Music by Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton.
Recorded live, March 26, 2013 at Freddy’s Bar, Brooklyn.
Performance presented as part of On The Way Out curated by Michael Evans and Anders Nilsson.
Recorded by Don Mount.
[Han-earl] Park is one of those scary polymath guys who seems to have a tremendous facility for music, both improvising and composing it, and he has played in many groups and at many festivals, appearing around the globe in seemingly ubiquitous fashion. Scariest of all is his intense and speedy guitar technique, which on parts of this album presents a rush of tangled information that would require a bank of dedicated computers to solve it…. Never too “glib” in his phrasing and throws in multiple fishhooks and other barbs to snag our ears, otherwise we might be tempted to switch off in the face of his effortless glides and spiky dense riffs. It’s also good to find him in this duo set-up where the detail of his playing can be more clearly heard than in Mathilde 253. The Englishman Barrett is also a composer, like Park sometimes situated in an academic and teaching context, and is no stranger to using electronics in the live situation having formed the FURT duo with Paul Obermayer as long ago as 1986…. Regardless of whatever intricate and dazzling shapes are thrown at him like crystal spears by his sparring partner, he responds in kind with impossibly twisted gurgles, shrieks and salivated electronic utterances. Throughout album, a lively and sizzling session of fierce interplay is staged between these two boxing kangaroos, with sqwawks and yelps a-plenty as another blow is landed on the respective muzzle or snout. The striking thing is that neither player appears to be breaking into a sweat at any time, and I have the abiding mental image of two unfazed chess players sitting in a deep-freeze unit, weaving complex theorems while remaining almost immobile in large leather armchairs. The music has that degree of rigid control, of brittle precision, even when the structure appears at its maddest and the musical data is flying wildly beyond the point of interpretation. The value of this music as a form of invented language is emphasised by the odd titles, ‘tolur’, ‘tricav’, ‘ankpla’, ‘uettet’… as if counting upwards in Venusian. [Read the rest…]
Numbers is a complex melange of retro/futurist synth sounds, glitch electronica, guitar-sourced whammy-bar pitch-bending and hard-scrabble picking over bridge and pickups: a volatile stream of fractal note-data and complex electro-acoustics, all slippery switchbacks and other such abrupt transitions.
This makes for 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, carry far more weight than developmental foresightedness or melodic thrust: it’s music of the moment, a process of constantly tweaked evolutionary recombination.
The duo are tenacious in their work of sonic abiogenesis, and the six Numbers pieces are all longish…. The sound events comprised by tracks like “Ankpla” and “Uettet” are as disjointed as they are contiguous, but the overriding sense impression is that each whole flows nicely, and the album as a whole rewardingly absorbs attention. [Read the rest…]
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…]
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.