Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Touch the Sound

Just finished watching Touch the Sound, a documentary about percussionist Evelyn Glennie. The 2004 film follows Ms. Glennie in her world travels, centering upon and revolving around an improvised recording session with guitarist Fred Frith. Though I’ve been listening to Frith on and off since I was in high school (many moons ago), this is the first time I’ve ever come across Glennie’s music. Absolutely fantastic stuff – both her playing and the film – almost as lovely to watch as it is to hear. It’ll make you think about the meaning and experience of sound, without ever telling you what to think or how to experience it.

Here’s a clip of a particularly serene piece featured near the end of the film, with Ms. Glennie on the marimba and FF on the guitar. Listen.


Do Bianchi said...

this clip is awesome... I love how they set up the studio (where is it?) and how you can see cars driving by through the window... we're (at least I am) so drenched by pop music that I forget there are people out there breaking new ground and making inspiring music... have you ever heard (I'm sure you have) Fred Frith and Henry Kaiser recordings? great stuff...

thanks for the recent shouts out, man, and thanks for the kind words and well wishes on the tour... we had one of our best shows ever on Monday night at the Merc...

David McDuff said...

The studio is an abandoned sugar factory in Domagen, Germany (near Düsseldorf). The factory is an integral part of the film, as facets of its construction and decay are used as imagery to convey the spirit and feel of Glennie and Frith's music. Various parts of the structure also make their way into the recording, being used as instrumentation by both Glennie and Frith in some of the more heavily improvisational parts of their session.

I've definitely listened to some of the Frith/Kaiser collaborations, though it's been a while. I first cut my teeth with Frith's early 80's recordings for Ralph Records, such as Gravity and Speechless, both of which feature another regular Frith collaborator, Chris Cutler.

As for the shouts out, you're very welcome. Glad to hear the Mercury Lounge gig was a smash. Good luck on the college charts!

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