Fred Frith — Nowhere. Sideshow. Thin Air.
(ReR Megacorp FRA 07, 2009, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01
As one might guess from the title, this is a three-in-one – in this case three commissioned dance pieces by three different choreographers (one recent and two a bit older) that coexist together on the same release. The first is Nowhere, for choreographer Paul Selwyn Norton’s production Proxy Trilogy for Korzo Theatre, Den Haag in the Netherlands, which premiered in November 2000. The eight parts, which feature Frith on electric guitar, bass, percussion, keys and samples, with Carla Kihlstedt (Tin Hat Trio, SGM, etc.) on violin, flow together seamlessly and periodically return to a haunting main theme that defines the piece as it evolves. Sideshow is another dance-theater piece dating from 2001 which also features Kihlstedt on violin, Fred Giuliani on samples, and Frith on nearly everything else, including some interesting percussive sounds. This one tends to be more instrumentally sparse and violin-centric, perhaps more melodic as well, featuring some warm conversations between violin and acoustic guitar. Each of the eight parts are discrete and stand-alone. The last of the three is Thin Air, for choreographer Donna Uchizono’s work of the same name, which premiered in NYC in October 2007. This features Hande Erdem on violin, Theresa Wong on cello and Frith on all other instruments, including electronics, samples and radio. Unlike the others, most of Thin Air encompasses what is easily the most sparse and avant-garde music of the three, yet some of the most interesting and enjoyable sounds on the disc are found herewithin.
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more