Terry Day: 2006 Duos (2007)
These five duo performances captured for posterity all involve first-time partnerships for Terry Day, although he has worked with some of the musicians in different settings in the past. He has a perhaps unique claim to be the only musician working in the field of free improvisation who concentrates on bamboo pipes as his means for musical expression, and throughout this disc there is ample evidence of the degree of individuality he brings to the music.
His skilful use of timbre, for example on "Rumblings" in a duo with Hannah Marshall on cello, can sometimes have the effect of evoking other instruments, hence his sounding like a perhaps modified clarinet here. Marshall comes across as a rather restless player although at no time does she create the impression of playing as an end in itself. Her grasp of the dynamics and timbral variation that can be created in this field is profound.
Guitarist John Russell's approach to his instrument at times almost comes over as that of an accompanist, especially in the opening minute of "Pardon Me (Excuse Me James), although the speed with which he responds to Day's promptings, almost cajoling as it is, is an indication perhaps of just how intuitive this music can be.
If there is any overt concern with the very nature of sound in this set it comes in the form of Rhodri Davies's harp, with preparations, on "Framed," where Day coaxes a sound not unlike that of a singular Uilleann pipe from his bamboo one of choice, and Davies concerns himself with string manipulations to the extent that extremes of damping and resonance are the order of the day.
To say that overall this program of music concerns itself overtly with restless exploration and the kind of questing that a lot of musicians simply cop out of is perhaps to be guilty of damning it with faint praise. For all that it's still the case that this is music that will be embraced by any listener for whom the medium has to evolve in order to retain some artistic credibility.
Track Listing: A Hug A Day (Miss Abundantly); Framed; A Little Charver; Rumblings; Pardon Me (Excuse Me James).
Personnel: Terry Day: bamboo pipes, voice, toy amplifier with echo and shaken plastic bottle of water; Charlotte Hug: viola and voice (1); Rhodri Davies: harp and preparations (2); Phil Minton: voice (3); Hannah Marshall: cello (4); John Russell: guitar (5).