Exposé Online banner

Tom Heasley & Toss Panos — Passages
(Full Bleed Music FBM 001, 2007, CD)

by K. Leimer, Published 2008-10-01

Passages Cover artFor those who admire purely timbral musics, Tom Heasley and Toss Panos have put together more than an hour of inventive, often original work based wholly on the tuba and percussion. Original because you will not hear the now familiar distended and looped manipulations of a Jon Hassell, or the extra-musical sonics of a Fred Frith. The remarkable attribute of this collection of five not so easy pieces – which range in duration from less than ten minutes to just longer than 24 – is simply how intensely musical it all remains. The combination of tuba and percussion might seem counter-intuitive: the percussion disturbing what might be imagined as lush strands of clustered drones from the tuba; the tuba in turn being perhaps unable to match the pace of more typical drumming. But most of Panos' time seems to be spent providing markers, giving off short phrases and sounds in expert contrast and shading to the Heasley's tuba. The settings here travel from the often elegiac to a disturbed serenity. Both musicians do an excellent job of welding some long, legato and sustenuto exhalations of the tuba to the clipped and briefer envelopes of percussion. To their credit, the composers / performers never yield to the more obvious temptation of laying down some rhythm patterns and dressing them up with a thousand islands of squawks and drones. Instead, the listener is invited to share an infinitely more thoughtful and nuanced approach to what proves to be a tour de force of concentration and restraint.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Tom Heasley, Toss Panos

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bang on a Can - Music for Airports – Ambient music has come a long way since 1978 when innovator Brian Eno drafted his original experiment for use in large international airports. The intent was for passengers to feel good about boarding...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues