AMN Reviews: Fred Frith, Sudhu Tewari, Cenk Ergün – Lock Me Up, Lock Me Down (CARRIER054)

LMULMD_digital_cover

Fred Frith is a pioneer of the extended electric guitar. Take a glance at his discography of over four hundred titles and it becomes clear that Frith has successfully inserted himself into an incredibly diverse number of contemporary sound worlds. From bands like Henry Cow, Skeleton Crew and Massacre to improvising with the likes of John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, and Evan Parker to his compositions for electric guitar quartet, the Ensemble Modern, the Arditti Quartet and so much more! 

One of Frith’s many collaborations has been with Sudhu Tewari in the duo Normal. Tewari is a sound artist focused on audio electronics, interactive installations, invented musical instruments and sound sculptures that utilize whatever materials are on hand. They recently presented and discussed a number of their invented instruments at the Center for New Music in San Francisco.

“Lock Me Up, Lock Me Down” is a new release from Fred Frith, Sudhu Tewari and Cenk Ergün. The material for this album was recorded about ten years ago as an improvisation with Frith on guitar, Tewari playing recuperated junk and electronics and Ergün on electronics.  However, this is not an album of a group improvisation. “Lock Me Up, Lock Me Down” is a long form work that uses the original improvised studio material as building blocks for an entirely new piece.

Cenk Ergün is a Turkish American composer/improviser currently based in Berlin. Ergün has written a wide range of acoustic and electronic works. A wonderful album of two of Ergün’s compositions for string quartet performed by the JACK Quartet was released earlier this year. During the lock down Ergün revisited the ten year old session and then went to work. He created a sound library of various samples from the original trio session. The samples range from a second to several minutes. Samples from the library may be heard in their raw form or heavily processed. Ergün used this library to very carefully assemble “Lock Me Up, Lock Me Down”, which combines elements of rock, noise, improvisation, electronic processing and digital studio composition.

Street Piano_photo by Carly McLane

While “Lock Me Up, Lock Me Down” has been divided into seven tracks it really is a continuous forty-four-minute piece. I think it is best to listen to it as a single listening experience. The piece has a mesmerizing almost dream like quality to it.  It’s sounds move from the chaotic and noisy to the lyrical and harmonic, often drifting between multiple textures. There are sections that focus on developing very specific elements from the original session.  For example, the title track is all Frith reassembled by Ergün layering different moments from the original studio session. “Stay Tuned“ features Tewari’s mallet work on his “street piano” accompanied by birds and the occasional passing car interrupted by bursts from the studio session.  The piece ends with “Dem” which focus’s on the final sounds Frith made in the original session. The gentle de-tuned arpeggios from Frith’s guitar unfold at a glacial pace into long sustained chords that slowly transform back into their original form.

“Lock Me Up, Lock Me Down” is a wonderful listen! It successfully combines so many different sonic elements that it is likely to appeal to a very broad range of creative music listeners. Treat your ears and give it a listen.

Highly Recommended!

Chris De Chiara

NorCal Noise Fest XV

From NorCal Noise Fest

6 DAYS OF NOISE, EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC, ODD ELECTRONICS, & OUTSIDER SOUND ART CELEBRATING OUR 15th YEAR!! Funded in part by the Microgrant Program of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission with support from the City and County of Sacramento, California.

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 8pm
Naked Lounge Downtown, 1111 H Street, Sacramento
DELAYED SLEEP (sacramento), MERDIQUE (seattle,wa), klowd (sacramento), SMITE! (sacramento), KEVIN CORCORAN and WES STEED (sacramento).

Thursday, Sept. 29, 7:30pm
Wm. J. Geery Theatre, 2130 L Street, Sacramento
NIGHT NURSE (sacramento), PETE VON PETRIN (san francisco), CHOPSTICK (sacramento), VENETIAN VEIL (sacramento)

Thursday, Sept. 29, 8pm
Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market St. (@ 6th Street), San Francisco
OutSound presents Luggage Store Gallery New Music Series:
XOME (sacramento), + – ERROR (Germany), MARLO EGGPLANT (olympia,wa), DARYL SHAWN/LAURIE AMAT (new york/san francisco)

Thursday, Sept. 29, 11PM
KDVS FM 90.3, live stream from Davis, CA
MATT KRETZMANN (sacramento), CHAD E. WILLIAMS (sacramento), LIVER CANCER (rocklin), WES STEED (sacramento)

Friday, Sept. 30, 7pm
Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento
INSTAGON (sacramento), MARLO EGGPLANT (olympia,wa), + – ERROR (Germany), NOISEPSALM (camino), CJ BOROSQUE (richmond), DARYL SHAWN/LAURIE AMAT (new york/san francisco), ENDIF (reno,nv), ONE INFINITE LOOP (medford,or), DESTROY DATE (los angeles), LORDS OF OUTLAND (san francisco)

Saturday, Oct. 1, 3pm
Sol Collective, 2574 21st St., Sacramento
BIG CITY ORCHESTRA (san francisco), +DOG+ (los angeles), XOME (sacramento), ACTUARY (los angeles), THOMAS DIMUZIO (san francisco), XDUGEF (los angeles), LIVER CANCER (rocklin), UBERKUNST (sacramento), OVERDOSE THE KATATONIC (seattle,wa), TRALPHAZ (san francisco), MOE! STAIANO (san francisco), ENDOMETRIUM CUNTPLOW (northridge), THE DISAPPEARANCE OF PLANET DWARF PLUTO
(los angeles), DETH SIKE (seattle,wa), STRIATIONS (concord), CARTOON JUSTICE (san francisco)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2011, 4pm
Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento
VANKMEN (oakland), HOLLY HERNDON (oakland), MEDICINE CABINET (tracy), BLOOD INTO WATER (san jose), THIRTEEN HURTS (pleasant view,co), HYPNOTIC INJECTION (sacramento), ORBLESS (oakland), WELTSCHMERZ (san francisco), BABY BEAST (vancouver,CANADA), THEE AHMISH (huntington beach)

Monday, Oct. 3, 7:30pm
Nebraska Monday Weekly Experimental Jazz Series
Welcomes NoiseFest XV Closing Night!
Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento
RITUAL WASTE (sacramento), LUCIO MENEGON (new york,ny), ROSS HAMMOND (sacramento), DONKEY FLYBYE of Smegma (sacramento), JOLTHROWER (wet planet)

Related Article:

Dissonance Is The New Harmony in Atlanta

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NPR Music covers the burgeoning “noise” scene in Atlanta.

Jangling collages of sound, atonal melodies and jumbled percussion, avant-garde music has gone through a lot of bizarre phases. And now, “noise music” has become accepted in indie-rock circles through easy digital access.

In the birthplace of R.E.M., dissonance is the new harmony. Members of the underground scene of Athens, Ga., push the boundaries of sound.

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