Two sound artists improvise in a church in Massachusetts during a blizzard, one (Hudak) manipulating sounds extracted from his immediate environment, the other (Lescalleet) working his old reel-to-reel tape player. Together they create a rich tapestry of drones, rumbles and crackles. This CD edition, released in April 2001 on Intransitive and one of a bunch from their rich catalogue that is now sadly out of print, probably doesn't match the experience of the audience that day, but it's definitely enjoyable in its own right.
Cor Fuhler is an Amsterdam-born musician who plays prepared piano, solo and in tons of collaborations, such as his own Corkestra, Ōtomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Orchestra and MIMEO (Music In Movement Electronic Orchestra). Tabletop guitarist Keith Rowe is also in the latter, and was a founding member of the legendary free improvisation group AMM, but surely this is old news to anyone remotely into improvised experimental music. The two released a duo recording in 2007 entitled 'Culprit' as a download for purchase from the now defunct (and reborn as a regular CD label) 7hings. One year earlier though there was this semi-private release of a December 2003 recording on Fuhler's own Conundrom label. He has been using this name for over 10 years now for small releases in home-made cardboard-packaging and decoration, barely distributed, usually of him solo (the first one was credited to DJ Cor Blimey And His Pigeon), with the occasional collaborative recording (there's also one with Jim O'Rourke entitled 'F-O'R').This one was recorded less than a year after Rowe's fabulous duo with pianist John Tilbury on Erstwhile ('Duos for Doris'), and invites comparison. In the words of improvised music critic and Rowe expert Brian Olewnick: 'As with the Doris session, it’s Rowe who’s argumentative and prodding with the pianist adopting the role or conciliator and as on that recording, the results are exceedingly fine. Eventually, the calm wins out and the pair stroll away, arm in arm. A beautiful set.'
The Ensemble Clément Janequin, founded by countertenor Dominique Visse in 1978, are a hallmark name in the performance of French Renaissance music. On this compilation, the title of which translates to 'Psalms and chansons of the Reformation' (on the reissue it was changed, God knows why, to 'Chansons and psalms...'), they tackle some of the religious polyphonic material by Clément Janequin (from whom they took their name), Paschal de l'Estocart, Claude Le Jeune, Orlande (or Roland) de Lassus, and some less familiar names. The voices take central stage here: apart from Visse there's an alto, a tenor, 2 baritones and a bass. There is some modest accompaniment of lute and organs.