TERRY DAY – 2006 Duos


Blame his health if you will, but the fact that only now I’m able to declare my unconditioned love for Terry Day’s music is an indication of how much the world of improvisation has missed during his long absence, and also – in general – of how many musical treasures remain unretrieved due to ignorance or misfortune. After the fantastic “Interruptions” on this very label, Day is here featured in five live recordings, each with a different partner; all tracks were recorded at London’s Red Rose during various festivals. Terry plays bamboo pipes, a toy amplifier with echo and a shaken plastic bottle of water besides his voice. The duet with Charlotte Hug (viola, voice) reports about a feverish research for the raggle-taggle states and moods caused by the absence of a scheme. Hug pants, sighs and shouts abruptly in between his stringed jawbreakers, while Day macerates his pipes’ timbre with the intensity of a protester even in those instances in which different parameters are expected to be set, also finding a way to recite his words with granny’s voice before turning himself into a mechanical siren, and both artists into baboons at the end. Rhodri Davies’ prepared harp is the second guest in “Framed”; in the liners, Day observes that Davies is a robust plucker and, in truth, one fears for his fingertips at various points when listening to the metallic rattles and involuntarily detuned reverberations that he beckons, in addition to various harsher “electric attacks” brought with small motors and other assorted gadgets. Day’s response is quite adaptive, his reeds portraying muezzins and ducks imitating a drunk Ned Rothenberg clone, then answering his companion’s questions with fierce fancies dipped in multiphonic sauce. Phil Minton needs no introduction; his role in “A little Charver” is basically to confuse our ideas about who’s singing and who’s playing. Day’s bamboos follow him around, inviting him to join a two-way predigestion of notes that were swallowed before having a chance of being really formed. But they sure keep kicking those bellies from within, crying their innocence. “Rumblings” sees Day paired with cellist Hannah Marshall – my first meeting with her – in a slightly more reasonable intermingling of unadulterated imaginations that hint to a bleached skeletal counterpoint, although not devoid of emotional (and percussive) contents. The CD ends with the Terry Day vs John Russell match, a coalescence of delicate sparkle-and-pick accompaniments to Day’s most reflective (but ever-unpredictable) linear illustrations, which swiftly turns into a amorphous creature where contrapted rasgueados and superfluid tweets seem to co-exist like nowhere else. Day blathers and yelps at various points, but make no mistake: this is great stuff all the way. But not for everyone.


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