Archive for the Evan Parker Category


Posted in Bjork, Evan Parker, Fred Frith, Hamid Drake, Ned Rothenberg, Paolo Angeli, Tibi with tags , , , , , , on December 22, 2010 by candymachine

Are you looking for that last minute Christmas gift for the guitar enthusiast, or someone interested in the possibilities of the guitar? Paolo Angeli’s ‘Tibi’ is sure to do the trick.

Angeli is an exponent of the Sardinian guitar, which might look like the offspring of a guitar and a cello. What he does with the Sardinian guitar, however, puts him in a category all his own. And what he does with the Sardinian guitar is documented on ‘Tibi,’ a CD/DVD aural, visual presentation of Angeli at work – or rather, at play. (Released on ReR Megacorp).

 As mentioned, the Sardinian guitar is larger than what we generally think of as a guitar, and is played in a more upright fashion, as you would approach a cello. To this guitar, Angeli attaches an array of miniature hammers, levers, springs, strings, coils, widgets, screws, whirlers, fans, cuffs, planks, clamps, cables, pedals…and more strings. There are multiple pick-ups, cross-layered strings, and foot triggered motors. In Angeli’s hands, the Sardinian guitar becomes something else, an invention of his own making, which he bows, strums, picks, plucks, taps and scrapes.

 Do not, however, let this description lull you into thinking that this is an ‘experimental’ recording, in the sense of “let’s just try this and see what happens.” Nor is it a catalog of random noises and sound bits created by random effects and chance procedures. Angeli knows exactly what he is doing and proceeds with purpose and sure hands (and feet).  Angeli’s invention and extension of the instrument meets and meshes with his imagination and innovation of technique to produce a music of translucent beauty. It’s all captured by Nanni Angeli, Simone Ciani and Lino Greco on the DVD portion of ‘Tibi.’ As the DVD opens, we’re introduced to some abstracted images, close-ups and angled shots of various parts of the instrument. We’re not certain of what it is we’re looking at. What we hear might be a small ensemble: strings, plucked bass, percussion, a guitar, electronics(?). As the video takes on more concrete form and the abstract and angular gives way to ‘regular’ concert video images, we see that the full soundscape we’ve been listening to is the creative activity of just one man. There are also segments of the workshop and instrument architects that put Angeli’s instrument together.

 I hope Tibi brings Angeli wider recognition.  And if you’re looking for a music where imagination and expression meets innovation and invention, Angeli is a great place to start.  I’m attaching a video of Angeli here, (taken from YouTube) since words don’t adequately convey what it is he does. This one is a liberal interpretation of Bjork’s Desired Constellation.

 Other related recordings by Paolo Angeli:


Tessuti (plays the music of Fred Frith and Bjork)

Free Zone Appleby 2007 (with Evan Parker and Ned Rothenberg)

Uotha (with Hamid Drake)

Linee Di Fuga


Posted in Bill Laswell, David Bowie, Evan Parker, Fred Frith, George Lewis, Keith Richards, Lester Bowie, Robert Wyatt, Rolling Stones on November 25, 2010 by candymachine

In my previous post,  I suggested that musicians tend to be wide open to the musical universe while listeners en masse are inclined toward a narrower focus. Today, I’d like to offer a follow-up illustration.

In the previous post, I used three references to three musicians to suggest this openness. Those musicians were Keith Richards, George Lewis and Robert Wyatt.  At first glance, these three musicians – titans in their respective fields – might seem like a wildly incongruous mix of musical characters. In a sense, they are. And yet, even though they are at home in  different genres, they turn out to be close neighbours.

I like the notion of ‘six degrees of separation;’ that any 2 individuals can be linked together via 6 other individual contacts. I think we can take this notion and map it onto the world of musicians and indeed link any 2 individuals through 6 (or 5 or 4 or 3) others.  Let’s take a closer look at our seemingly incongruous three musicians above. Keith Richards might seem light years away from Robert Wyatt to some, but Richards’ Rolling Stone bandmate Charlie Watts also runs the Charlie Watts Big Band, which lets Watts indulge his love of jazz.  Radical saxophonist Evan Parker has been a part of Watts’ band, and Parker has also appeared on record with Wyatt, most notably on Wyatt’s great ‘Shleep.’  That makes for a separation of merely 2 musicians between Richards and Wyatt. In fact, I’m sure there is an even more direct connection between the two musicians that I’m not aware of.

How about George Lewis?  Lewis has played with Evan Parker too, so he is situated on the same line we just traced. I know Lewis has also played with Fred Frith and Chris Cutler, who in turn have both enjoyed a long, friendly history with Wyatt.  As for connecting him up to Richards, off the top of my head I know that Lewis has worked with bass maverick Bill Laswell, who also produced one of Mick Jagger’s solo outings. Jagger has, of course, an acquaintance with Richards.

We could do this all night.  How about George Lewis and late 60s/ early 70s teen idol David Cassidy of Partridge Family fame? The AACM seems light years from old schlocky TV sitcoms.  However, David Cassidy once tried to shake off his candy floss idol image and stake a claim for himself as a reputable musician by hooking up with Mick Ronson to produce a solo album. Ronson, of course, had been a guitarist with David Bowie’s band, circa Ziggy Stardust, and Bowie had invited his namesake Lester Bowie (of the Art Ensemble of Chicago) to bring his trumpet along to Bowie’s ‘Black Tie, White Noise’ sessions. In 2006, Lewis released a recording, titled Sequel, which was dedicated to the late, great Lester. So, that’s just 3 musicians separating George Lewis and David Cassidy.

We could do this all night.