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About the Artists
Presspectives

Asphodels Abide

Thanos Chrysakis, Chris Cundy, James O' Sullivan

Duration 43.50 | Released November 2014

Thanos Chrysakis : laptop computer, synthesizer, radio | Chris Cundy : bass clarinet |

James O’Sullivan : guitar |

Recorded in November 2013 at OneCat Studio, London

by Jonathan Clayton

Editing and Mastering by

Thanos Chrysakis at Alpha Studio Visby/Gotland

and Meridian Studio between April-June 2014.

 

About the Artists

Thanos Chrysakis’ output consists of composition, performance, and installation. He was born in Athens in 1971. After residing in the UK between 1998–2014 he moved in 2015 to Belarus. With several albums to his name his work has appeared in festivals and events in several countries, including CYNETart Festival, Festspielhaus Hellerau – Dresden, Academy of Arts / M:AI (Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst NRW)– Berlin, Diapason Gallery – New York, ohrenhoch - der Geräuschladen Gallery – Berlin Neukölln, XXII “Sound Ways” International New Music Festival – St Petersburg, Artus Contemporary Arts Studio – Budapest, CRUCE Gallery – Madrid, Fylkingen – Stockholm, Relative (Cross) Hearings festival – Budapest, ZEPPELIN festival – Barcelona, Futura 2013 Drôme, XIII Festival Internacional de Música Nueva – Monterrey, Oosterkerk – Amsterdam, Störung festival – Barcelona, Center for New Music – San Francisco, Västerås Konstmuseum –Västerås, BMIC Cutting Edge concert series - The Warehouse – London . His music has been also frequently aired by RAI Radio 3, BBC Radio 3, Radio Portugal Antenna 2, Radio Nacional de España, FM Brussel, Polskie Radio (Warsaw), Elektramusic (Strasbourg), Undae! Radio and Onda Sonora - Radio Circulo de Bellas Artes (CBA) (Madrid). He composes for electronic and acoustic instruments as well environmental sounds, focusing on the structural, aesthetic and transfigured capacity of sonic matter. His work was amongst the selected works at the International Competition de Musique et d'Art Sonore Electroacoustiques de Bourges 2005, in the category œuvre d'art sonore électroacoustique, while received an honorary mention in 2006 at the 7th International Electroacoustic Competition Musica Viva in Lisbon.

 

Picture of Thanos Chrysakis

Chris Cundy is an English musician, composer, and arranger specialising in bass clarinet, saxophones and other woodwinds. He has worked with Cold Specks, Lol CoxhillBonnie 'Prince' Billy, Devon Sproule, Timber Timbre, Guillemots, Little Annie and Baby Dee. His work ranges from improvisation and experimental music through to modern composition and pop music.

Between 1996 and 1999 Chris studied painting at Cheltenham art college and during this time he more fully expanded his practice of improvised music, sometimes referred to as 'free music' out of which various projects have emerged such as Weavels which features bassoonist Mick Beck and guitarist, clarinettist Alex Ward. He has also established several ventures into composition developing the use of 'extended techniques' such as multi-phonics, circular breathing, micro harmonics and generally speaking a more tactile approach to instrumentation. He has worked closely with a number of composers and educators including John TilburyThanos Chrysakis and Dominic Lash.

During his time at Cheltenham he also met songwriter and orchestrator Fyfe Dangerfield with whom he has worked on many different occasions including as a touring and recording artist in his band Guillemots. More recently Chris has been working with Cold Specks and appears on her 2014 album 'Neuroplasticity' (Mute Artists) recorded at Montréal's Hotel2Tango Studios. One off sessions have seen Chris performing with MobyThe Blind Boys of AlabamaVieux Farka Touré and Lisa Hannigan.


Other projects and collaborations have included appearing on several albums with electronica outfit Longstone and performing music with Nofit State Circus for a number of their award winning shows under the artistic direction of the Italian choreographer Firenza Guidi.

Picture of Chris Cundy

James O'Sullivan is a London-based electric guitar player. He has performed in numerous groupings of musicians, many of whom he met through Eddie Prevost's weekly improvisational workshop. In addition, he is the founder, alongside longtime friend and collaborator David Hurn, of Four Seasons Television, which explores the relationship between improvisation, composition, recording and performance. His activities span the two poles from free improvisation to more 'composed' song forms, and he has collaborated with songwriters, improvisors, improvising songwriters and other permutations of these elements in an attempt to unpack ideas of terms such as 'free', 'composed', 'technique', 'melody', 'noise', 'rhythm' and 'improvise'.

Picture of James O' Sullivan

Presspectives

Eyal Hareuveni — Free Jazz Blog — 15.06.2016

Another collaboration between Chrysakis, now playing laptop computer, synthesizer and radio sounds, and Cundy, again on the bass clarinet, with London-based electric guitarist James O’Sullivan, a regular in percussionist Eddie Prévost's weekly improvisational workshops, recorded on November 2013.

This is a set of six free improvisations, each one attempts to offer a common ground between the three parallel sonic universes - the otherworldly sounds and noises of the laptop and the synthesizer, the deep-tones, short breaths of the bass clarinet, and the metallic, resonating strumming and hammering of the strings of the electric guitar. Again, the atmosphere is reserved, the interplay is patient and subtle, slowly structuring and destructuring the tension, offering arresting and rich soundscapes. Some of these improvisations, like the second one or the tortured fourth one, even gain suggestive cinematic qualities, as their interplay is colored with detail and nuance.

Todd McComb — Jazz Thoughts — 8.3.2015

Asphodels Abide is the latest release from Thanos Chrysakis (this time naming flowers instead of gems): The basic sounds & conception are familiar from his other releases, leading to an enjoyable trio album, featuring a classical sense of balance similar to those of his other recent albums. Although I found Asphodels Abide easier to follow on first listening than most albums mentioned here, it engages the ear, and continues to elaborate a particular personal perspective on the "exoticism" of laptop oriented improvisation, forged into something coherent & indeed limited enough in its activity to be readily discernible in its form, in spite of pitch bending & other (harmonic) disorientation. The manipulation of & interaction with plucked (by James O'Sullivan on guitar) string resonance is one of the most appealing aspects, but (the previously unknown to me, although note that he's been on Creative Sources) Chris Cundy is also quite adept at pitch bending on the clarinet. Although I've repeated the notion of classical balance, there is also an elemental glory in sound that comes through on Asphodels Abide. I believe it's an album that could actually appeal to a broader audience, given the right introduction, which I'm probably not providing. (In fact, it makes me curious to experiment on small children. Enough of Mozart!).

Guillaume Belhomme © Le son du grisli — 14.09.2015

[FR]

Après SYNEUMA, Thanos Chrysakis (synthétiseur, ordinateur et radio) et James O’Sullivan (guitare électrique) ont défié un autre clarinettiste que Jerry Wigens : Chris Cundy, entendu déjà sur quelques références Creative Sources (Structures, Two Plump Daughters).

Sur la couverture, derrière la beauté grise des fumerolles, perce un bleu charron. C’est précisément l’atmosphère qui transpire d’Asphodels Abide. Ainsi l’heure est-elle à l’évaporation, mais une évaporation commandée par de franches mécaniques : guitare battue au niveau de ses micros, électronique de surface et clarinette évasive. Certes, les musiciens tournent parfois en rond – le disque renferme six improvisations –, semblent chercher leur chemin. Mais l’électricité bientôt les récupère, et le temps vire au bleu.

Jan Faix — His Voice Magazine — 9.3.2015

[CZECH]

Již po několik let v Anglii usazený světoběžník řeckeho původu si v posledních letech spíše již jen neuspěchaně evolučním způsobem rozvíjí vlastní estetiku v oblasti experimentální elektro-akustické improvizace, jednak vlastními projekty a nahrávkami a také i skrze dramaturgii svého labelu Aural Terrains, jenž patří k těm s trvale vysokým kvalitativním standardem.

Ty tam jsou však dnes doby téměř mystického hledaní "absolutního ne-idiomu", dnes se přistává zase více na zemský povrch, kde to prostě drhne a chrastí i podle nejbanálnějších fyzikálních zákonitostí a někdy i podle žánrových zlozvyků samotných hudebníků, byť jde nejčastěji o volně pojatou improvizaci na základě zkušenosti ze současné vážné hudby či z také různě se vyvíjejícího freejazzu. Do toho je tu vedle O'Sullivanovy kytary a Cundyho arzenálu plátkových dechů také Chrysakisův laptop a syntezátor oscilující mezi ambientním dobarvováním, liveprocessingem, vzpomínkami na analogovou historii kosmische musik a noisovymi hradbami. Intenzita může být někdy stejně vysoká, jako je jindy nerozhodná sonicky statická pasivita, oba póly jsou tu však oproti namátkovým běžným reálným skutečnostem velmi epické a sdělné.

Album ale může být shrnuto tak, že barev se sice odehrálo mnoho, avšak ve stále podobné intenzitě. Tato hudba by si dost možná zasloužila o poznání větší množství dynamické exprese/menší množství komprese... To jsou ale spíše hnidopišské názory na zpracování nahrávky, muzikantsky jde každopádně o nebývale skvěle sehrané trio, které umí z rukávu ve správném čase vytáhnout mnoho pěkných, překvapivých a osobitých triků.