87

Keith Rowe / John Tilbury: E.E.Tension and Circumstance

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
If it weren't for the sound of one hand clapping, we would have no resonance at all.

That snarky summation might best describe this hour-long duo performance by former AMM ensemble band mates Keith Rowe and John Tilbury. Like the zen koan "one hand clapping," this music evokes an almost instantaneous meditation.

Recorded just outside of Paris in December 2010 at Les Instants Chavirés, this duo brings together two legends of British improvisation not heard together on record since Duos for Doris (Erstwhile, 2003).

Rowe's, while purposefully non-musical does summon a sort of mechanical euphonic. Playing on a tabletop, he can kindle feedback, distortion, and a tsunami of energy to build both dense walls and paper-thin constructions of meditative prayer. In duo with Tilbury, Rowe appears to be the instigator or captain of this two-man ship.

The piece begins tentatively: a jabbed key, some string scrapings and we're off. Well, not so much off as the musicians delivering an invitation to settle quietly into themselves. This journey is more about silence than noise. Thought over actions. The pair's exercised civil restraint is not so much call-and-response as it is conversation, one that has developed over decades. Neither Rowe nor Tilbury is in a hurry to finish the other's sentence, but both are familiar with each other's views. They a add pieces of a tuned radio and a bird whistle, all fitting unpretentiously into the colloquy.

Where Rowe slashes, Tilbury organizes. Often—and maybe for the benefit of the audience—the pianist will play a brief melody (a human element), counteracting the electro-acoustic noise. Rowe balances the indifferent with compassion, in an internal journey of inventiveness.

Track Listing: One Piece.

Personnel: Keith Rowe: guitar; John Tilbury: piano.

Title: E.E.Tension and Circumstance | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Potlatch Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read No Matter Where Noir CD/LP/Track Review No Matter Where Noir
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Out Of Silence CD/LP/Track Review Out Of Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Plodi CD/LP/Track Review Plodi
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Secret Language CD/LP/Track Review Secret Language
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Shamat CD/LP/Track Review Shamat
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Tyrant Lizard" CD/LP/Track Review Tyrant Lizard
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Rome" CD/LP/Track Review Rome
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "Brass Mask Live" CD/LP/Track Review Brass Mask Live
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "Pole Of Inaccessibility" CD/LP/Track Review Pole Of Inaccessibility
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Chamber Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Chamber Jazz
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 19, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor