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Andrew Raffo Dewar Update

Source: Andrew Raffo Dewar.

On 9 February, my new trio CD Reflejos IV-VII with longtime collaborators (working as a trio since 2005) John Hughes (contrabass) and Chad Popple (drums, vibraphone) will be released by the new North Carolina-based label Waveform Alphabet. This is the follow-up to our 2018 album on pfMENTUM, featuring the four newest pieces in my Reflejos series, which explores my take on the jazz trio via compositions that use reflections, mirror images, and fractured cells of musical forms. The artwork is lovely, featuring a painting by my colleague Bryce Speed.

Since I last wrote in June 2022, I’ve had wonderful experiences at two lengthy residencies in Ucross, Wyoming and Stockholm, Sweden, met amazing new friends/colleagues, re-connected with old ones, finished projects, started projects, performed for an in-person audience for the first time since November 2019, etc.

In addition to my work w/ Phillip on a couple exciting projects you’ll eventually hear more about (and recording 10+ hours of duo music we need to surf through), I worked on new ideas of my own (one of which is quite promising, surprisingly), took part in several enjoyable new collaborations, and met some wonderful new friends and colleagues, including Inki from Iceland, Louise mentioned above, the great Swedish composer Ragnar Grippe (who worked at the GRM alongside Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaeffer in the ’70s, and whose podcast about his work I recommend heartily), Bay Area noisesmith Victoria Shen, and Quebecois composer France Jobin.

I recorded a set of electronics duos with composer/improvisor Palle Dahlstedt on a beautifully peaceful island off the coast of Gothenberg, which should be released on Modulisme later in 2023. At Palle’s invitation, I also had the pleasure of presenting my work and talking to students at the University of Gothenberg.

Phillip Schulze and I had a trio recording session and wonderful conversations with the legendary Paul Pignon, who co-founded the Belgrade electronic music studio in the late 1960s and helped design the EMS Synthi 100. Paul also invited me to take part in his “Live, Together” project, wherein a cybernetic feedback network with a live audio input into the system I made with my Serge modular at EMS in Stockholm “conversed” with a similarly constructed feedback network Paul made on the Synthi 100 in Belgrade via the internet – great fun. I love Paul’s term for these generative electronic creatures – “zoetic engines” – wonderful!

Another long-brewing collaboration also bore fruit on this visit to Sweden, with composer Marcus Wrango. We recorded several hours of “live construction” duets with Serge modular synthesizers, building up our sounds in real-time, and also performed a “patch from scratch” concert at Fylkingen, during a wonderfully attended modular synth night (my first in-person performance with that many people in the room since November 2019!). I suspect we have one if not two albums in the can from these recordings, once we whittle them down and shape them.

On the horizon for later in 2023 is my first full-length album of solo Serge modular electronics (the first two parts from my who-knows-how-long series At the Edge of the World) on HAHA, and the long-delayed-but-finally-actually-happening 45rpm vinyl LP release of my strange, almost-folky acoustic quartet piece Strata (2011) on Rastascan Records.