Monthly Archives: August 2013

Maggie Nicols

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Maggie Nicols  (or Nichols, as she originally spelt her name as a performer) (born 24 February 1948), is a Scottish free-jazz and improvising vocalist, dancer, and performer.
Nicols was born in Edinburgh as Margaret Nicholson. Her father was from the Isle of Lewis, and her mother is half-French, half-Berber from North Africa. At the age of fifteen she left school and started to work as a dancer at the Windmill Theatre. Her first singing engagement was in a strip club in Manchester at the age of sixteen. At about that time she became obsessed with jazz, and sang with bebop pianist Dennis Rose. From then on she sang in pubs, clubs, hotels, and in dance bands with some of the finest jazz musicians around. In the midst of all this she worked abroad for a year in 1966; as a dancer and hostess in Greece and Iran with the Jon Lei Dancers followed by a six month engagement as a dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris.
In 1968, she went to London and joined (as Maggie Nichols) an early improvisational group, John Stevens’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble, with Trevor Watts, later joined Johnny Dyani, and Carolanne Nicholls, and the group performed that year at Berlin’s first improvised festival, Total Music Meeting with guest musician John McLaughlin.
In the early 1970s she began running voice workshops at the Oval House Theatre (one of the most important centres for pioneer fringe theatre groups). She both acted in some of the productions and rehearsed regularly with a local rock band. Shortly afterwards she became part of Keith Tippett’s fifty-piece British jazz/progressive rock big band Centipede, which included Julie Tippetts, Zoot Money, Phil Minton, Robert Wyatt, Dudu Pukwana, and Alan Skidmore. Tippetts, Minton, and Nicols also joined Brian Eley to form the vocal group Voice. Around this time, Nicols began collaborating with the Scottish percussionist Ken Hyder (who had recently moved to London) and his band Talisker.
By the late 1970s, Nicols had become an active feminist, and co-founded the Feminist Improvising Group, which performed across Europe, with Lindsay Cooper. She also organised Contradictions, a women’s workshop performance group that began in 1980 and dealt with improvisation and other modes of performance in a variety of media including music and dance. Over the years, Nicols has collaborated with other women’s groups, such as the Changing Women Theatre Group, and even wrote music for a prime-time television series, Women in Sport.
mnicols2-2Nicols has also collaborated regularly over the years with Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer and French bassist Joëlle Léandre, including tours and three CDs and one DVD as the trio Les Diaboliques. Her collaboration with Ken Hyder also continues; the duo incorporate elements of the traditional tunes of their shared Scottish background into jazz improvisations in their most recent project, Hoots and Roots Duo. Other projects for Nicols include a duo with pianist Pete Nu, a singing duo with her daughter Aura Marina, a trio with avant-gardists Caroline Kraabel and Charlotte Hug, a duo with pianist Steve Lodder (“The Maggie Nicols Songbook”), and Light and Shade, a project with lighting designer Sue Neal. She has also been involved with many other groups, such as the a cappella group Inspiration (former Brixton Youth), Trevor Watts’ Moire Music, Very Varied, The Lewis Riley Quartet, No Rules OK, Pulse, Gustt, and Al Dente with Lindsay Cooper, Elvira Plenar and Michelle Buirette.
Nicols has performed internationally for several decades, including the Zürich and the Frankfurt “Canaille” festivals, the Victoriaville Festival. She also gave solo performances at the Moers Music Festival, the Cologne Triennale, and a number of other creative and improvised music festivals. She has worked with a great many improvisers from all over the world, including drummer Günter “Baby” Sommer, British soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill, Dutch trombonist and violinist Annemarie Roelofs, the Australian Relative Band (with Jim Denley), tuba player Pinguin Moschner, the Loverly Band, Cats Cradle, and Sean Bergin’s Song Mob (with Han Bennink and Tristan Honsinger).
Vocalist Maggie Nicols has been an active participant in the European improvisational community since joining the Spontaneous Music Ensemble in the late ’60s. As a co-founder of the Feminist Improvising Group, she has also worked to further women in improvised music, dancing and other creative arts not only by example, but through workshops and extensive collaborating.

Improvisation

mnicols7-2Improvisation is part of our daily lives. It is a dance of outer influences and inner impulses. When we let ourselves, we can reflect and connect with each new moment and everything that has ever been.
I draw from the personal and the universal which olds everything we need for spontaneous and structured performance and composition. The challenge is what to express from this infinite resource. As a beginner in the late ‘sixties, I practised different approaches to this creative challenge, including beautifully designed pieces by John Stevens which led to a coherent language of individual and collective liberation and almost telepathic interaction, to just improvising freely and experiencing joy, frustration, confusion and clarity, depending on who I was playing
with or how trusting or not I was of myself, others and the process of improvisation itself. I found my background in dance and theatre; my political awakening, motherhood; all of these and more, becoming a part of my ongoing love affair with improvisation. When I went through a period of late nights and drinking and smoking too much and my singing voice suffered, I developed a strange kind of stand up improvised philosophising and comedy. Over the years these, and other approaches have been developed, fine tuned, contrasted and integrated into my performances and teaching…

Contradictions

Contradictions is an ongoing womens workshop/performance group, founded in 1980 as a performance group with Maggie, trumpeter Corine Liensol, pianist Irène Schweizer and dancer Roberta Escamilla Garrison. Maggie then developed it into an open women’s workshop and performance group which combines her love of spontaneity and structure, improvised, and written and rehearsed, multi media material.

Selected discography:

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SAJ-38bastille-2nulp-2assume-2nucd-2taktlos-2
storming-2invisible-2canaille-2
spirit-2ixesha-2ljco-2
nevergreens-2transitions-2glasgow-2

diaboliques-2splitting-2rhinefalls-2jubilee-2

Music Now Ensemble 1969 ‎– Silver Pyramid
Centipede ‎– Septober Energy
Paul Rutherford & Iskra 1912 ‎– Sequences 72 & 73
Julie Tippetts / Maggie Nicols / Phil Minton / Brian Eley – Voice
Spontaneous Music Ensemble & Orchestra ‎– Trio & Triangle
Maarten Altena / Günter Christmann / Paul Lovens / Maggie Nicols / John Russell ‎– Vario II
Maggie Nicols & Julie Tippetts ‎– Sweet And S’ours
Maggie Nicols, Lindsay Cooper, Joëlle Léandre ‎– Live At The Bastille
Maggie Nicols & Peter Nu ‎– Nicols ‘N’ Nu
Maggie Nicols & Peter Nu ‎– Don’t Assume
Maggie Nicols & Peter Nu ‎– Nichols’N’Nu (CD)
Irène Schweizer ‎– Live At Taktlos
Irène Schweizer – Maggie Nicols – George Lewis – Joëlle Léandre – Günter Sommer ‎– The Storming Of The Winter Palace
Tippett / Nicols / Tippett ‎– Mr. Invisible And The Drunken Sheilas (Supported By Mr. & Mrs. Disgraceful – Presented By Honest Spiv Faber And Eric Wetherall With The Kind Permission Of The Sheila Duncan Trio)
Various Artists ‎– Canaille: International Women’s Festival Of Improvised Music
Dedication Orchestra ‎– Spirits Rejoice
Dedication Orchestra ‎– Ixesha (Time)
Barry Guy / London Jazz Composers Orchestra ‎– Three Pieces
Pinguin Moschner, Maggie Nicols, Joe Sachse ‎– Nevergreens
Maggie Nicols / Caroline Kraabel / Charlotte Hug ‎– Transitions
Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, The with Maggie Nicols ‎– Which Way Did He Go?

Les Diaboliques ‎– Les Diaboliques
Les Diaboliques ‎– Splitting Image
Les Diaboliques ‎– Live At The Rhinefalls
Les Diaboliques ‎– Jubilee Concert (DVD-V)

Anthony Moore

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Anthony Moore (born 1948) is a British experimental music composer, performer and producer. He was a founding member of the band Slapp Happy, worked with Henry Cow and has made a number of solo albums, including Flying Doesn’t Help (1978) and World Service (1981).
As a lyricist, Moore has collaborated with Pink Floyd on two of their albums, A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994), with Floyd keyboard player Richard Wright on Broken China (1996), with Kevin Ayers on various projects and also contributed lyrics to Trevor Rabin’s Can’t Look Away (1989) and Julian Lennon’s Help Yourself (1991).
Anthony Moore‘s musical career began when he met Peter Blegvad, while both were students at St Christopher School, Letchworth. They played in various bands, including Slapp Happy (the name was a reference to Blegvad‘s then-girlfriend) and the Dum-Dums. After school Moore studied Indian classical music with Viram Jasani in 1969, and went on to compose his first film soundtrack for David Larcher’s Mare’s Tale.
It involved extensive use of magnetic tape (time/pitch shifts, layering, splicing, loops, feedback). Since then he has created a number of soundtracks for European, independent movies, many of which have won international awards.
In 1971 Moore moved to Hamburg, Germany and worked in Hamburg’s experimental music scene, recording two minimalist albums for Polydor Germany. In 1972 Blegvad visited Moore in Hamburg and, along with Moore‘s girlfriend (and soon to be wife) Dagmar Krause, Moore (guitar, keyboards), Blegvad (guitar) and Krause (vocals) formed the avant-pop trio, Slapp Happy. Moore and Blegvad composed the band’s music.
Pieces From The Clouded Ballroom predated their founding, whereas Secrets Of The Blue Bag and Reed, Whistle And Sticks were recorded and released in tandem with Slapp Happy’s debut, Sort Of. (Details from the first two of these: no wave 2013-08-04)
Reed, Whistle And Sticks consists of a single piece split into 99 tracks, consisting mainly of tape loops of recordings of bamboo sticks dropped onto various surfaces.
slapp happy-2Slapp Happy recorded two albums for Polydor Germany with krautrock group Faust as their backing band. Polydor released the first, Sort Of in 1972, but rejected the second, Casablanca Moon. This rejection prompted Slapp Happy to relocate to London where they signed up with Virgin Records and re-recorded Casablanca Moon, released in 1974 by Virgin as Slapp Happy. (The original Casablanca Moon was later released by Recommended Records as Acnalbasac Noom in 1980.) In 1974 Slapp Happy merged briefly with avant-rock group Henry Cow, recording two albums in 1975, Desperate Straights and In Praise of Learning. However soon after recording the second album, first Moore, then Blegvad left the amalgamation on account of incompatibilities with the group. Blegvad remarked that the “chords and the time signatures were too complicated.” But Krause elected to remain with Henry Cow and that spelt the end of Slapp Happy.
Moore and Blegvad parted company at this point, but did reunite for brief Slapp Happy reunions in 1982-1983, 1997 and 2000. Moore, Blegvad and Krause also collaborated in 1991 on the specially commissioned opera ‘Camera’, which was made by the production company After Image and was broadcast two years later on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.
After leaving Henry Cow/Slapp Happy, Moore relaunched his solo career in 1977 by releasing Out on Virgin Records, with backing by Kevin Ayers and Andy Summers. Out, however, was not commercial enough for Virgin, and they cancelled Moore‘s contract. In 1978 and 1981 Moore recorded Flying Doesn’t Help and World Service, respectively on independent labels. Both albums were well received.
anthony-moore2-2Moore has worked in various European locations as a freelance composer, writing songs and film scores. He has produced a number of albums, including This Heat‘s debut album and collaborated with Pink Floyd on two of their albums.
In 1996 Moore was appointed professor for research into sound and music in the context of new media at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany. From 2000 to 2004 he was the principal of the Academy of Media Arts. Moore has also travelled to many European locations, presenting lectures on sound and music.
In 2002 Moore formed a music trio with Jörg Lindenmaier and Peter C. Simon called LMS, named after the first letters of their surnames. They performed in France and Germany between 2002 and 2003.

Selected discography:

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flying-2service-2choice-2
out-2camera-2arp-2

sort of-2shappy-2acnalbasac-2desperate-2praise-2cava-2live-2

Anthony Moore ‎– Pieces From The Cloudland Ballroom
Anthony Moore ‎– Secrets Of The Blue Bag
Anthony Moore ‎– Reed, Whistle And Sticks
Anthony Moore ‎– Flying Doesn’t Help
Anthony Moore ‎– World Service
Anthony Moore ‎– The Only Choice
Anthony Moore ‎– Out
Dagmar Krause, Anthony Moore, Peter Blegvad ‎– Camera
Arp & Anthony Moore ‎– Arp & Anthony Moore

Slapp Happy ‎– Sort Of
Slapp Happy ‎– Slapp Happy
Slapp Happy ‎– Acnalbasac Noom
Slapp Happy / Henry Cow ‎– Desperate Straights
Henry Cow ‎– In Praise Of Learning
Slapp Happy ‎– Ça Va
Slapp Happy ‎– Live In Japan – May, 2000

nw 2013-08-04: Anthony Moore

Rock music series

Anthony Moore born 65 years ago, in 1948. Because in this show I present the following musics.

Anthony Moore ‎– Pieces From The Cloudland Ballroom

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Two great missing links in the incredible history of Uwe Nettlebeck’s productions at Wumme, Germany. Slapp Happy founder Moore recorded PIECES a month after Faust cut their debut LP (fall 1971) and SECRETS a month before their second (with SH’s debut SORT OF following in May ’72 and Tony Conrad/Faust in October). Indeed, Faust’s Werner “Zappa” Diermaier and Gunther Wusthoff both contribute to PIECES, which is not a krautrock or artrock LP but a bona fide minimal classic.
Pieces From the Cloudland Ballroom belongs to his “composer” side instead of his “songwriter” one (as with the group Slapp Happy). The album is comprised of one 20-minute piece and two more of approximately ten minutes each.
Side one is “Jam Jem Jim Jom Jum” which as five singers chanting that mantra while Moore plays these odd, repeating chords underneath. More’s idea was to create musical palindromes, i.e. pieces that come full-circle, creating a mirror image of themselves that can be “read” in both directions. Palindromes are structures that can be read forwards or backwards such as ‘Satan oscillate my metallic sonataS’ or ‘?Was It a car or a cat I saW?’. This is a palindrome that takes nearly 20 minutes to complete based on the odd numbers 3, 5, 7, 9, 11. Imagine a waltz, that is 3/4 time, superimposed at the same tempo over a piece in 5/4. The lowest common denominator of 3 and 5 is 15. This means that on the 16th beat, two pieces will re-synchronise, completing a circle of departing and approaching, a mirror image. To these two, add the further patterns of 7, 9 & 11 beats. “Jam Jem Jim Jom Jum” has five vocal parts in 3/4, 5/4, 7/4, 9/4, and 11/4, all at the same tempo. Each singer sings a different syllable (“jam,” “jem,” etc.), accentuating his/her first beat. All five will come back to the same “first beat” (and thus back to their starting point) after 3 x 5 x 7 x 9 x 11 beats (the lowest common denominator), and that takes about 20 minutes.
The first piece on side 2, “Ma Na H-uile Ni a Shaoileas Iad”, sounds uncannily like Richard Young’s ADVENT with its quiet, delicate two-note piano motif and piercing bowed metal stings, while “A.B.C.D. Gol’fish” throws together harpsichords and percussion, it could almost pass for the trance rock classic that Moondog never got around to recording.

1. Anthony Moore ‎– Pieces From The Cloudland Ballroom (2002, CD, Blueprint (Voiceprint) ‎– BP327CD)
1. Jam Jem Jim Jom Jum
2. Mu Na H-Uile Ni A Shaoileas
3. A.B.C.D. Gol’Fish (1967)

Anthony Moore ‎– Secrets Of The Blue Bag

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The follow-up, Secrets Of The Blue Bag, is three pieces for strings and voice all based on the same 5 note melody. It’s more “classical” than its predecessor. Pieces From The Cloudland Ballroom is the superior LP, but both are essential if you have any interest in the genre, period, or principals involved.
The one hundred and twenty different combinations of the first five notes of the diatonic scale are combined and recombined. It is a homage to the coding/decoding engines of early computer history and their tireless labour. In 1971, when the piece was written, I had just come across Raymond Lully and his rotating encryption device (Lullian Circle) which consisted of moveable concentric rings, a mechanical system for the treatment of information developed in the late 13th century. This inspired the idea of Secrets of the Blue Bag. Incidentally, the Blue Bag was an early Chinese expression for the sky, or universe.”

2. Anthony Moore ‎– Secrets Of The Blue Bag (2002, CD, Blueprint (Voiceprint) ‎– BP328CD)
1. Secrets Of The Blue Bag 1
2. Secrets Of The Blue Bag 2

SLAPP HAPPY

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Slapp Happy was a German/English avant-pop group consisting of Anthony Moore (keyboards), Peter Blegvad (guitar) andDagmar Krause (vocals). The band formed in Germany in 1972. The band members moved to England in 1974 where they merged with Henry Cow, but the merger ended soon afterwards and Slapp Happy split up. Slapp Happy’s sound was characterised by Dagmar Krause’s unique vocal style.

What is Sapp Happy?

The word, ’Slapp Happy’, is derived from Greek term meaning ’punch drunk’; but in current popular usage many different ideas are involved in the ways we employ the term.
dagmary-2Sometimes we mean by ’Slapp Happy’ an attitude towards certain activities, as when one says ’I approve of your Slapp Happy way of doing business’ or ’I am not voting for her because I do not approve of her Slapp Happiness.’
Again, we talk about being ’Slapp Happy’ when we mean taking a long-term, detached view of certain immediate problems. When one is disappointed, we suggest to him that he ought to be more ’Slapp Happy’.
In still another sense we think of Slapp Happy as an evaluation or interpretation of what is important or meaningful in life.
This usage may indicate by the story of 2 men who were drinking greek wine together.
One of them held his glass to the light, scrutinized (serutinized) it thoughtfully, & then observed, ’life is like a glass of Retsina’.
His companion looked up at the glass, turned to his friend & asked, ’Why is life like a glass of Retsina’?
’How should I know’, he answered, ’I’m not Slapp Happy’.
(Retsina is a Greek white (or rosé) resinated wine.)

Slapp Happy ‎– Acnalbasac Noom

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The history of this album is a bit complicated. It has had numerous releases on many different labels, with different track listings/mixes, etc. “Acnalbasac Noom” was Slapp Happy’s second LP, was originally recorded in Germany in 1973 with members of Faust, and engineered by Kurt Grauner, in Faust’s legendary Wumme Studio. Like the first it was produced by Faust’s svengali Uwe Nettelbeck.
Originally titled Casablanca Moon, it was recorded for Polydor in 1973, but Slapp Happy’s label , Polydor, refused to commercially release the album, so the band moved to England, and signed with Richard Branson’s blossoming Virgin label. Their first Virgin’s album released in 1974 and was an entirely re-recorded version of the same material, although it was entitled Slapp Happy when released. (N.B: The Virgin 1974 LP version omits the track “Charlie ‘N Charlie”, and a track entitled “Haiku” is included.) To compound the confusion, the Virgin version was retitled Casablanca Moon when it was reissued on CD in 1993 (on a single-disc release that also included their 1974 Virgin album Desperate Straights). The original mix was finally released in 1980 as Acnalbasac Noom, on Recommended Records. Acnalbasac Noom is the original, 1973 recording of the Casablanca Moon material, and not a mere archival curiosity; it’s quite worthy on its own merits. “Acnalbasac Noom” is not an easy album to categorize, but its an amazing work of original compositions by Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore, and Dagmar Krause. The group’s songwriting had improved since their debut, and Krause’s German chanteuse-influenced vocals found catchier, more rock-oriented settings. The arrangements, production, playing, and vocals by Dagmar Krause are superb. Krause’s vocals have a unique beauty. Her alto voice is well suited to the songs on “Acnalbasac Noom”, and her vocals contribute immensely to the quality of this album. The songs are whimsical, catchy, and very clever. The lyrics are witty and oddball without being pretentious. Tracks like “Mr. Rainbow” recall Yoko Ono’searly-’70s song-oriented material, with an important difference: Krause’s vocals are much better than Ono’s, while just as distinctive. “The Secret,” with its almost girl-group-worthy catchiness, and “Charlie ‘n Charlie,” with its nifty surfish guitar riff, even sound like potential commercial singles.
This edition includes four bonus tracks.

3. Slapp Happy ‎– Acnalbasac Noom (1990, CD, ReR Megacorp ‎– ReR SHCD)
1. Casablanca Moon
3. Mr Rainbow
8. Dawn
11. Slow Moon’s Rose

Peter Blegvad ‎– Alcohol

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One-sided 7″, side B has etching of grapes.
Alcohol was recorded as a demo for the Slapp Happy/Henry Cow album Desperate Straights in 1974 by Peter Blegvad and Anthony Moore.

4. Peter Blegvad ‎– Alcohol (1981, Vinyl 7″, Single Sided, Recommended Records ‎– RR 5.75)
A. Alcohol

Slapp Happy ‎– Casablanca Moon / Desperate Straights

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Shortly after recording ‘Unrest’, Henry Cow entered into a merger with label mates Slapp Happy. Slapp Happy comprised Dagmar, their German vocalist who would later win great acclaim for interpretations of Brecht, Peter Blegvad, American born but raised and educated in England, played guitar and wrote most of the lyrics and would later contribute the unique strip cartoon Leviathan to the Independent, and Anthony Moore, English pianist who wrote most of the music and who would later work with the post Waters Pink Floyd. Together they produced a kind of skewed pop awash with literary and artistic references. They had recorded 2 albums with Faust, the second of which was re-recorded with session players for Virgin. 2 albums would come from this merger; Desperate Straights (Slapp Happy with Henry Cow) and In Praise Of Learning (Henry Cow with Slapp Happy).
Desperate Straights recorded at Virgin Records’ Manor studios in November 1974 and it was released in March 1975. It was the first of the joint ventures to be recorded, and the union of Henry Cow’s avant rock with Slapp Happy’s warped pop was both challenging and accessible. Almost all of the album comprises Slapp Happy composed material. The majority of the songs were built around a piano/bass/drums accompaniment, with other instruments adding extra colour where needed. Tim Hodgkinson’s clarinet is deployed as an instrumental foil to Dagmar’s unique voice to superb effect, particularly on the opening song Some Questions About Hats. Elsewhere, The Owl features Dagmar accompanied solely by horns and Europa has some superb percussion from Pierre Moerlen – all the arrangements are highly original and well thought out. Peter Blegvad takes the lead vocal on Strayed and does a neat pastiche of Lou Reed’s drawl. Excerpt From The Messiah is a snippet of Handel as though played by a 70s glam metal band like Slade. There are 2 instrumentals, the title track which is a short, off kilter foxtrot, and the closing track, a lengthy piano/clarinet piece which features the 2 instruments playing scales very slowly. Caucasian Lullaby isn’t bad at all, and would have been a superb addition to one of Eno’s Obscure label releases, but it is somewhat out of keeping with the rest of the album.

5. Slapp Happy ‎– Casablanca Moon / Desperate Straights (1993, Virgin ‎– CDOVD 441)
12. Some Questions About Hats
15. Bad Alchemy
19. Apes In Capes

Dagmar Krause, Anthony Moore, Peter Blegvad ‎– Camera

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An unusual one-off project by three musicians usually known as Slapp Happ. ‘Camera’ was originally written as an opera for television, was recorded in 1991 and first screened in 1993. However it was not released on CD until 2000.
Slapp Happy fans may be in for a shock if they haven’t paid careful attention to the liners before slapping on this CD. The first impression is that either Peter Blegvad or Anthony Moore has gone through quite a vocal transformation — into an operatic tenor, no less. Well, of course it’s neither Blegvad nor Moore, but rather tenor John Harris in the role of Forecast, a tax collector. Forecast is one of several key characters in Camera, a television opera, with an occasionally lush orchestral score by Moore, a libretto by Blegvad, and a major performance from Dagmar Krause as the character Melusina. Camera is a magical domain where the laws of nature and society do not apply, and where Melusina resides in utter separation from the world.
Forecast is sent to Camera by Hardwicke (Nicole Tibbels), head of the tax office, to collect back taxes from Melusina. However, Forecast is transformed by his visit to Melusina’s world and becomes sympathetic to her, which leads to fateful and mysterious turns of events when the cold-hearted Taft (Quentin Hayes) is dispatched by Hardwicke to Camera, charged with succeeding where Forecast failed. There are intriguing concepts and philosophical underpinnings to this work — for example, did Melusina create Camera or vice versa — and the sometimes compelling music of this modern opera is well-suited to the dramatic exposition as it unfolds (most, but not all, of the libretto is printed in the CD booklet). Also, as expected, Dagmar is tremendous; she has proven her wide range as a vocalist in both avant-garde and pop recordings, and now excels in this operatic role. With a richer, deeper, and fuller voice than during her earlier days and, as Melusina, not asked to adopt any over-the-top mannerisms, Dagmar walks a line that would seem to appeal to both pop and art music listeners. That’s probably not true for the other singers, however, who possess undeniable skill but whose traditional, emotive operatic style may strike Slapp Happy fans as a bit stilted and uptight. In short, Dagmar can walk that line but, on the evidence here, Harris and the others cannot. It would seem better suited to join Dagmar in giving life to Blegvad’s libretto. As for the libretto, Blegvad has found words that are usually poetic and only occasionally awkward, and his existential metaphors are consistently thought-provoking. But perhaps Moore presents the greatest surprise, particularly for those only aware of his work as a solo artist and member of Slapp Happy (including the collaborations withHenry Cow). Moore has, however, studied Indian classical music, composed film soundtracks, and also experimented with tape and sound manipulation during his adventurous and multi-faceted musical career. With Camera, he demonstrates compositional mastery with an extended-form thematic work performed by five singers, the Balanescu Quartet, bassist Chris Laurence, and woodwind and brass sections, with subtle use of experimental sound textures. Moore composed the music in 1991 and Camera was broadcast on Channel 4 in the U.K.; of course, the visual component is entirely missing from this CD.
It’s not really an effort by Slapp Happy the band, which should be apparent as soon as John Harris opens his mouth soon after Camera starts spinning.

6. Dagmar Krause, Anthony Moore, Peter Blegvad ‎– Camera (2000, CD, Blueprint (Voiceprint) ‎– BP332CD)

1. Who, How, Where, When, Why?
2. That Morning
3. Please Step Quickly In (When You Enter This Room / Thirty Years Ago)
4. Your Exemption Isn’t Recognised (For Thirty Years)
5. I Have Given Up Trying To Decide (A Delectable Breeze)
6. I’ve Come Into A Country
7. It’s Been Night In Here For Years*

You can listen here (beginnings from 0:39):

no wave 2013-08-04: part1
no wave 2013-08-04: part2
no wave 2013-08-04: part3
no wave 2013-08-04: part4