Saturday, March 10, 2007

Droning with Lou Gare (and lots of other people)

This month's Children of the Drone session at St. Stephens was quite an unusual one. Lou Gare (once part of legendary free jazz ensemble AMM) turned up (having intended to for a few months). His dissonant sax playing pushed things in interesting new directions.

James T, Keith, Simon and I appeared briefly on Vibraphonic FM's "Future Sound of Exeter Show" just over a week previously, played a couple of recordings and talked about what we do. As a result of this, Ben Goldstone, a local electronic sound artist and all-round eccentric got in touch to say he wanted to make music with us. So we invited him along too. Like Lou (and Simon), he could only stick around for the first half, but put the homemade synth he'd brought to good use during the time he was there. We also had Chris, someone Simon met in Totnes (his unamplified acoustic guitar got rather lost in the church acoustic, unfortunately) and Robin and Herewood, a couple of percussionists Henry's invited along to some recent sessions (Robin also adding some very nice accordion drones occasionally). James S only remembered that there was a session at the last minute, turned up without instruments, and ended up hanging about by the mic reading and singing bits of church literature, to great effect.

It felt quite chaotic (mainly due to the number of us playing), though enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised that Lou Gare asked if he could get a recording before he left. The recording was also a pleasant surprise - really quite OK, a lot of it.

Legendary free jazz ensemble AMM
Not COTD! It's AMM, back in the day (c. 1968)

James S - vocals
James T - poetry, piano, pecussion, partially-submerged gong
Keith - electric guitar, electric mandolin, percussion(?)
Simon - laptop (first half)
Henry - percussion
me - saz, balalaika, percussion

Lou Gare - saxophone (first half)
Robin - percussion
Herewood - percussion, xylophone, pennywhistle
Ben - homemade analogue synth, piano (first half)
Chris - acoustic guitar, harmonica

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