Travis & Fripp — Thread
(Panegyric GYRCD001, 2008, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2009-07-01Given the extensive musical resumes of Theo Travis and Robert Fripp, it was only a matter of synchronicity that would lead to a real time collaboration by these two innovators. Travis work with Cipher and Fripp's ambient efforts dovetail into this clearly unique audio pastel map of quiet loops and serene themes. Blurring the lines between improvisation and written material is the impetus for the project which shows strong command of musical context. The results are willfully disorienting and spacious with Fripp displaying control interjecting left channel sweeps on pieces such as "The Apparent Chaos of Blue." Other tracks of note include "Before Then," that opens with tenuous digital bell steps and Travis' lean flute offset by unprocessed guitar tones. As the flautist multi-loops himself it creates a hazy sonic web of confusion. "The Silence Beneath" provides Travis' most romantic soprano sax leads, with its slow purposeful, intertwining. Mid-way through the piece Fripp injects some steely knives adding that appropriate bite that consistently characterizes his playing. "As Snow Falls" was recorded in the dead of winter and carries a large white neutral pattern and flow while "The Unspoken" carries an ambitious overblown solo despite the immobilizing blanket of wash. The keen ear of Steven Wilson at the mixing helm is also a key factor in the recording's success. In summary, the recording falls squarely between recent recordings by Cipher and Fripp and Eno's Equatorial Stars.
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
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
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
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