Jean-Claude Eloy born 75 years ago, in 15th June 1938. Because in this show I present the following musics.
Jean-Claude Eloy – Shânti (Paix / Peace)
The name of Jean-Ctaude Eloy is not one you’II often encounter in thumbnail sketches of French e!ectroacoustic music: he’s rarely mentioned in the same breath as Schaeffer, Henry, Ferrari and others. Born in Rouen in 1938, Jean-Claude Eloy was fortunate enough to come from the last generation to be educated under those formidable French modernists, Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen, and young enough to be buffeted along on the tide of innovations from Gielen and Boulez’s post-Darmstadt aesthetics to the 1960s/70s electronic revolution of Pousseur and Stockhausen. This double-CD set sets restore one of Eloy’s most celebrated 1970s works to print, and reveal him as a herald of Noise, a prodigious maximalist, a sculptor in time.
Shânti (Peace) (1972-73, for electronic and concrete sounds), was completed in 1974. „Shânti” was hailed by the press as a major even as it was revealed at the Festival of Royan in 1974, then after is revival at the Autumn Festival of Paris that same year.
Its composition follows a spell in 1972-73 when he was invited by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Dr. Wolfgang Becker, the then Art Director and Executive Manager of the famous WDR (Westdeautscher Rundfunkt) studio in Cologne, Germany to the WDR Studios. After waiting for years and first exile to the United States, Eloy finally had the opportunity to express himself in the field of electro-acoustics.
Prior to that point Eloy had mostly been composing terse orchestral work in the post-Darmstadt idiom, but he hit Cologne right at that productive and slightly feverish period when Stockhausen was bolting his electronic music to notions of orientalism and One World mysticism.
In this time Eloy was invited to perform the piece on various contexts: the Americas (1975-77: United States, Brazil, and Canada), Asia (1976-78: Japan, Indonesia, and Hong-Kong), Europe (1975-78: the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Belgium) – it seems was right on board. This was an era of high-endurance, process based art, from the endless film essays of Michael Snow to the droneworks of La Monte Young and Tony Conrad; not forgetting the Buddhist-inspired early work of Eloy’s compatriot Eliane Radigue and the extended electronic odysseys of Can and Tangerine Dream.
At over two hours, Shanti is an omnivorous feast, with Eloy gorging himself upon ail the principal electronic music techniques of the time: tape looping, oscillators, potentiometers and a mind-boggling array of filtering equipment. He called it a meditation, but it is a much more active meditation than the proto-Ambient sludge you so often get with analogue synthesis; a muggy, ever changing cumulus of laminar sound: a recurring theme like a groggy calliope or a far-off Messiaen organ study: the penetration of human voices – political rallies, terrace chants, Sri Aurobindo, Mao.
The term „meditation music” triggered many conflicting comments including positive ones („… le tus say that Shânti belongs to those very rare works that change you after listening them. You are not exactly the same before and after.”- Gerard Mannoni, Le Quotidien de Paris, 1974). Others, wondering at the strong sound presence of the piece, consider such aspect as hardly helpful to their own meditation… Let us be clear: „what meditates” here („that” who meditates) is composer. He is the one who takes you on his journey and guides you through his work like in a classic romantic symphony. As a listener you are invited to follow „his” meditation… The composition is the meditation.
The version presented on this album is in keeping with the version performed in 1974 („expanded” version containing a part of completed at the WDR studio in 1973), later digitalized at the WDR studio in 1990s (on ADAT) and revised in 2001 on personal computer after the landmark studio unfortunately had to close at the turn of the century under the WDR’s new management. That unwarranted decision was not technologically founded as the studio equipment were not outdated!
„Shânti” paved the way for Eloy and guided him towards these so-called great „frescoes” (sound and noise poems; dialectics between concrete and abstract sources; temporal structure extensions, etc.) to became one of his signature works: „Gaku-no-Michi” (1977-78); „Yo-In” (1980); „Anâhata” cycle (1984-86), etc.
Tony Oxley born 75 years ago, in 15th June 1928. Because in this show I present the following musics.
Tony Oxley – Ichnos
It’s the third of Oxley’s recording. Includings solo-, quartet-, and sextet improvisations. There is just one track, Oryane, which is solo improvisation. This piece for drums, cymbals, metal and wood surfaces, metal strings both acoustic and amplified. They are played with metal sticks and bowed. There are no recording techniques used in this piece other than the placing of microphones around the kit.
1. Tony Oxley – Ichnos (1971, LP, RCA Victor – SF8215)
A2. Oryane (Percussion Solo)
Tony Oxley – Tony Oxley
Recorded over a four year period (1971-75), these tracks illustrate the evolutionary development of Tony Oxley’s music, and particularly his percussion vocabulary. Amplification has played a large part in this development, giving breadth to the instrument, and allowing a reconsideration of the role of percussion in relation to improvised and structured music.
Cover drawing by Alan Davie.
2. Tony Oxley – Tony Oxley (1975, LP, Incus Records – 08)
A3. EIROC II
B1. East Of Sheffield
B2. South East Of Sheffield
Alexander von Schlippenbach & Tony Oxley – Digger’s Harvest
Curiously, Alexander von Schlippenbach is one first-generation European free improviser not receiving regular huzzahs by an increasingly cognizant U.S. press. Maybe it’s due to the pianist’s infrequent trips Stateside, or that he doesn’t have CDs hitting the market by the dozens each year. Digger’s Harvest is, then, a timely reminder of Schlippenbach’s many achievements and how, as he approaches the 40-year mark of his landmark work Globe Unity (which spawned the great orchestra of the same name), Schlippenbach continues to create compelling music.
Schlippenbach has a penchant for a tightly-coiled bluesiness that is especially well-aired on Digger’s Harvest, a duo exchange with percussionist Tony Oxley.
One of the few of the intense avant-garde jazz pianists to develop a style largely free of Cecil Taylor’s influence, Schlippenbach has mellowed only slightly with age. These seven duos find both of these marvelous musicians in fine form, the energy level rarely abating. Schlippenbach is far from all crash and burn, however, as he slips in clips from by gone eras along his journeys. He can be introspective, too, when he focuses on sound and timbre.
Like Lovens, Oxley pioneered the use of metal, wood and other materials to extend the timbral palette of a traditional traps and cymbals configuration, but Oxley’s playing has a more palpable linkage to such ’60s drum icons as Milford Graves.
Oxley’s extensive experience interacting with Taylor pays off, as he follows Schlippenbach closely, never letting him stray too far.
Given Schlippenbach and Oxley’s respective histories-they both ventured into free playing at about the same time and have many mutual collaborators-it’s odd that they hadn’t previously worked as a duo. It proves to be an excellent match, though. Oxley’s brand of rhythmic flow is essential to the two nearly half-hour improvisations that bookend the program. Schlippenbach responds with torrential runs that whiplash up and down the keyboard. Conversely, on the five shorter pieces, Schlippenbach’s sharply focused approach to developing concentrated thematic materials elicits a more augmentative approach from Oxley. It’s this give and take that makes Digger’s Harvest such an engaging recording.
3. Alexander von Schlippenbach & Tony Oxley – Digger’s Harvest (1999, CD, FMP – FMP CD 103)
7. Digger’s Harvest
Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley – Soho Suites – Recordings From 1977 & 1995
This double-CD collection is meant to show a continuum of sorts in a collaboration that began in 1963. Guitarist Derek Bailey and drummer Tony Oxley met by chance in their hometown at that time, and formed a band with Gavin Bryars (a bass player back in those days) for the purpose of freely improvising music. Bailey and Oxley played together in various contexts and continue to this day. Featured here is a rehearsal from 1977 on one disc, along with a live disc recorded in New York in 1995. To play these CDs in sequence is quite remarkable. For those who have followed the careers of both men over the decades, it will be astonishing to hear what has been taken for granted in the development not only of their individual styles and approaches to improvisation, but in the actual evolution of those methods as they reach deeper into the musical muck for a kind of meaning that can only be generated in this type of musical pursuit. On the earlier record, there are Bailey’s very short but very quick explosions of notes from all over the fretboard that get interrupted by his going into the instrument itself. Oxley, a busy drummer, uses percussion instruments while playing the kit, making sure he misses none of the notes Bailey drops from his guitar like small bombs. On the later music from 1995, there is a shift in focus. The explorations of tonal boundaries are much more pronounced, percussive extensions become common, and there is almost an architecture in the dynamic. Bailey has moved to using more chords of his own design, while Oxley keeps to the kit more, exploring its wood and metal as a manner of underscoring these spacious, textured explorations. This is an awesome set, so strong it’s better than 90 percent of what’s out there passing for free improvisation.
4. Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley – Soho Suites – Recordings From 1977 & 1995 (1997, 2 x CD, Incus Records – CD29/30) CD1
5. Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley – Soho Suites – Recordings From 1977 & 1995 (1997, 2 x CD, Incus Records – CD29/30) CD2
Tony Oxley (born 15 June 1938) is an English drummer, composer, painter, and one of the founders of Incus Records.
Tony Oxley is arguably one of the most significant British drummer of the latter half of the twentieth century. He created a style of improvised drumming, virtually from whole cloth, that has had a tremendous impact on three generations of jazz players. He developed a drum/percussion kit uniquely suited to his personal mode of playing, and in the early 1970s, became the first drummer to actively utilize electronic resources to modify the sound of his instrument. As co-founder of the Musicians Cooperative and Incus record label, he helped put the British improvised music scene on firmer ground. He has performed with a wide range of musicians, from traditional tenor players such as Ben Webster and Eddie Lockjaw Davis, to piano pioneers Paul Bley and Bill Evans, and musicians Cecil Taylor and Derek Bailey.
Tony Oxley was born in Sheffield, England. A self-taught pianist by the age of eight, he first began playing the drums at seventeen. In Sheffield he was taught by well respected local drummer Haydon Cook, who had returned to the city after a long residency, in the 1950s, at Ronnie Scott’s in London. From 1957 to 1960, after he was drafted into the British army, he became a percussionist in the the Black Watch military orchestra. While serving, Oxley studied music theory and he did more than just develop his classical chops performing works by Beethoven, Mozart, and Dvorak. He was also able to travel to the United States where he heard jazz greats, such as Art Blakey, Horace Silver, and Philly Joe Jones in concert.
Those jazz experiences in America were decisive for Oxley. By the time he left the service, he had made up his mind not to play other people’s music any longer. Back home in Sheffield, he formed a jazz combo which he led for three years. In 1963, he had another decisive encounter: he met guitarist Derek Bailey who was living just around the corner. “A once in a century coincidence,” was how Oxley described the meeting to Bert Noglik in Jazz-Werkstatt International. With bassist Gavin Bryars, they formed a trio called Joseph Holbrooke named after a long-deceased British composer. The group started out playing jazz standards, but quickly evolved into other kinds of music, fueled by the interests of the members. Bryars was interested in avant-garde classical composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolf, and Olivier Messiaen; Oxley was interested in the more radical players in contemporary jazz—John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, and Cecil Taylor, among others.
“From 1963-66 we moved away from the diatonic system to the chromatic system, forging a profound interest in Anton Webern and John Cage. It was a period of learning, of taming oneself, of discovering other ways of music-making.” – Oxley described to Harris Eisenstadt in Coda  about his work with Holbrooke. They were particularly fascinated by Webern’s music. They had no particular use for Webern’s methods, but they tried to translate his sound into their music. Free improvisation—which Oxley would later term European Improvised Music—was the bridge the group built between these extremes. It was music virtually unknown in England—or elsewhere in Europe—at the time. For Oxley and Bailey, it evolved sui generis in the course of Joseph Holbrooke’s playing.
In 1967, Oxley moved to London. Before long he had established himself as the house drummer at one of the city’s most popular jazz clubs, Ronnie Scott’s. Oxley had already moved beyond traditional jazz in his own music. But he enjoyed performing with the players who had helped invent jazz, legends such as Ben Webster, Davis, Joe Hendeson, Stan Getz, and Evans. In John Wickes’ Innovations in British Jazz, John Fordham described Oxley’s “traditional” drum style: “He would embroider the basic time in clusters of jostling beats, but still remember in some metronomic circuit in the depths of his brain exactly where the beat was, and come back to it at intervals with an emphatic crash that seemed to say ’told you so.’ He would frequently unsettle soloists, or lose them altogether.” Evans, however, was taken with Oxley’s drumming and more than once tried to persuade him to join his trio.
In the mid 1960s, a group of hardcore improvisers including Oxley, Bailey, saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist/composer Barry Guy, pianist Howard Riley, trombonist Paul Rutherford, and drummer Paul Lytton, had come together and were performing together regularly in London. Their music was quickly moving away from anything resembling jazz, fostering hostility in the British music press and at record companies.
Howard Riley Trio – Cirrus Live French TV 1972
However, Oxley’s work at Ronnie Scott’s, where he played regularly until the early 1970s, had given Oxley a solid reputation as jazz drummer—however outside the jazz standard he was interested in playing. In 1969, after he performed on John McLaughlin’s first LP, Extrapolation, he was offered a recording contract by CBS. The first recording, The Baptised Traveller,featured members of another group, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble: Parker, Bailey, Kenny Wheeler on trumpet, and Jeff Clyne on bass. The results sound at times like an elegy to the jazz they were all leaving behind. Oxley’s next record for CBS, Four Compositions For Sextet, added Paul Rutherford’s trombone.
By the early 1970s, Oxley was doing well for a performing musician. He had regular work at Ronnie Scott’s, which brought him popularity, and he was recording regularly. Despite Oxley’s success, however, improvised music was suffering in Britain. Venues were shutting down or booking only the most traditional jazz acts; the music was be littled by the general music press and record labels simply ignored it completely. In 1970, Oxley co-founded the Musicians Cooperative with Bailey, Parker and several other musicians. The group’s purpose was to help the musicians help themselves and it was almost immediately able to secure grant money for the group from the local arts council.
At Oxley’s suggestion, Incus Records, an independent artist-owned record label, was founded. “I proposed to Derek Bailey that maybe we should have a company of our own. Whilst I was being recorded, there were important developments and musicians who were not. A friend of mine, Mike Walters, provided the money and didn’t want to be involved with running the company, so Derek suggested Evan Parker.” With Incus, musicians were finally in a position to document their music, and to have a measure of control over its release and distribution.
By the time he started recording for CBS, Oxley was beginning to realize that the traditional drum kit, made up primarily of snare, toms, and cymbals—even as he had expanded with unusual noise-making devices— was not adequate for reproducing the music he was hearing in his head. He started to experiment with various forms of amplification and electronic devices such as ring modulators to alter the sounds he made. Using the electronics on the drums themselves didn’t interest him as much as using them on the foreign objects he had incorporated into the kit: bowls, pieces of wire, screws, and other metal objects that were able to create a wide range of pure sounds.
“On my record February Papers, for example, there’s a piece of mine you can hear that came about from amplifying electronically drawing a bow across the blade of a knife. It is unbelievable what kind of sound possibilities you can find in a little piece of metal.” – Oxley told Noglik. His first electronic work appeared on his first LP for RCA, Ichnos, which Oxley thought was his best of that period. Surprisingly, few drummers in improv, jazz, rock, or other music have picked up on Oxley’s experiments with electronic modification of percussion.
However, Oxley’s electronic drumming did come to the attention of Martin Wesley Smith, the head of the electronic music department at the Sydney Conservatorium in Australia. Smith arranged a three-month-long artist-in-residence position for the drummer.”I think what probably interested him was my approach. As professional electronic composers require a large desk of treatment possibilities I had the idea to cut this down to a minimum in order to improvise. I also constantly changed my sound source. I could quite easily move my equipment to any situation.”
In the early 1970s, Oxley met Alan Davie, a painter who would have a profound impact on Oxley’s artistic life. Davie phoned Oxley to ask if he, Paul Rutherford, and Evan Parker were interested in performing at a gallery where Davie had an exhibit. When Oxley accepted, he discovered that Davie was profoundly interested in music, and often performed on an array of instruments. They began meeting regularly at Davie’s home where they performed together and recorded their music.”Besides Bailey, Davie is one of the people that I owe the most to for my musical development. As a musician, Alan Davie doesn’t start from either classical music or jazz. He looked for his own path very singlemindedly and found it.” In 1974, Davie gave Oxley a violin. Oxley quickly discovered the rhythmic possibilities in the instrument, and has since had an abiding interest in working with string ensembles of all kinds.
In 1978, Oxley formed the Celebration Orchestra, an under-documented big band that played on and off until well into the 1990s. His compositions for the group were as adventurous as anything else he has done. They have called for Scottish pipe and drum band, three prepared pianos, a pre-recorded tape of a steel factory, and electronics, along with the more or less regular orchestra line-up of brass, piano, strings, voice and, of course, Oxley’s drums.
The 1980s and 1990s saw Oxley performing with a number of important European and American improvisers, including Peter Brotzmann, Phil Minton, Phil Wachsmann, Anthony Braxton, Paul Bley, and Alexander von Schlippenbach. A particularly fruitful collaboration began when Oxley first performed with Cecil Taylor. Oxley played with Taylor in a number of settings during the pianist’s epochal stay in Berlin during the summer of 1988: as a duo, with William Parker in the Feel Trio, and in the 17-piece Cecil Taylor European Orchestra. Taylor subsequently introduced Oxley to American trumpeter Bill Dixon, which set another productive collaboration in motion.
Since Oxley and Bailey began making their individual music in the early 1960s, people have asked,”Yes, but is it jazz?” Oxley prefers to call what he does”improvised music.” But by and large he finds the entire question to be academic and uninteresting. He is grateful to American jazz of the 1950s for leading him to improvisation, but he has moved far beyond the music he was playing in Sheffield and at Ronnie Scott’s club in London. He does see his musical role as very different from that played by jazz drummers.”I consider myself more a percussionist, in contrast to a jazz drummer who keeps time. In the new improvised music, a percussionist can interrupt the flow of his playing without affecting the nature of his relationship to the other players.”
3. NO WAVE EST (3RD NO WAVE EVENING) – TILOS MARATON 2013
On the 9th of June the “No Wave” evening, the section of Tilos Maraton 2013, will be held the third time. Who knows the probably oldest radio show of Tilos Rádio, should also know what to expect. Who doesn’t know it, there is the possibility to try it. Essentially, the performers, who are not interested the audience’s expectations and who are not concerned with the conventional music forms, present their momentary or chronic thoughts about music, or rather that they can show or perform of these. In this year I tried to widen the music’s spectrum, therefore I invited musicians from other kinds of music world. More of them are internationally noted musicians, some of them perhaps are at the beginning of their career. It is sure, all of them are searching continously the newer soundings and music utterances.
IMPORTANTS! Who can not come to the concert , they can listen the live stream in the No Wave” show of Tilos Rádió from 22:00.
Curator: Pál Tóth, the editor of Tilos Rádió’s “No Wave” show.
Péter Homoki (dj Sztyepp) is a fellow worker of Tilos Rádió and one of Úzgin Űver‘s musicians, he gives an improvising solo concert, and he guides the audience to the strange spaces by his guitar and many pedals.
21:00 én – „op. 130609” (electronics, CD players, objects, contact microphones, „silence”)
In this current piece, én, his own way, tries to remain on the quiet “the not quite suitable space”. Of course, you can listen the sounds of his regular arsenal. If you are also silently, you can listen the SILENCE. And it should happen otherwise. In this case the walls and the windows should shake. én is a sound artist and radio producer. He was the program editor of the illegal community radio of Budapest, Tilos Rádió (Forbidden Radio) from 1993–94 and then a member of the legal Tilos Rádió in 1995, where he edits programs for today’s experimental, electroacoustic and underground music developments in his show No Wave. His compositions – which are often situated at the limit of hearing – draw on the results of concrete music, plunderphonics and sound-formation as well as sound art. én chooses sound samples from his own collection and environmental sounds which he recorded himself, and sounds made by himself on computer in order to compose, and so finally and successfully eliminates the unnecessary separations of composition and the preparation of music, the broadcast of music and musical performance.
22:00 GERGELY KOVÁCS / MIROSLAV TÓTH (SK) – „DUO CONCERT” (drums, percussions, objects / saxophons)
Kovács Gergely was first influenced by rock/metal, but jazz soon became his »music«. He got his first drum set when he was 16 and joined a garage band in his village. He was inspired by the album “ZU & Spaceways Inc.” to explore music further. His thesis in his final year at university was on: “The communication features of twentieth-century classical music, from Satie to Cage”. Miroslav Tóth (SK) composer, saxophone player, lives in Bratislava and Gabčíkovo. He is the founder and artistic leader of audivisual project Frutti di Mare, improvise chamber orchestra Musica Falsa et Ficta, Dunkeltherapie and a member of other experimental music projects (Shibuya Motors). In his music he is interested in both composition and improvisation, often crossing the borders between the genre and style contexts, ranging from free improvisation to noise and contemporary classical music.
The drummer Balázs Pándi worked with various acts from all around the world including Venetian Snares, Otto Von Schirach (under the alias 666 Cent), Last Step, To Live and Shave in L.A., The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and Zu. Since 2009 he is the live drummer of Merzbow, they also made three live records together. Pándi started electronica-metal-breakcore project with Bong-Ra called Wormskull in 2010. His current projects include Italian doom band Obake, Metallic Taste of Blood (featuring Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree, Eraldo Bernocchi of Obake and Jamie Saft). From 2012 he started to play solo shows on selected festivals under his own name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balázs_Pándi
Sőrés Zsolt is an an improvised/electroacoustic and noise musician (performing with 5 string viola and various sound sources), as well as a sound artist. His music is characterised by different formation strategies and immediate transitions, the use of unstable acoustic systems and continuous sound layers, and unique electronic instruments (circuit bent toys, crackle box, home-made oscillators, lo-fi systems, resonating objects etc.).Within the last 20 years he has performed with many improvised, free jazz and experimental musicians and composers around the world. Currently he is involved in many projects, including a trio with Franz Hautzinger and Isabelle Duthoit, a duo with Jean-Hervé Péron Art-Errorist (from the legendary krautrock band Faust), duo with Hilary Jeffery (from the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble), IBelongtotheBand (with AdamBohman,OliMayne and Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg), Noise Flowers (with Oli Mayne and András Wahorn), duo with én, and the Spiritus Noister (KatalinLadik and Endre Szkárosi). From 1996 to 2002 he was one of the artistic director of the Pause-Sign Festival, and from 2008 to 2010 he curated the Relative (Cross)Hearings International Contemporary Music Meeting in Budapest. In 2012 he was the Hungarian curator of the international Sound Exchange project, a special research project investigatingthe long traditions of experimental music cultures in Central and Eastern Europe. http://inaplo.hu/ahad/