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Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Memory/Vision

Jerry D'Souza By

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Man and machine manipulate music. Man thinks and machine obeys. That's the way it has been with the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble since the group banded together in 1992. Sound and signal processors, as well as computers, are fed by the imagination of the players. Technology swallows the impulse and pours it out. What happens at the end of the process is what counts. Does the end justify the means? Has the manipulation worked?

The inspiration came from Charles Arthur Musès and his ideas of Chronotopology (which deals with time and its structure) and resonance. That is a good base to take off from, and given the strengths of the musicians as inventors, an idea well worth the intent.

Time and structure go through various dimensions. Structure is broken, time fragmented, in a flow that ebbs and eddies. When the machines are the end voice, the ideas that leap out in jiggles and squeals and whirs are mesmerising. There is also the strength that derives from the playing. And as Parker's soprano gets a twist and a gnarl or Philip Wachsmann's violin scampers and skewers, the beckoning latches on to an important ingredient—emotion. One of the strongest segments comes when Agusti Fernandez creates a whirl on the strings of the piano and gets a countenance from Barry Guy on bass and Paul Lytton on the drums, a three-way discourse that is tremendously elevating.

Resonance finds its appeal from different resources.


Personnel: Evan Parker--soprano saxophone, tapes and samples; Philipp Wachsmann--violin, electronics; Agusti Fernandez--piano, prepared piano; Barry Guy--double bass; Paul Lytton--percussion, electronics; Lawrence Casserley--signal processing instrument; Joel Ryan--computer, sound processing; Walter Pratti--electronics, sound processing; Marco Vecchi--electronics, sound processing

Title: Memory/Vision | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: ECM Records

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