Impressions d’Londres

There’s a lot to tell about the With Four Hands conference, but for now, the best. Christopher Hobbs and Dave Smith played pieces by Michael Parsons, Howard Skempton, John White, Dave Smith and Hobbs. With help from the session chair, we were able to put our portable recording device in a good place (rather than bootlegging it as we had planned). The raw recording sounds good. Many historic moments made in this concert: some pieces not played for 30 years or more, the first public duo performance by Hobbs (of Hobbs-White) and Smith (of Smith-Lewis) for over 15 years. Chris is going to do some edits (mostly sounds of moving piano benches around, rather inaudible spoken programme notes, the bleeding-chunk excerpt of Remorseless Lamb, cut because of time, which Chris announced as ‘scrag end of Lamb’), and then we’ll see what we can do to make it available. Short teasers: John White’s pieces, from 1966 and 1974, prove that this music didn’t evolve from experimental/minimal to postminimal in the clear evolutionary way that the Americans’ music did. And Dave Smith’s systems piece, Swings, sounds much like it would sound if Bernard Hermann had gradually taken up gamelan with Meredith Monk. One wants to dance….

Author: Virginia

Virginia Anderson is a writer who messes with the EMC Blog. She specialises in the study of experimental, minimalist, and free improvisatory music. She also plays clarinet, and has recorded on Zanja, Advance, and Rastascan Recordings, specialising in new works for Eb clarinet and free improvisation.