Minton/Chen: Reality-Piercing Voices
These recordings in two movements
SR311 MINTON/CHEN QUINTET
can be taken as, on the one hand, pieces for two voices and
improvisation chamber orchestra (which is what the musicians felt
throughout the recording session) and, on the other hand, pure free
Both voices in interaction, perpetually urging the other on, producing more
than their simple addition, producing a third voice – like a semi-autonomous
organism – very difficult to explain how – why – as if what had been mostly
deeply burrowed was surfacing. an ur-song, like Schwitters’ ur-sonate /
their breath. the importance of scat, the rhythm from beyond language.
(1940, Torquay, United Kingdom) is a jazz/free-improvising vocalist and
trumpeter. Minton is a highly dramatic baritone who tends to specialize in
literary texts: he has sung lyrics by William Blake with Mike Westbrook's
group, Daniil Kharms and Joseph Brodsky with Simon Nabatov, and extracts
from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake with his own ensemble.
Between 1987 and 1993 Minton toured Europe, North America and Russia
with Lindsay Cooper's Oh Moscow ensemble.
He is perhaps best known, however, for his completely free-form work,
which involves "extended techniques" that are extremely unsettling. His vocals
often include the sounds of retching, burping, screaming, and gasping, as well
as childlike muttering, whining, crying and humming; he also has an ability
to distort his vocal cords to produce two notes at once.
Chinese-American musician who was born into a family of material scientists,
doctors and engineers, outside of Chicago in 1976. She turned to the cello at
age 8 and voice at 11. After years of classical and conservatory training in
both instruments, with a resulting specialization in early and new music,
she parted ways again in 2003 to begin new negotiations with sound in order
to discover a more individually honest aesthetic.
Now, using the cello, voice and analog electronics, Chen’s work delves deeply
into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component
of her music is improvised and her approach to this is extremely personal and
visceral. Chen has performed in Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, China,
Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Canada and the USA during the last years.
14By the Stream01:28