fORCH

For fORCH recordings, see cds and downloads.

fORCH

fORCH was initially formed, at the invitation of Reinhard Kager, for the 2005 New Jazz Meeting of the SWR (South West German Radio), which consisted of a week of intensive rehearsing and recording followed by four concerts. Two releases from that project are available on Evan Parker's psi label: equals and the double CD spin networks (see cds).

The fORCH ensemble is based around the electroacoustic duo FURT, which was formed by Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer in 1986 and which has performed throughout Europe and released six CDs of its own. FURT’s music is a unique combination of kaleidoscopic electronic/concrete sound with the headlong energy of free jazz, described in the Guardian as “one of the most blisteringly energetic and experimental partnerships over the past 20 years”.

Expanding FURT into a new kind of “orchestra” (hence the name fORCH) had been an objective for many years, and the SWR project created an opportunity to establish such an ensemble, in which the electronic duo was combined with vocalists and instrumentalists, all leading players in the world of improvised and experimental music who have developed their own unprecedented sounds and techniques.

fORCH plays a combination of “pure” improvised music and composed frameworks by FURT which serve to co-ordinate and channel the musical energy of the band in clearly structured but still “free” directions, so that it has a strong musical personality which is more than the sum of its parts. This is a new kind of contemporary music ensemble which no longer recognises any hierarchy between composers and performers.

In 2005 the original line-up was Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer (electronics), Phil Minton and Ute Wassermann (voices), John Butcher (saxophones), Paul Lovens (percussion), Wolfgang Mitterer (piano/electronics) and Rhodri Davies (celtic and concert harps). Subsequent performances – at the Spitalfields Festival in London, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Aberdeen’s sound festival – have also incorporated Peter Evans (trumpets), Aleksander Kolkowski (viola) and Anne La Berge (flutes/electronics). Lori Freedman (clarinets) joined the group for the first time at the Donaueschinger Musiktage in October 2012. fORCH’s Donaueschingen performance is available as a third CD release, spukhafte Fernwirkung, on John Coxon’s Treader label (see cds).

Richard Barrett

Richard BarrettRichard (born 1959) is internationally active as both composer and improvising performer, and has collaborated with many leading performers in both areas, while developing works and ideas which increasingly leave behind the distinctions between them. His long-term collaborations include the electronic duo FURT which he formed with Paul Obermayer in 1986 (and its more recent octet version, fORCH), composing for and performing with the Elision contemporary music group since 1990, and regular appearances with the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble since 2003. Recent projects include CONSTRUCTION, a two-hour work for 23 performers and three-dimensional sound system, premiered by Elision in November 2011. He studied composition principally with Peter Wiegold, is based in Berlin and currently teaches at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague, having previously held a professorship at Brunel University in London. His work as composer and performer is documented on over 25 CDs, including five discs devoted to his compositions and six by FURT.

richardbarrettmusic.com

John Butcher

John Butcher

John was born in Brighton in England and has lived in London since the late 1970s. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics. Originally a theoretical physicist, he published his PhD in 1982 and then left academia for music. He has since collaborated with hundreds of musicians, mostly involved with improvisation – including Derek Bailey, John Stevens, Gerry Hemingway, Polwechsel, Gino Robair, Rhodri Davies, John Edwards, Toshimaru Nakamura, Eddie Prévost, Paul Lovens, Christian Marclay and Andy Moor. Compositions include Penny Wands for reconstructed Futurist Intonarumori, The Knot Garden for the Rova Saxophone Quartet, and somethingtobesaid for the John Butcher Group. In 2011 he was one of three recipients of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Composers. Alongside long-term collaborations, he particularly values playing in occasional encounters, which have ranged from large groups such as Butch Morris’s London Skyscraper and the EX Orkestra to duo concerts with Fred Frith, John Tilbury, Otomo Yoshihide, Matthew Shipp and Akio Suzuki. He is also well known as a solo saxophonist who attempts to engage with a sense of place. The well received Resonant Spaces CD is a collection of site-specific performances recorded during a tour of unusual locations in Scotland and the Orkney Islands.

johnbutcher.org.uk

Rhodri Davies

Rhodri DaviesRhodri was born in 1971 in Aberystwyth in Wales and now lives in Gateshead in the north east of England. He plays harp, electric harp and live electronics, and builds wind, water and fire harp installations. His regular groups include a duo with John Butcher, The Sealed Knot, a trio with David Toop and Lee Patterson, Common Objects, Cranc, a trio with John Tilbury and Michael Duch, SLW and Apartment House. In 2008 he worked with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on Self-cancellation, a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow. He also performs and researches contemporary music. New pieces for harp have been composed for him by Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Christian Wolff, Ben Patterson, Alison Knowles, Michael Pisaro, Carole Finer, Mieko Shiomi, Radu Malfatti and Yasunao Tone.

 rhodridavies.co.uk

Peter Evans

Peter EvansPeter has been a member of the New York musical community since 2003, when he moved to the city after graduating Oberlin Conservatory. Peter currently works in a wide variety of areas, including solo performance, chamber orchestras, performance art, free improvised settings, electro-acoustic music and composition. As a performer, Evans has been working to break through the technical barriers of his instrument and enjoys playing with steady configurations of improvisers; each band explores a specific concept or style as much as possible. Current bands include the Peter Evans Quartet (with Brandon Seabrook, Tom Blancarte, & Kevin Shea), Moppa Elliott’s terrorist bebop band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the hyperactive free-improvisation duo Sparks (with Tom Blancarte), the free-jazz quintet Carnivalskin (with Klaus Kugel and Bruce Eisenbeil), the Language Of with Charles Evans, duos with trumpeter Nate Wooley and saxophonist Dave Reminick, the New York Trumpet Ensemble, as well as a sustained interest in solo performance. In New York, Peter also performs contemporary notated music with groups such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Continuum and Ensemble 21. He has continued to perform on piccolo trumpet in Baroque settings, performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 at the Bargemusic series and Mass in B Minor at St Peter’s Church. Other collaborators have included: Mary Halvorson, Dave Taylor, John Zorn, Okkyung Lee, Taylor Ho Bynum, Perry Robinson, Jim Black, Evan Parker, Ned Rothenberg, Mark Gould, Jack Wright, Luka Ivanovic, Brian Chase, and Alan Kay. Recent travels have brought Peter to venues and festivals in the US, Canada, Europe, the UK and South East Asia. Recordings include More is More, a solo trumpet album on psi, the self-titled first album of the Peter Evans Quartet (on firehouse12), and Shamokin!, the second album by MOPDTK, on HotCup Records.

Lori Freedman

Lori FreedmanLori has been described as “a musical revolutionary in the front ranks of the avant-garde”. With full throttle in both contemporary and improvised music streams, she is known internationally for her provocative and creative performances. Over 45 composers have written solo bass clarinet music for her, and her own compositions have been performed by Transmission, Supermusique, Continuum, Arraymusic, Upstream and the Queen Mab Trio. Her work has been recorded on more than 60 CDs, with her most recent features being Bridge (solo repertoire and improvisations), Cut a Caper (with Ig Henneman, Axel Dorner, Ab Baars, Wilbert de Joode, Marilyn Lerner), Plumb (with Scott Thomson, trombone), 3 (her Montreal trios including Martin Tétreault, Jean Derome, René Lussier, Rainer Weins, Nic Caloia, Danielle P Roger), À un moment donné (solo improvisations), Huskless! (solo repertoire, solo and group improvisations with Paul Plimley, Pierre Tanguay, Chris Cauley, Marilyn Lerner) and See Saw and Thin Air (Queen Mab Trio). In 1998 she received the Freddie Stone Award (past recipients include John Oswald and Lisle Ellis) for the “demonstration of outstanding leadership, integrity and excellence in the area of contemporary music and jazz”. In addition to her creative work with choreographers, film and stage directors, and multimedia artists, some of her most important collaborators have been Joëlle Léandre, Joe McPhee, Mauricio Kagel, Rohan de Saram, Frances-Marie Uitti, Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble, Philippe Leroux, Paul Steenhuisen and Helmut Lachenmann. “Clarinet never sounded so human-wildly curious, deeply soulful, swooping, swooning naked intimacy.” Juan Rodriguez, Montreal Gazette

lorifreedman.com

Aleks Kolkowski

Aleks KolkowskiAleks studied music at Goldsmiths College in London and violin with Clarence Myerscough at the Royal Academy of Music. He was taught by John Tilbury and Hugh Davies, and in 1982 participated in seminars and performances directed by John Cage. Over the past 25 years he has worked internationally as an improvising violinist, interpreter, solo performer and composer for dance, theatre and film. He has created several mixed-media projects in the UK and in Germany together with artists, film-makers and choreographers. His latest work combines instruments and machines from the pioneering era of sound recording and reproduction (Stroh instruments, wind-up gramophones, shellac discs and wax-cylinder phonographs) to make live mechanical-acoustic music. Since 1999 he has explored the potential of pre-electronic sound reproduction technology in live performance. This work has been shown in Germany, Holland, Poland, Italy, Austria and the US. Compositions include Voices and Etchings for six singers and gramophones (Staatsbankberlin, 2003) and Mechanical Landscape with Bird (MaerzMusik, Berlin 2004), featuring live singing canaries, wax cylinder phonograph recordings and a rotating horned string quartet. Collaborators have included: Martin Riches, Apartment House, Kairos Quartett, Ute Wassermann, Anna Clementi, Aki Takase, Tony Buck, Hayley Newman, Phil Minton, Tristan Honsinger, Tony Oxley, Evan Parker, Sainkho Namchylak, Louis Moholo, Jon Rose, Matt Wand, Richard Barrett, Phill Niblock, Christian Wolff, Claus van Bebber, Boris Hegenbart and many others.

Anne La Berge

Ann La Berge

Anne’s career as a flutist/improviser/composer stretches across international and stylistic boundaries. As well as her own work, she has performed with Cor Fuhler’s Corkestra, David Dramm, Ensemble Modern, Gene Carl, Peter van Bergen’s LOOS ensemble, Musik Fabrik and many others. Her most recent performances bring together the elements on which her international reputation is based: a ferocious and far-reaching virtuosity, a penchant for improvising delicately spun microtonal textures and melodies, and her wholly unique array of powerfully percussive flute effects, all combined with cutting-edge electronics. The last few years have seen a new addition to her work: self-penned enigmatic short stories which slide seamlessly in and out of her compositions and improvisations.

annelaberge.nl

Paul Lovens

Paul Lovens

Paul was born in Aachen in Germany in 1949 and played the drums as a child. Self-taught, from the age of 14 he played in groups of various jazz styles and popular musics and from 1969 has worked almost exclusively as an improviser on individually selected instruments. He has worked internationally with most of the leading musicians in free jazz and free improvisation, including the Globe Unity Orchestra, the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the Schlippenbach trio, Quintet Moderne, Company, and a duo with Paul Lytton, and has undertaken concert tours in more than 40 countries. Despite some rare solo performances and occasional concerts with ad hoc groups, as well involvement in projects with film, dance and actors, his main interest is musical improvisation in fixed small groups.

Phil Minton

Phil MintonPhil was born in Torquay in the UK in 1940. Both his parents were singers. He learnt tumpet from age 15 and played and sung with local jazz groups, moving to London in 1963 to play with Mike Westbrook. From the mid-1960s he worked in dance bands in the UK, Canary Islands and Sweden. Rejoining Westbrook in 1972, he was a regular member of his Brass Band untill 1984, playing trumpet and singing extensively in Europe, the US and beyond. Through the last 30 years he’s worked mainly as a improvising singer and sung with most of the world’s leading improvising musicians as well as been a guest singer in music by many composers. He collaborated with pianist Veryan Weston on compositions such as Songs from a Prison Diary and is currently a member of improvising groups TooT, No Walls and Axon. He also has a quartet with Veryan, John Butcher and Roger Turner. He was a NESTA awardee in 2005 and in the last 15 years has travelled to many countries with his “Feral Choir”, a workshop and concert for all people who want to sing.

philminton.co.uk

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