Category Archives: into the maelstrom

harp on fire: Rhodri Davies

Recently I’ve been watching YouTube clips of Max Wall performing in his role as Professor Wallofski – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEU8Hr4nqV8. The weirdness of antiquity hangs over this kind of comedy but unlike other entertainers of the Music Hall era, Wall’s influence (on … Continue reading

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falling under a charm: Rie Nakajima

Café Oto, London, 22 August 2012, after 9.00pm: a warm night; the place is quite full. A low table, facing the stage area. Sometimes children lay out old and unwanted toys on the pavement, sit together and hope to sell … Continue reading

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Lol Coxhill, Steve Lacy, Evan Parker: those three blokes

One of the hazards of writing difficult pieces at speed is that assumptions can turn into errors. An email from Evan Parker has set me right on the issue of the “Three Blokes”: “It seems almost churlish to offer a … Continue reading

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end of play, for Lol Coxhill

Late one night in March of this year I was sitting in an eerie hotel within Tokyo’s Haneda airport being interrogated for a Japanese magazine (see http://onbanjidai.blogspot.co.uk/). The subject of the interview was music and comedy and despite my fear … Continue reading

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to rush down

“Any old wood will do,” wrote Henri Michaux in 1949. The drum needed no skin. Just as long as your whole life could be concentrated into the impact of fingers, hand, fast, faster, less fast, slowly, very slowly. Silence was … Continue reading

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mouth of shadows

Andre Masson: Automatic Drawing (1920s) “she speaks to me a language so soft that at first I do not understand . . .” (Aimé Césaire, Son of Thunder, 1948) “I have always wondered why automatic writing has not been invoked … Continue reading

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spooky drums

There are those who would prefer to uncouple improv from the ties that connect it to jazz. Hearing Han Bennink play solo recently (Night of the Unexpected, Spitalfields Festival, London, 16.6.12) reminded me of a few aspects of Han’s playing: … Continue reading

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Into the Maelstrom

in progress, my next book: Into the Maelstrom: Improvised Music and the Pursuit Of Freedom . . . to research the history and practice of musical improvisation, notably the post-1960s ‘school’ known as free improvisation; to establish the cultural and … Continue reading

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