PRICE: $16.00
5-8 Weeks
Requests and Antisongs


"John Butcher and Phil Durrant have both been prominent members of the English improv scene since the mid-eighties, releasing everything from solo records to being members in all-star orchestras. In 1984, they formed a trio with John Russell, with Durrant on violin, a band which is in its 17th year together. In 1997, the two began their electromanipulation project, in which Durrant transforms Butcher's sounds electronically in real time, interacting with Butcher's live playing. The music has three potential strands; the amplified saxophone and two electronic processing chains -- individual controlled by Durrant -- which are triggered and/or derived from the saxophone's signal. No sampling is used. The electronics transform external sounds in real time, with MIDI faders enabling fast parameter manipulation. Numerous techniques are utilized to avoid the deadening blanket of digital delay, and many treatments employ feedback loops between effects modules, which 'generate' their own material. Feedback delay can be split for separate treatments, and, varying the delay time and gating the delay gives the impression of a 'frozen' sound without recourse to sampling. Other processes, such as self-oscillating filters, have inherent sounds that are transformed by the pitch and velocity of the incoming saxophone signal. Some treatments are virtually instantaneous, some evolve over many seconds, others have a life of their own. Throughout this, the characteristics of how the treatments react together depend on the current saxophone input, creating, for both musicians, the challenge of trying to make expressive use of a system that neither individual fully controls. The musicians' experiences as composers and improvisers are both vital for the duo. In many ways, Butcher has to approach the situation far more spontaneously than in his acoustic work, because Durrant is continually realigning the language of his saxophone, moment by moment. Equally Durrant's use of live electronics is usually with his own violin, where he can work to his own ideas and rhythm. In the duo he has to anticipate Butcher's placements and choices of material -- a process he finds leads to far more risk taking."