AMN Reviews: John Tilbury / Keith Rowe / Kjell Bjørgeengen – Sissel [SOFA 563]

The fundamental and inescapable fact of our existence is that we are finite beings conscious of our finitude, and no more so than when someone near to us dies. This is the background to Sissel, a quietly moving performance by pianist John Tilbury, electric guitarist/electronics artist Keith Rowe, and Norwegian video artist Kjell Bjørgeengen, who collaborated with Tilbury and Rowe in the capacity of producer. The single piece that makes up the album was recorded as part of the Moving Sound concert series in Stavanger, Norway, in 2016, shortly after the death of Bjørgeengen’s wife Sissel, to whom the album is dedicated.

Taking as their inspiration the Poussin painting “The Gathering of the Ashes of Phocion by His Widow,” Tilbury and Rowe created a spaciously meditative sound environment that seems to move at the measured pace of reflective thought. The focus of the piece falls on Tilbury’s piano lines, which are less lines than intermittent handfuls of resonant notes sounding and fading away—sonic fragments shoring up the piece amid the ruins of silence, giving it a deeply affecting emotional definition and weight.

It’s possible to hear these sounds vanishing into silence as an allegory for the process of working through loss, a gradual process that approaches, but never really arrives at, absolute closure. There’s always some residue that remains, call it memory or the shadow of nothingness that lies across the image we reflect back to ourselves in moments of lucidity.

Daniel Barbiero

Dusted Reviews

Keith Rowe performing solo at the AMPLIFY 2008...
Image via Wikipedia

From Dusted:

Artist: Peter Wright
Album: An Angel Fell Where the Kestrels Hover
Label: Spekk
Review date: Jan. 11, 2010

Artist: Keith Rowe / Sachiko M
Album: Contact
Label: Erstwhile
Review date: Jan. 8, 2010

Artist: Burkhard Stangl / Kai Fagaschinski
Album: Musik — Ein Porträt In Sehnsucht
Label: Erstwhile
Review date: Jan. 7, 2010

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New Keith Rowe and Sachiko M on Erstwhile Records

From Erstwhile Records:

Keith Rowe and Sachiko M are two of the most pivotal and crucial musicians in experimental music today. Contact marks their first meeting as a duo, consisting of their complete unedited sessions, both live and studio. Rowe and Sachiko have primarily travelled parallel paths over the last decade, occasionally intersecting. They both recorded crucial duo CDs with Toshi Nakamura in 2000-2001, first Sachiko with Do, then Keith soon after with Weather Sky. In 2004, they both took part in the 230 minute long quartet set documented on ErstLive 005, along with Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide. In September 2008, Rowe played four sets in three nights in the AMPLIFY 2008: light festival in Tokyo. The festival marked Rowe’s fourth trip to Japan in his 40+ year career, and the primary purpose behind his visit was to record in duo for the first time with Sachiko. Contact contains the full unedited sessions from these two widely admired musicians who have deeply respected each other for the last decade.

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French Jazz Venue Under Financial Pressure

This information comes from a music journalist in France, discussing the potential closing of Instants Chavirés, a Paris venue for improvised music.

On Thursday July 2nd 2009 we were shocked to learn that the balance of the operational subsidy allocated to our Association by the General Council of the Seine-Saint-Denis Department had been slashed by no less than 25,000€ – a drop of more of 19%. This in addition to a 7,000€ cut in our municipal subsidy (at the beginning of the year, the town of Montreuil had announced a reduction of 15,000€, 7000€ being the amount eventually decided upon by the end of June). This means that we have lost 32,000€ in 2009.

The lack of funding has forced us to cancel our Autumn season of concerts, video projections and exhibitions, in its entirety. Even maintaining a strict minimum of programmed events would lead to a budgetary deficit that we simply could not contemplate.

We maintain that an intermediary cultural space like the Instants Chavirés is an essential complement to existing institutions, and that it has made a major contribution to the diversity of the cultural offer, playing an essential role in discovering and promoting art for over 18 years.

We urge you then to sign the online petition (, and write to Claude Bartolone, President of the General Council of Seine-Saint-Denis, and / or to the Mayor of Montreuil, Dominique Voynet, to inform them of what the Instants Chavirés represents in the local, national and international cultural landscape, and express your own commitment to the lasting nature of this project.

You can address your correspondence directly to us at the following email address soutiens[at], or by regular mail to Instants Chavirés, 7 Rue Richard Lenoir 93100 Montreuil. We undertake to forward it to the parties concerned.

Association Muzziques – les Instants Chavirés

Choice of comments:

-Evan Parker : Les Instants Chavirés is known throughout the world and through its work people see Montreuil as a very hip part of France.

-Mark Dresser : Instants Chavirés is a cultural institution of great importance. It’s budget should not be compromised by the general economic crises. It is short sighted in the extreme. I fully support this venue and those artists and public it serves.

Keith Rowe : Instants Chavirés is amongst the most important venues for new
music, its loss would make Paris and France all the poorer.

-Martin Davidson : It would be better to scrap nuclear weapons rather than
Les Instants Chavirés !

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Unnamed Music Festival in the UK, 11-13 June, 2009

From Bagatellen:

Just announced at the site for his Another Timbre label, Simon Reynell will be curating a new festival (his first?) this year in London and Leeds. Running at two performance spaces — Oto and Seven Artspace — the predominantly UK lineup is certainly inspiring, with some excellent combinations of talent.

Of particular note: a group on the first evening situating Benedict Drew with Tom Chant, John Edwards and violinist Angharad Davies. Jez Riley French with Patrick Farmer. Also a not-to-miss trio of Keith Rowe with Martin Küchen and Seymour Wright (two performances on separate evenings). Some manifest potential there for three great nights of music.

Details as published at AT:

thursday 11th june
cafe oto, ashwin street, london E8 3DL

* set 1: Sebastian Lexer / Aleks Kolkowski
* set 2: Angharad Davies / Tom Chant / Benedict Drew / John Edwards: improv set
* set 3: Rhodri Davies / Louisa Martin / Lee Patterson Lucio Capece
* set 4: Angharad Davies / Tom Chant / Benedict Drew / John Edwards: performance of John Cage’s ‘Four 6?

friday 12th june
cafe oto, ashwin street, london E8 3DL

* keith rowe / martin küchen / seymour wright
* bechir saade / clive bell / matt milton
* jamie coleman / paul abbott / ute kanngiesser / grundik kasyansky

saturday 13th june
seven artspace, harrogate road, leeds, LS7 3PD

* keith rowe / martin küchen / seymour wright
* jez riley french / patrick farmer

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Dusted Reviews

From Dusted:

Artist: Tim Hecker
Album: An Imaginary Country
Label: Kranky

Artist: Brethren of the Free Spirit
Album: The Wolf Also Shall Dwell with the Lamb
Label: Important

Artist: Wadada Leo Smith
Album: Procession of the Great Ancestry
Label: Nessa

Artist: Keith Rowe / Keith Rowe & Taku Unami
Album: Keith Rowe and Taku Unami / Keith Rowe
Label: Erstwhile

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Dusted Reviews

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt in Christchurch Ca...
Image via Wikipedia

From From Dusted:

Artist: Keith Rowe / Keith Rowe & Taku Unami
Album: Keith Rowe and Taku Unami / Keith Rowe
Label: Erstwhile
Review date: Mar. 4, 2009

Artist: Faust
Album: C’est Com…Com…Complique
Label: Bureau B
Review date: Mar. 3, 2009

Artist: Arvo Pärt
Album: In Principio
Label: ECM
Review date: Feb. 27, 2009

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The Squid’s Ear Reviews

Alexander von Schlippenbach, German jazz pianist
Image via Wikipedia

From the Squid’s Ear:

Alfred 23 Harth / Hans Joachim Irmler / Günter Müller – Taste Tribes
– Darren Bergstein

Alexander von Schlippenbach Alexander von Schlippenbach – Friulian Sketches
– Kurt Gottschalk

Michel F. Côté / Isaiah Ceccarelli Michel F. Côté / Isaiah Ceccarelli – Vulgarités
(Ambiances Magnetiques)
– Dave Madden

Peter Brotzmann / Fred Lonberg-Holm Peter Brotzmann / Fred Lonberg-Holm – The Brain of the Dog in Section
– Kurt Gottschalk

AMM AMM – Trinity
(Matchless Recordings)
– Jeph Jerman

Keith Rowe Keith Rowe – ErstLive 007
– Jeph Jerman

Gerry Hemingway/Thomas Lehn (Tom & Gerry) Gerry Hemingway/Thomas Lehn (Tom & Gerry) – Kinetics
(Auricle Records)
– Jeph Jerman

(Creative Sources)
– Darren Bergstein

Joelle Leandre Joelle Leandre – Live in Israel
(Kadima Collective)
– Kurt Gottschalk

Keith Rowe / Taku Unami Keith Rowe / Taku Unami – ErstLive 006
– Darren Bergstein

John Butcher / Gerry Hemingway John Butcher / Gerry Hemingway – Buffalo Pearl
– Darren Bergstein

Philip Jeck Philip Jeck – Suite: Live in Liverpool
– Max Schaefer

Novi_Sad Novi_Sad – Jailbirds
– Max Schaefer

Gutbucket Gutbucket – A Modest Proposal
– Jeph Jerman

Imai Kazuo Trio Imai Kazuo Trio – Blood
– Jeph Jerman

Zeitkratzer & Carsten Nicolai Zeitkratzer & Carsten Nicolai – Electronics
(Zeitkratzer Records)
– Max Schaefer

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Thomas Ankersmit at Lampo

From left to right, an E ?   alto saxophone, a...Image via Wikipedia From Chicago’s Lampo:

SEPT 20 9pm
Thomas Ankersmit, whiz kid and Friend of Phill see below , makes his long-awaited Lampo debut. He combines abstract, intensely focused saxophone playing with hyper-kinetic analogue synth and PowerBook improvisation.

Here, he presents a solo concert for alto sax, Serge modular synthesizer and computer. And he ll employ several highly directional loudspeakers—a new component in his work. In performance, Ankersmit walks around the space with the saxophone, reflecting sound from the walls and the floor. The directional speakers project sound to different spots in the room and set distant objects in motion, making them resonate with an ultrasonic beam. He places preparations on them that start to buzz and sing like insects.

For Ankersmit, the set-up is very much an interconnection between the different parts, where digital steers analogue, computer recordings are processed by tape techniques, the synthesizer processes fragmented recordings of its own signals, and the saxophone blends with the electronic sound.
Thomas Ankersmit b. 1979, Leiden, the Netherlands is a 29-year old saxophonist, electronic musician and installation artist, now based in Berlin. He also creates installation pieces that use sound, infrasound and modifications to the acoustic characters of spaces that disrupt the listener’s perception of space and their presence within it. He s a frequent collaborator with New York minimalist Phill Niblock and Milan-based electroacoustic improviser Giuseppe Ielasi, and other improv partners include Gert-Jan Prins, Thomas Lehn, Keith Rowe, Kevin Drumm and Axel Dörner.

Presented with support from the Consulate General of the Netherlands, Chicago

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