul Dunmall, duos with John Butcher and DJ Sniff, ‘Statics’ with Georg Graewe and John Butcher, and trio with Rachel Musson and Liam Noble
Mark and John Edwards play as a rhythm section with many groups including Trevor Watts Quartet, ‘Foils’ with Frank Paul Schubert and Matthius Muller, Mathew Shipp’s ‘London Quartet,’ also playing with Fred Frith, Wadada Leo Smith and Shabaka Hutchins amongst many others.
Christian Marclay’s ‘Everyday’ project includes Mark with Christian, Steve Beresford, John Butcher and Alan Tomlinson, he also works regularly in the projects of Mikolaj Trzaska, Gail Brand, Paul Dunmall, Peter Jaquemyn, and Simon H. Fell.
Mark has performed in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Morrocco, South Africa, Mozambique and Turkey, playing at many major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Glastonbury, Womad, Vancouver, Isle of Wight, Roskilde, Berlin Jazz days, Mulhouse, Luz, Minniapolis, Banlieue Bleues, Son D`hiver and Hurta Cordel.
He has released over 120 CDs.
“…A gifted player capable of seamless movement between free-rhythms and propulsive swing.”
Thanks to Paul O’Donnell and Jeffrey Weeter of the University College Cork Concert Series; to Kevin Terry and Athoulis Tsiopani for helping out on the evening; to the Music Research Seminar Series (run by John Godfrey, Juniper Hill and Melanie L Marshall) for hosting the talk by Matana; to the Head of Music, Mel Mercier; to Carmel Daly for administrative support; and to John Hough for the technical and photographic work. I’d like to thank Jesse Ronneau who worked to host many improvised music events at the School over the years. This was the last concert, before he moved on to greener pastures, with his involvement, and his support of, and belief in, this and other projects has been invaluable.
And a very, very big thanks to Matana and Mark for their incredible musicianship and generosity. I find Matana’s work daring, original and provocative—her sound is by turns humorous and beautiful, and always compelling—and Mark is about the finest drummer I have had the pleasure of working with. I hope I managed to keep up with them on the evening, and hope to play again.
Finally, thanks to all who came to support this event!
Get ready for a truly international musical exploration of technique, craft and tradition by three extraordinary improvisers. Chicago-born, New York-based saxophonist Matana Roberts, leading Birmingham-based drummer Mark Sanders, and Cork-based Korean-American guitarist Han-earl Park perform as part of the University College Cork Concert Series on Thursday, 25 November 2010 at 8:00 pm in the Ó Riada Hall, UCC Music Building, Sundays Well, Cork. Tickets are €10 (€5 concessions) and available from Music, School of Music and Theatre, UCC.
The event marks Matana Roberts’ first performance in Ireland. Hailed as the one of the “brightest lights of the new Chicago wave” (The Wire) and an “eloquent, dramatic tone-warping free-jazz artist, right out of Ayler’s anti-bebop tradition” (John Fordham, The Guardian), Matana Roberts represents the younger generation of African-American experimentalists. She is a member of the New York chapter of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the Black Rock Coalition. Roberts’ work traverses jazz, rock, music theater and acoustical engagements with architecture. Coin Coin, a multi-movement “blood narrative” about her family tree including Marie Therese Coin Coin, is widely acknowledged as her most important composition.
Mark Sanders has been heard in Ireland on tour with the great Charles Gayle and William Parker, performing in groups with Paul Dunmall, and with Paul G. Smyth and Hannah Marshall at the National Concert Hall. In free improvisation and avant-rock circles, Sanders is arguably the most sought-after drummer of his generation. A sensitive and skillful collaborator, he has been called upon by musicians as diverse as Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, John Butcher, John Tchacai, Peter Brötzmann and Jah Wobble.
Han-earl Park teaches improvisation at the School of Music and Theatre, UCC. As an improviser, he is fascinated by the collision of improvisative traditions, ideologies and agencies, engaging on-stage with the high-energy free jazz of Paul Dunmall, avant-rock back-beats of Charles Hayward, downtown ambient noise of Kato Hideki, and, shortly, with Richard Barrett’s patchwork complexity and Leo Smith’s creative world music.
“I was very excited when I heard that Matana Roberts was to play here! She is undoubtedly one of the brightest voices in improvisation today, and we’re incredibly lucky that her first performance in Ireland will be in Cork. The trio with the incredible Mark Sanders and Cork’s own musical powerhouse Han-earl Park is going to be pure dynamite. UCC has been a centre for improv for years, but this is going to be one of my top highlights!” says John Godfrey, lecturer and composer at the School of Music and Theatre, UCC.
With a trio representing diverse strands of present-day improvised musics, prepare for a performance that fragments and recombines musical histories, and explores the revolutionary potential of real-time music.
Matana Roberts will also be presenting a talk, ‘Coin Coin: a Blood Narrative in Blacks, Browns, Reds and Blues’ at the UCC Music Building at 11:00 am on 25 November 2010. The talk is free, and open to the public.
concert: Matana Roberts, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders
Date: Thursday, 25 November 2010.
Time: 8:00 pm.
Venue: Ó Riada Hall, UCC Music Building, Sundays Well, Cork, Ireland.
Performers: Matana Roberts (saxophone), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Mark Sanders (drums).
Tickets: €10 (€5) from Music, School of Music and Theatre, UCC, tel: +353 (0)21 490 4530, email: email@example.com.
talk: Matana Roberts ‘Coin Coin: a Blood Narrative in Blacks, Browns, Reds and Blues’
Date: Thursday, 25 November 2010.
Time: 11:00 am.
Venue: Ó Riada Hall, UCC Music Building, Sundays Well, Cork, Ireland.
performers’ bios (150 words each)
Chicago born Matana Roberts is a saxophonist/composer/performer who works in various mediums of improvised sound and performance, and has been active in New York since 2001. A Vanlier and Brecht Forum fellow, and a 2008 and 2009 nominee for an Alpert Award in the Arts, she has appeared on numerous recordings, and performances worldwide with her own, as well as collaborative, ensembles such as Sticks and Stones, Burnt Sugar, Exploding Star Orchestra, Oliver Lake Big Band, and the groups of Julius Hemphill, Myra Melford, Jayne Cortez, Merce Cunningham and Savion Glover. In 2008, the success of her leader debut, The Chicago Project, led critics to call Roberts “one to watch” (Jazzwise) and “an eloquent, dramatic, tone warping free jazz artist right out of Ayler’s anti bop tradition” (The Guardian). She has also recorded as a side woman on recordings with a large smattering of influential ensembles.
Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) works from/within/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 Denmark, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and the USA.
He is involved in ongoing collaborations with Bruce Coates, and with Franziska Schroeder, long-standing associations with Alex Fiennes and Murray Campbell. Recent performances include Mathilde 253 (Park, Charles Hayward and Ian Smith) with Lol Coxhill, a duo concert with Paul Dunmall, a trio with Kato Hideki and Katie O’Looney, and the performance of Pauline Oliveros’ ‘Droniphonia’ alongside the composer. He has appeared at festivals including Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology Festival (California), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), Sonorities (Belfast) and VAIN Live Art (Oxford).
Recently heard in Ireland with saxophonist Charles Gayle and bassist William Parker, and with saxophonist Paul Dunmall and guitarists Han-earl Park and Jamie Smith, Mark Sanders has played with most of the UK’s major improvisers including Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Paul Rutherford, Barry Guy, Lol Coxhill, Phil Wachsmann, John Butcher and Keith Tippett.
He has also played with Roswell Rudd, Tim Berne, Ned Rothenberg, Charles Gayle, Sirone, William Parker, Mark Dresser, Butch Morris, John Tchacai, Leo Smith, Peter Brötzmann, Jah Wobble and Springheel Jack. He is a member of The ZFP with Carlos Zingaro, Simon Fell and Marcio Mattos, a trio with Frode Gjerstad and John Edwards, and a trio with Lotte Anker and Peter Friis Nielsen. Sanders is also a member of SPEEQ with Hasse Poulsen, Luc Ex and Phil Minton / Sidsel Endresen.
Sanders has released over 100 CDs, and has performed at numerous festivals across the world.