Exposé Online banner

Anthony Moore — Flying Doesn't Help
(Blueprint BP177CD, 1979/1994, CD)

Anthony Moore — Out
(Voiceprint VP165CD, 1977/1997, CD)

Anthony Moore — Reed, Whistle and Sticks
(Blueprint BP281CD, 1972/1998, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-03-01

Flying Doesn't Help Cover artOut Cover artReed, Whistle and Sticks Cover art

Before hooking up with Peter Blegvad and Dagmar Krause to form Slapp Happy, Anthony Moore was experimenting with some very innovative musical techniques. Reed, Whistle and Sticks is one of the results of that experimentation. He utilized the now common technique of “looping” – recording a series of sounds, then repeating those sounds. Of course, in 1972, the recording was done on tape, not digitally as it is today. He recorded the dropping of bamboo sticks onto the floor, then looped and layered the recordings, producing irregular repetitions of random events. There are occasional shouts and whistle noises punctuating the clicking of the sticks. For no reason I can fathom (maybe to encourage shuffle play, thus increasing the randomness), on CD the 36-minute piece is divided into 99 untitled tracks ranging from four seconds to 1:19 in length. Listening to the sounds (I hesitate to call it music) is a very strange sensation, a little disorienting, both natural and impossible in nature.

Moore left Slapp Happy after their first collaboration with Henry Cow (the excellent Desperate Straights – though he appears on some of In Praise of Learning) and Virgin signed him as a solo artist, evidently hoping for a hit single. He produced the charming 1977 collection of slightly warped pop called Out, resulting in no hits and a lost contract. Instrumental help came courtesy of Andy Summers (pre-Police), Peter Blegvad, Kevin Ayers, Amanda Persons, and others. Musically I’m reminded of Eno’s Warm Jets or Tiger Mountain and Robert Wyatt’s vocal tunes – a kind of loose, light-hearted pop, a little too cerebral for the mainstream.

Two years later, Moore produced a second solo album along the same general lines for the Do-It label. Both pop albums have a number of highlights, though if I had to pick one, I’d give the slight edge to Out; the experimental album I would recommend only to the truly adventurous. All of these (as well as two more obscure Do-It solo albums dating from 1981 and 1984) are now available on Voiceprint or its Blueprint subsidiary, an illuminating sidebar to the incredible Henry Cow/Slapp Happy catalog.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 21, 1994 releases, 1979 recordings, 1997 releases, 1977 recordings, 1998 releases, 1972 recordings

Related artist(s): Andy Summers, Kevin Ayers, Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Charlemagne Palestine - A Sweet Quasimodo between Black Vampire Butterflies for Maybeck – In the 30 or so years that Charlemagne Palestine has been around, this writer has never heard any of his music until now. It was inevitable that one of his recordings would reach my ears eventually,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues