Today another interesting item that falls somewhere between new music (concert), avant improvisation and electro-acoustic music. It's a good one from Mutable Music's download or disk series, by the Particle Ensemble (Self-Titled).
The ensemble features Thomas Buckner, baritone vocalist, who has made something of a name for himself (deservedly so) as being a fulcrum point in the improv/avant classical nexus that has been developing in new directions recently. Avant reedist J D Parran appears here on the bass sax, alto flute, bamboo flute and mbira. Mari Kimura is on violin, and Earl Howard provides the electronics and performs on saxello.
The album is in three parts, beginning with Howard's "Frond", followed by J D Parran's "Pundititus", and concluding with Earl and Tom's "Duo Improvisation." These are live concert recordings.
The music is filled with ambiance without being the equivalent of a mood ring. Buckner's unique vocal style and excellence in both pre-planned and improvisational realms is a critical part of what goes on. J D Parran creates parts with care, a keen ear and a rich pallet of timbres. He varies between "free" sounding reedwork and more compositional lines with ease. Earl Howard brings in electronics that integrate well with the instruments yet provide complex and evocative timbres. Mari Kimura fits in with a flittingly yet communicatively free conciseness for the first work.
This is music that brings rewards for concentrated listening. The full quartet, trio and duo segments all fill the musical ear with complexity and space, narrative thrust and expressive push. The music flows more than floods. It is not without energy yet it is not energy music. It has classical parceling and improvisational interjectability.
It is highly engrossing and yet accessible on a basic level, avant without an avant aggressivity. It partakes of the sensibilities of classic AACM work and the horizontal qualities of improvisational Stockhausen, yet sounds like neither.
Excellent! I would recommend you hear this if you want to explore what good things are being done in the interstices between avant classical and avant jazz.
Copy and paste this URL in your browser for more information and to order the music: http://mutablemusic.com/mm/particleinfo