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A Thousand Incidents Arise


"Thousand Incidents Arise is the most recent, and most public documentation of the now ten year musical collaboration between Anthony Burr and Skuli Sverrisson. Independently, they have worked across a wide range of the contemporary musical landscape with Anthony as one of the world's foremost bass clarinetists, and Skuli as the Lower East Side's bass player du jour for the past 15 years. Separately, they have played with Laurie Anderson, Jim O'Rourke, Blonde Redhead, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alvin Lucier, David Sylvian, Johan Zorn, La Monte Young and many more. They began working together in New York in 1995 after Anthony had relocated from Melbourne, Australia, and Skuli from Reykjavik, Iceland. While the music both made professionally tended to emphasize instrumental virtuosity -- Skuli in jazz, Anthony in contemporary classical music -- their duo work tended to be resolutely minimal. Through the good graces of Icelandic mavericks Stillupsteypa they released a record of stark minimal electronics where the only sound source was electrical circuit feedback, on Fire Inc/Staalplaat in 1997, and played some live shows. A number of subsequent albums were recorded and abandoned as they moved deeper into computer music. Gradually, acoustic instruments and traces of all the music they had played over the years started to seep back in. Some of the concerns of the electronic investigations remain -- stasis, attention to minute timbral shifts -- but song form returns on two tracks, alongside harmonic strategies that seem to move in more conventional ways while fighting to remain where they began. This is a record that was recorded at home, with traffic outside, the coffee machine running, a tap dancer practicing across the courtyard, musicians walking in and out of the room. The pieces start before they really do, and finish past where they could. It is record of first takes recorded in a single day or over years. It is acoustic minimalism at it finest."