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Large Groups

by Freedom Of The City 2001

  • Compact Disc (CD)

    2002 double CD release, in jewel box with 24-page booklet.
    [Shipping prices are for airmail/priority delivery]

    * N.B. this item remains available, but is currently out of stock - hence the extended delivery time *
    ships out within 14 days

      €19.50 EUR or more 


  • Compact Disc (CD)

    The same as the above, but without the jewel box.
    If you have no need of the somewhat unloved and increasingly old-fashioned jewel box, we will send you the discs and all paper parts from the CD, without the plastic box.
    The price is the same (we don't really need any more empty jewel boxes!), but it should offer you significant savings on shipping, especially if you order several discs and/or are outside Europe.
    ships out within 14 days

      €19.50 EUR or more 


  • full score: Morton's Mobile



Two (very) large groups - Strings With Evan Parker & The London Improvisers Orchestra - making astonishing music at the first year of London's exciting new festival. Includes Simon Fell's Composition No. 53 - Morton's Mobile.


released June 22, 2002

Harry Beckett, Roland Ramanan, Ian Smith: trumpets
Robert Jarvis, Paul Rutherford, Alan Tomlinson: trombones
Børre Mølstad: tuba
Neil Metcalfe: flute
Terry Day: bamboo pipes
John Rangecroft, Alex Ward: clarinets
Jacques Foschia: Eb clarinet, bass clarinet
Harrison Smith: bass clarinet
Tom Chant, Lol Coxhill: soprano saxes
John Butcher, Evan Parker: soprano & tenor saxes
Caroline Kraabel, Adrian Northover: alto saxes
Garry Todd: tenor sax
Phil Durrant, Susanna Ferrar, Nigel Coombes, Philipp Wachsmann: violins
Sylvia Hallett: violin, sarangi
Charlotte Hug: viola
Marcio Mattos, Mark Wastell, Dave Tucker: 'cellos
Chris Burn, Steve Beresford, Veryan Weston: pianos
Peter Cusack: bouzouki, guitar
John Russell, John Bisset: guitars
John Edwards, Simon H. Fell, David Leahy: double basses
Tony Marsh, Louis Moholo: percussion
Hugh Davies, Kaffe Matthews, Orphy Robinson, Knut Aufermann, Pat Thomas: electronics

2001 (152 mins.) in jewel box
© Emanem 2002

full track listing:
01. Trick On The Speed Of Making It [31:47]
02. Daylight Receptacle [19:06]
03. Flower Of Flesh And Blood [10:13]
04. Morton's Mobile [11:25]
05. Group Dynamics Around The Slide [7:55]
06. Concerto For Sylvia Hallett [17:52]
07. Double Rainbow [6:17]
08. Birthday Piece [6:59]
09. An If But To And When [6:13]
10. Proceeding 6 [33:00]

---------- press quotes ----------

"Emerging from a supportive community, FOTC's participants readily display a willingness to learn from each other as they explore the wealth of possible permutations within their number. For example, the String ensemble opening the Large Groups set with two length improvisations are sufficiently elastic in conception to incorporate Chris Burn's piano, Hugh Davies on amplified springs and strings, and Kaffe Matthews wielding laptop sampler from a seat in the audience, as well as nine string players. The opener unfurls gradually, a rolling continuum of small gestures with spots of turbulence and stretches of tranquillity, made strange in places by the mournful wailing of Sylvia Hallett's sarangi. For the second piece the string players are joined by Evan Parker, whose soprano sax spins and darts over a steady yet variegated surface of rubbed and plucked sounds. The remainder of the double-album is given over to the flourishing London Improvisers Orchestra, a massive group that here channels huge energies through seven compositions for improvisers, the shifts into full improvisatory mode for an exhilarating final half-hour. There were 39 members in attendance, but skilled listening, shared understanding and shrewd conducting keeps the juggernaut on course throughout. The depth of the total group sound is awesome. Reined in, as on Simon H Fell's Morton's Mobile, the LIO broods magnificently. The entire programme is invigorating, but Terry Day's recitation of his poem An if, but, to and when, punctuated by the return of the fabulous rampaging herd, is specially irresistible." Julian Cowley THE WIRE

"The music contained here is highly experimental and spontaneous. It is great to see the communication between the musicians that is evident through all this recording. A great album from this extremely open minded musicians." MUSIC EXTREME

"Fell leads the London Improvisers Orchestra through his subtle and moving composition Morton's Mobile." Jez Nelson JAZZ ON 3

"L.I.O. is a group that gains quality with age. Especially worthy of note is Simon H. Fell's Morton's Mobile, very different from its first reading on The Hearing Continues, extremely gentle without getting fragile. Steve Beresford's Concerto for Sylvia Hallett provides the other highlight. The orchestra was beautifully recorded. Although it becomes almost impossible to single out an individual voice, each section (including an impressive brass lineup) is well defined. Recommended." François Couture ALL MUSIC GUIDE

"In recent years, both these groups have made very significant contributions both to the Emanem catalogue and to improvised music. As with the FOTC small groups release, this one provides a good way to sample these two ensembles, without investing in their own multiple disc releases. (Those who have already invested will doubtless want this new material.) Large groupings are notoriously difficult settings for improvisation; at their worst, they can easily degenerate into a cacophony of individual voices with little or no relation to each other. In two very different ways, these ensembles have addressed and overcome that issue. Strings with Evan Parker do so by using an instrumentation with its own internal unity; the strings here (including four violins, two cellos, two guitars and double bass) rarely sound in conflict and largely gel together. They sound quite different with and without Parker. Alone, they adopt a slowly evolving, laid-back approach that is occasionally punctuated by Hugh Davies' amplified strings and springs, or by Kaffe Matthews' reprocessed sampled sounds. When Parker joins them, the strings become more animated and energised, in response to the harsher sound of the saxophone. LIO address the size issue mainly by ceding control to a series of composer/conductors drawn from their ranks. Here, they number thirty-nine, the largest ever LIO, and the personnel reads like a who's who of London improv (Parker, Rutherford, Coxhill, Moholo, Beresford etc). The musicians' familiarity with and respect for each other pays obvious dividends. The compositions/conductions that the ensemble play are open to great differences in performance, as comparisons between the studio versions and these live renditions of Simon H. Fells Morton's Mobile and Knut Aufermann's Birthday Piece reveal. Rather than being prescriptive, the compositions provide organising principles that serve to tame the grouping's power and prevent cacophony. When they do let rip, as on sections of a recitation by Terry Day, they can be quite overwhelming. However, the closing piece is a long free improvisation that demonstrates the orchestra's particular ability to listen to each other and produce sensitive music without any composer/conductor." John Eyles BBCi


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Bruce's Fingers Saint Dizier Leyrenne, France

Bruce's Fingers is a record label founded in 1983 by bassist, composer & improviser Simon H. Fell.
The label's publications (which also include books and scores) are centred around free / contemporary jazz, improvised music & contemporary / experimental composition.
Initially focussed on Fell's own work, the BF project has since expanded to include many other things besides...
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