The story of Steve Roach’s ambient landmark Structures From Silence


Structures from Silence
Structures from Silence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FACT Magazine celebrates the 30-year anniversary of Roach’s landmark recording.

Structures From Silence might be less trumpeted than, say, Eno’s Ambient records, but in terms of emotional affect and textural flair, it more than trumps them. Released in 1984 on Fortuna, this three-track collection of brocaded synth composition is a world away from the tacky lovebombs lying undetonated in new age thrift bins. Instead, Structures From Silence offers an ambient music that, although subtle and slow-moving, throbs with life – music which, like a flagging Chinese lantern, appeared to have gently bobbed down from the cosmos.

Anthony Braxton’s Trillium J is the future classic

Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton (Photo credit: digital_freak)

From extended techniques:

I fail to describe my feelings having never experienced anything like this before. Perhaps one could compare Trillium J to Richard Foreman’s plays in the way it captures the absurd, the unexpectedness and ambiguity of contemporary world. Weave these into the voices of 12 vocalists and the sounds of 12 instrumental soloists with full orchestra, excellent acting, pseudo-philosophical digressions, visual projections, young skipping-rope Jazzy Jumpers and two of New York’s best contemporary dance improvisers Rachel Bernsen and Melanie Maar, and you get the mix.

AMN Reviews: Danny Norbury – Light in August (Flau)

R-150-1831444-1246368131Obtaining a copy of this Japanese re-release with its added material brings one pretty much up to date on the young composer´s commercial output. Manchester´s Danny Norbury explains that “the urge to write music happens very rarely, and the desire to record what has been written is rarer still”. This is not a bad thing in an era of so much sound and fury signifying nothing.

Norbury composes small longings and heartbreaks and though his forte is the cello, he also performs on piano, violin, perhaps viola too, even harmonica. Bent in monkish concentration like a manuscript illuminator, his piano is cautious, his strings keening. Norbury´s pastoral Light in August actually hearkens to several seasons, a light shower in spring, a chill winter being kept at bay on “I Turn Off the Last Light and Close the Door”. And though emotionally fraught throughout, he wreaks hope, not despair. Tragedy implies necessity and unalterable finality; like so many of Norbury´s compositions, “This Night is For You and For Me” instead gathers itself from lachrymose to transcendent.

“Speak, Memory,” the opening track of  his Dusk EP, is bittersweet and incomplete – memory, that “spiral of unwinding things” as Vladimir Nabokov calls it in the memoir from which this track borrows its title, simply cannot recollect all the pieces of the past. Light in August slants out of sight with”Fragment 2,” his “sound response” to Angela Carter´s novella Bluebeard for Wistrec´s “Book Report Series”.

Stephen Fruitman


Keir Neuringer Album Release and Tour

coverCeremonies Out of the Air, a new solo sax recording from Keir Neuringer (reviewed here) will be released this week on New Atlantis Records.

Keir will also be touring for the next couple of months:

4/22 NEW HAVEN: Never Ending Books w/ Matlock/Cretella duo
4/23 MONTREAL: La Vitrola w/ Clarinet Panic
4/24 OTTAWA: Gallery 101 w/ Clarinet Panic
4/25 KINGSTON: The Artel w/ Clarinet Panic
4/25 GUELPH: Silence
4/27 TORONTO: Oz Studios w/ CCMC, Clarinet Panic
4/28 BUFFALO: Hallwalls w/ Kevin Caine
4/30 ITHACA: Angry Mom Records
5/01 ALBANY: Upstate Artists Guild
5/04 PHILADELPHIA: Rotunda w/ Devin Hoff

William Parker (bass), Muhammad Ali (drums), & chamber ensemble
PHILADELPHIA: First Unitarian Church
5/11 w/ Odean Pope (tenor sax)
5/12 w/ Marshall Allen (alto sax)
5/13 w/ Dave Burrell (piano)
5/14 w/ Bobby Zankel (alto sax)

5/15 DETROIT: Trinosophes
5/16 KALAMAZOO: Corner Record Shop tbc
5/17 DUBUQUE: Monk’s
5/18 IOWA CITY: Public Space One
5/19 CHICAGO tbc
5/20 COLUMBIA MO: houseshow
5/21 ST LOUIS: Cafe Ventana
5/22 LAFAYETTE IN: Black Sparrow tbc
5/23 BLOOMINGTON IN: houseshow
5/25 CLEVELAND: Guide to Kulchur

All About Jazz Reviews

Dave Liebman
Cover of Dave Liebman

From All About Jazz:

Ensemble 5
The Summary Of 4 (Leo Records)

Håkon Storm
Fosfor (NORCD)

Lorenzo Feliciati extended analysis
Colin Edwin – Lorenzo Feliciati: Twinscapes (RareNoiseRecords)

Christine Wodrascka/ Jean Luc Cappozzo/ Gerry Hemingway
Grey Matter (NoBusiness Records)

Jeff Denson & Joshua White
I’ll Fly Away (pfMentum)

Alex Weiss
Fighter Planes & Praying Mantis (OutNow Recordings)

Medeski, Martin & Wood + Nels Cline extended analysis
Medeski, Martin & Wood + Nels Cline: Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2 (The Woodstock Sessions)

Onaje Allan Gumbs
Bloodlife: Solo Piano Improvisations Based on the Melodies of Ronald Shannon Jackson (Ejano Records)

Orrin Evans‘ Captain Black Big Band
Mother’s Touch (Posi-Tone Records)

Machine Mass feat. Dave Liebman
Inti (Moonjune Records)