Saturday, November 29, 2014

Robert Wyatt: Different Every Time

If you still haven´t read Marcus O´Dair´s Robert Wyatt biography, Domino´s compilation album(s) "Different Every Time" is the perfect soundtrack while reading it.
And if you already have read it, it is probably a great soundtrack to your life too.

The compilation is curated by Robert Wyatt together with Domino and biographer Marcus O’Dair. The first part (‘Ex Machina’) collects tracks from Robert Wyatt´s own records (solo and bands) and the second part ("Benign Dictatorships") has tracks from his collaborations and guest appearances.

Any such collection of tracks from an artist is bound to create discussions among fans about the selection, and specially about the tracks missing, but I guess few will disagree that this is a very good sampler and a fine introduction to Wyatt´s work for those who do not know him that well.

According to the liner notes (written by Marcus O´Dair) this is how is how the selections were done:

"The criteria were simple: individual tracks were chosen simply on aesthetic grounds, but the compilation also had to work as a coherent sequence of music. Where possible, we also chose tracks that had a particular personal resonance for Robert. The selection was intended to be representative, but only up to a point."
The last point there explains why there are only one Soft Machine track, and two by Matching Mole, and nothing from "Rock Bottom" and "The end of an ear".

Me, I´m really happy to see Michael Mantler´s name more than once and the inclusion of a John Cage piece from Eno´s Obscure label.
The ones I might be missing (Eno´s own albums, Kevin Ayers, John Greaves, Ultramarine, Wyatt/Atzmon/Stephens "For the ghosts within") is no big problem for me, since I have got them anyway! But on the next sampler perhaps!?

The collection is available as a double CD and as two double LPs (with download codes).
The double LPs have the same liner notes, but different collections of small pictures from the biography. The same liner notes are in the CD together with all the small pictures found on the LPs.

For every track you get a list of musicians and producers, but unfortunately not the records they are taken from.

Cover photograph: Renaud Monfourny.

And read Ian Penman´s Review of the biography in The Guardian 26 November 2014.

This has been quite a good Robert Wyatt year!

Terrie Hessels & Peter Zegveld - Music Unlimited Wels

Check out Jazz Explorer´s videos of Terrie Hessels and Peter Zegveld performing at this year´s Music Unlimited Wels, Austria, 7 November.

I know Terrie Hessels from The Ex, but Peter Zegveld, a Dutch artist, perfomer, musician (?) is new to me. Anyway, they are smoking good!

If you don´t want to watch the first 20 min. long piece here, at least see the encore.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Low Frequency In Stereo Feat. Kjetil Møster

Here is a nice one with one of of my favorite Norwegian rock bands, The Low Frequency In Stereo, paired with a favorite saxophone player, Kjetil Møster, recorded during my favorite Jazz festival in Molde in 2009: "Live at Moldejazz" (Long Branch Records 2014)!

The live recording is starting off with an eight minute long sax solo from Møster before you get rockers (or is it post rockers?) like "Texas Fox" and "Man Don´t Walk" and longer psychedelic space rockers like "Desert" and "Solar System", Møster adding jazz spices through most of it. Cool!

The musicians:

Per Steinar Lie (bass and vocals), Ørjan Haaland (drums), Hanne Eidsvåg Andersen (vocals, organs and guitar), Linn Frøkedal (organs and vocals), Njål Leinan Clementsen (guitars and vocals) and Kjetil Møster (saxophone). You might recognize Lie and Haaland from the Lumen Drones blog post a couple of days ago.

The album comes as a nice double package with colored vinyl and you have to play it really loud!

Cover photos by *cough* me!

All Ears 2015

The programme for Oslo´s All Ears festival for improvised music (8 - 11 January 2015) is here,
and it´s looking good!


Erwan Keravec SOLO

Eivind Lønning/Enrico Malatesta DUO

Nils Henrik Asheim SOLO


(Skrap: Anja Lauvdal/Heida Karine Mobeck / G.e.k. : Johannes Lund, Maria Bertel

Trevor Watts, Veryan Weston, Dominic Lash, Terry Day TRIO

Lasse Marhaug, Okkyung Lee, Spencer Yeh TRIO



Joelle Leandre, Michael Duch DUO

Lucio Capece/ Morten Olsen/ Valerio Tricoli

Barcode (UK)

Stephen O ́Malley/Steve Noble

Pain Jerk + Russell Haswell


Anthony Pateras

Spunk + Joelle Leandre

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lindsay Cooper Memorial Concerts

A re-formed Henry Cow and other musicians have been playing three memorial concerts for Lindsay Cooper in November:

21 Nov. Barbican Center, London

22 Nov. Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

23 Nov. Teatro Diego Fabbri, Forlí, Italy

In the video of this blog post Phil Minton and John Greaves do "Forgotten Fruit" from "Oh Moscow" at the Barbican.

There are more videos on YouTube if you want to do some research, but most of them are quite shaky. Let´s hope some half professional (or better!) footage pops up!

Musicians involved:

Alfred Harth
Anne-Marie Roelofs
Chris Cutler
Dagmar Krause
Fred Frith
John Greaves
Michel Berckmans from Univers Zero (bassoon)
Phil Minton
Sally Potter
Tim Hodgkinson
Veryan Weston
Zeena Parkins

Added 28 November:

Sally Potter: "Lindsay Cooper: a rebel with applause" (The Guardian 20 November 2014).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cuneiform Turns 30

The Cuneiform label turns 30 and they offer a digital album with 20 tracks from this year´s releases at "name your price" over on Bandcamp.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lumen Drones

Nils Økland plays fiddles, Per Steinar Lie guitars and Ørjan Haaland drums, and they make the most beautiful psychedelic drone folk on their new "Lumen Drones" album (ECM 2014)!
As usual I won´t say much else than - listen to this!, but you should read the fine review on Dalston Sound at least.

On the ECM site they claim to be influenced by the Doors, The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Durutti Column and “the jazz of the Dave Pike set” (Lie and Haaland both play in the Norwegian band Low Frequency In Stereo), and Dalston Sound can hear some Dirty Three in there. And Nils Økland is weaving folk through and around the rock.

Listening to the slowest pieces (like "Dark Sea") I started to think of Earth with fiddles added, not that these guys are copying anybody.

Just get this one!

An evening with Robert Wyatt (Queen Elizabeth Hall)

You will find a review of "Different Every Time; an evening with Robert Wyatt" at Queen Elizabeth Hall, 23rd November 2014 (EFG London Jazz Festival), over at London Jazz News.

"Wyatt admitted that nervousness made him talkative, but that was to our advantage: for more than an hour we were treated to a delightful stream of anecdote, opinions, confessions, thumbnail portraits, digressions and heartfelt statements, initially coaxed by his biographer and then in response to a diverse series of questions from the devoted audience. The subject matter ranged from Kevin Coyne to Ukraine; from Henry Cow to hip-hop, and Wyatt handled his interlocutors with grace, good humour and insight".

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sharon Gal, Steve Noble and Alex Ward

Holy macaroni! Check out Sharon Gal, Steve Noble and Alex Ward at Cafe OTO in March 2014, recently uploaded on YouTube!

What a powerful performance!

We already had a post on Sharon Gal covering Robert Wyatt´s "Sea Song", but I think it will be just fine to listen to that version once more after the Cafe OTO video.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Signed album cover art

Several of you probably remember the blog post on the signed Alfreda Benge album artworks for Robert Wyatt´s "Rock Bottom" and "Ruth is stranger than Richard", that were for sale over at Hypergallery?

Now the nice folks at the gallery sent me some photos from Alfreda Benge´s and Robert Wyatt´s signing session!

Photos ©hypergallery

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Off The Page - Oslo 2015

Marcus O´Dair will present his work with the Robert Wyatt Biography "Different every time" (2014) at the one day festival, Off The Page 2015, in Oslo 25 January 2015.

Also coming (more to be announced later probably): Arto Lindsay, Savage Pencil aka Edwin Pouncey and Sarah Angliss.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


It has been some years since I have posted from Bergen´s PIKSEL festival now.
The 2014 festival is probably over when you read this, but this is what it´s about:

"Piksel is an annual event for artists and developers working with free and open source software, hardware and art. Part workshop, part festival, it is organized in Bergen, Norway, and involves participants from more than a dozen countries exchanging ideas, coding, presenting art and software projects, doing workshops, performances and discussions on the aesthetics and politics of free and open source software".

Most of this go way over my head, and I usually go to see the exhibitions, and talk a bit with these strange people.

Are you one of the people who might be interested in using air as a transmitting medium for binary codes (sending smoke signals and decoding them!), using Thorium (radioactive) for generating random numbers (for cryptographic keys) and and making "glasses" for ultrasonic vision (I tested them as you may see!)? Well this is the festival for you, and you find more info here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Robert Wyatt Pitchfork Interview

Robert Wyatt "talks about politics, pride, and living a full life outside of the mainstream" in an interview with Ryan Dombal in Pitchfork (14 Nov. 2014).

On his biography:
- “I thought, ‘Well, it's none of my business,’” he says of his own life story. “If I were going to write a book, it wouldn't be about me. I have many interests, but I am not one of them.”

On pop songs:
- There are a lot of composers who were fantastic, but I challenge them to write a record that you could play five times a day for two months on the radio, songs that people will want to dance to on a Saturday night. That's an enormous skill!

On life these days:
-I'm not out there in the world anymore, but I'm watching.


How about this student work!?

Students at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design have been working for a couple of weeks on this bridge, and it seemed almost ready this Friday afternoon.

More wood pictures here if you like.

And what will happen tonight? There are several drinking places near by this bridge, so a couple of guards would be nice.

Added the morning after:

Reading in the Bergen newspapers with my morning coffee now that several drunk people had to be stopped from climbing the bridge. Of course!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Trance Map for hcmf

You may join Evan Parker in backing Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf) to award an new commission to be performed at the 2015 festival.

Parker has given the festival limited edition CD-Rs (only 100 copies made, all signed and numbered) of previously unreleased material by Trance Map (Evan Parker, Matt Wright and Toma Gouband).

If you want one of the records, donate a minimum of 20 pounds on IndieGogo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wyatt in Jazzwise

It´s Dr John on the cover, but there are four pages of Robert Wyatt in the November issue of Jazzwise.

The piece "I´m a believer" focuses on Robert Wyatt and jazz, and is written by biographer Marcus O´Dair.

When Marcus O´Dair asked Wyatt if he would let him write the biography, Wyatt said yes partly because O´Dair in a previous interview hadn´t asked him whether Syd Barrett was mad, but he had asked him about jazz.

The Unthanks: Mount The Air

Enjoy the music and the video to "Mount the air", the title track of The Unthanks´ new album on RabbleRouser (December 2014).

It looks like it is still possible to order the limited edition 10 inch vinyl (500 copies) from The Unthanks.

Video animator: Nick Murray Willis.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Maja Ratkje Residency At The Stone

WOW! What a programme for Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje´s residency at The stone!
I wouldn´t mind seeing more than a couple of these concerts!
How about Ratkje and Mori with Peter Evans, Spunk with Joëlle Léandre and Ratkje with Ches Smith, to name a few?

SPUNK with Joëlle Léandre photo from Moldejazz 2011.


11/25 Tuesday (KR)
8 pm
Solo Pieces and more
Jeffrey Ziegler (cello) Håkon Thelin (double bass) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice) Torben Snekkestad
Performing solo pieces written by Maja S. K. Ratkje, followed by improvisations.

10 pm
Music for String Quartet and Accordion
The MIVOS Quartet (strings) Frode Haltli (accordion) Håkon Thelin (double bass) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice)
Frode Haltli and Mivos performing “gagaku variations” and other composed pieces by Maja S. K. Ratkje before Håkon Thelin and Ratkje will join in on Ratkje/Haltli's “Three tangos…”

11/26 Wednesday (BLG)
8 pm
Håkon Thelin (double bass) Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (saxes) Frode Haltli (accordion) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice)
POING performing the first piece written for them, ”essential extensions”, and other pieces by Ratkje, some joined by the composer on vocals.

10 pm
Håkon Thelin (double bass) Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (saxes) Frode Haltli (accordion) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice)
POING performing more music written to them by Maja S. K. Ratkje, some joined by the composer on vocals.

11/27 Thursday (LC)
8 pm
Wach Auf! Revolutionary Thanksgiving, Part 1
Håkon Thelin (double bass) Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (saxes) Frode Haltli (accordion) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice)
POING and Maja S. K. Ratkje from their repertoire on the record “Wach auf!”, all arranged and performed by POING and Maja S. K. Ratkje.

10 pm
Wach Auf! Revolutionary Thanksgiving, Part 2
Håkon Thelin (double bass) Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (saxes) Frode Haltli (accordion) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice) Yumiko Tanaka
POING and Maja S. K. Ratkje from their repertoire NOT on the record “Wach auf!”, all arranged and performed by POING and Maja S. K. Ratkje.

11/28 Friday (KR)
8 pm
Maja S. K. Ratkje solo (voice, live electronics)

10 pm
Noise: Ches Smith and Maja S. K. Ratkje
Maja S. K. Ratkje solo (voice, electronics) Ches Smith (drums)

11/29 Saturday (AV)
8 pm
Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (voice, various, electronics) Hild Sofie Tafjord (french horn, electronics) Lene Grenager (cello) Kristin Andersen (trumpet, recorder)

10 pm
SPUNK with Joëlle Léandre
Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (voice, various, electronics) Hild Sofie Tafjord (french horn, electronics) Lene Grenager (cello) Kristin Andersen (trumpet, recorder) Joëlle Léandre (bass)

11/30 Sunday (KR)
8 pm
Maja S. K. Ratkje & Ikue Mori Duo with Peter Evans
Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice, electronics) Ikue Mori (electronics) Peter Evans (trumpet)

10 pm
Maja S. K. Ratkje & Ikue Mori Duo with Sylvie Courvoiseier
Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice, electronics) Ikue Mori (electronics) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano)

Peter Blegvad: Kew. Rhone. (book)

It´s time to listen to Peter Blegvad & John Greaves´ "Kew. Rhone." (1977) again folks. Well, my guess is that some of you never stopped listening to it! Performed by Blegvad, Greaves and Lisa Herman, with a bunch of others helping (Carla Bley, Michael Mantler a. o.) it is one of the really great albums.

And in a couple of weeks Peter Blegvad´s book "Kew. Rhone." is being published by Uniformbooks, where: "Peter Blegvad, Kew. Rhone.’s lyricist and illustrator, excavates each song in turn, uncovering themes and sources. In the second part of the book, a consortium of writers and artists respond to the album in various ways, illuminating without dispelling the mystery of a work designed to resist interpretation even as it invites it".

In the consortium of writers you will find John Greaves, Lisa Herman, Robert Wyatt, Jonathan Coe, Karen Mantler + + +).

Sunday, November 9, 2014

King Magnus

Any of you interested in chess, and following the World Chess Championship match between reigning champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Vishwanathan Anand (India) in Sochi?

Thanks to street artist La Staa, Magnus Carlsen is in Bergen too during the championship!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

An Audience With Robert Wyatt (Audio)

We have of course already had a blog post on Marcus O´Dair´s talk with Robert Wyatt at the Off The Page festival in Bristol in September.

Now you may listen to (and download) the full conversation on The Wire´s site.

The next talk will be "An evening with Robert Wyatt" at Southbank Centre 23 November 2014.

The Thing - Call the Police

It´s Saturday evening, and here they come, The Thing playing the zydeco tune "Call the police" at DOM Cultural Centre (Moscow) on 7 November 2014.

And if you don´t know how to move your body to this one, read "How to Do the Zydeco Dance" over at eHow.

Friday, November 7, 2014

UNCUT (Dec. 2014)

You have probably read this already, but anyway look up The December issue (no 211) of Uncut (I never quite understand why the December issues of magazines are released in November, but me and logic, I know!).

On page 8: "End of an ear. Robert Wyatt calls a halt to his musical career." He has not retired, it´s more like he has stopped making music.

On pages 60 to 63: Wyatt talks about his back catalogue: "The Soft Machine" (1968), Soft Machine "3" (1970), "Matching Mole" (1972), "Rock Bottom" (1974), "Ruth is stranger than Richard" (1975), "Nothing can stop us" (1982), "Shleep" (1997), "Cuckooland" (2003) and "Comicopera" (2007).

RW about "Ruth is stranger than Richard": "On "Team Spirit", George Khan, a wonderful tenor player, does the solo, and I got Brian Eno in, who hates jazz, to try and fuck it up as it went on...".

On page 97: The Domino sampler "Different Every Time" gets a 9/10 score!

As if this wasn´t enough, there is also a (very short, but still!) "How to buy Ivor Cutler" and a review (9/10 again!) of a reissue of the 1978 album "Life in a Scotch Sitting-Room Vol 2".

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Josephine Foster & Victor Herrero - Blue Roses

I watched this video of Josephine Foster & Victor Herrero doing "Blue Roses" last week, and was deeply fascinated by Foster´s voice and singing.

I downloaded her "Little Life" from 2001 immediatly, a nice one too, but with straighter folky songs. Must check more of her records!

Recommendations anyone?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Soft Machine: Out-Bloody-Rageous: Revised

OK we have hardly got hold of (and read!) Marcus O´Dair´s Robert Wyatt biography, and here is Graham Bennet: "Soft Machine: Out-Bloody-Rageous: Revised and Updated Edition" (2014, first ed. 2005).

Read a message from Graham Bennett on "What´s Rattlin´". I was tipped by Sergio Amadori´s "Hibou Anemone & Bear" blog (still not possible to link to single posts).

Only as e-book this time. Buy from Smashwords or Amazon.

Street Art Bergen

You may already have noticed that I´m interested in street art, and have tried to document what´s happening in Bergen since around 2007, uploading all of it on Flickr.

Now you may try to get hold of the new book "Street Art Bergen" (Kontur 2014), edited by street artists Argus and John_XC and street art blogger Walter Wehus (his Mot Veggen blog).

What makes this book different from most street art books, is that the editors have managed to contact several of Bergen´s artists, and they write about their thoughts on street art themselves.
Please note: Only in Norwegian!

(My own pictures on Flickr are not very well organized unfortunately, and the keywords won´t make me librarian of the year, but please dive into my albums if you want to!)

I went to the book release party last week, and it was great to see the works made by Argus and John_XC for the happening, exhibited on walls and in windows.
You may call street artists vandals, but lots of them have big hearts. These exhibited works are to be auctioned, together with works by lots of international artists, in Bergen in the beginning of December. This being the third auction in a very short period donating money for good causes.

All money from the December auction is going to "Aesthetic Prosthetic", a Project aiming to raise money for the only prosthetic workshop in Gaza.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Amazing Band: Roar

Not only is Marcus O´Dair´s Robert Wyatt biography "Different every time" (Serpent´s Tail 2014) a great read, but several readers (like me) seem to have used it to play and rediscover old records in the Wyatt discography.

See "Pieces of Robert Wyatt" over at Richard Williams´ "" on The Amazing Band and the album "Roar", recorded in 1970 and released on Future Music in 1997.
An album for the improv - free jazz fan.

Credits (from Discogs):

Acoustic Bass, Harmonica – Jim Mullen
Alto Saxophone – Chris Francis (3) (tracks: 2)
Alto Saxophone, Piano – Mick Brannan
Coordinator [Release Coordinated By], Remastered By [Tapes] – Mike King*
Design [Sleeve Design] – Ewan Rigg
Percussion, Voice, Keyboards – Robert Wyatt
Producer – Mark Wastell
Remastered By [Tapes] – Joao Carvalho
Trumpet – Mal Dean
Violin, Accordion, Flute – Veleroy Spall*
Voice – Maia Spall

Next one to listen to while reading the biography:

Lol Coxhill / Charles Hayward / Hugh Hopper / Orphy Robinson: "Clear Frame" (R&R Megacorp 2008) (AAJ review)!

Remembered For A While

"Remebered for a while", a new book on Nick Drake by Cally Callomon and Gabrielle Drake, is out in a few days.

You may want the signature box edition (at 150 GBP) containing:
"- Hardback and quarter-bound in cloth, with a printed acetate cover
- An exclusive 10ʺ vinyl of an unreleased recording of five Nick Drake tracks from a 1969 BBC John Peel session: ‘Time Of No Reply’, ‘River Man’, ‘Three Hours’, ‘Bryter Layter’ and ‘Cello Song’
- A portfolio containing three photographs of Nick taken by Julian Lloyd in 1967. Each portfolio will have a numbered authentication certificate signed by Julian Lloyd
- Over 380 full-colour pages
- Each copy signed by Gabrielle Drake and Cally Callomon
- All the contents will be housed in a cloth-covered box".

Or you may want the hardcover, straight version.

Not a biography they say, but "rather, an attempt to cast a few shards of light on Nick Drake the poet, the musician, the singer, the friend, son and brother, who was also more than all of these".

Guitar amateurs may be happy to find this in the book:
"A short musical guide to each song's key and tuning to accompany the lyrics, together with an explanatory interpretation of Nick's guitar performance, the result of several years close study by singer-songwriter Chris Healey".