We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

13 Friendly Numbers

by John Butcher

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of 13 Friendly Numbers via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      £9 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Plus a pdf of the original liner notes and Bill Meyer's new notes for the re-issue.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £7 GBP  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 61 John Butcher releases available on Bandcamp and save 50%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of But everything now left before it arrived, Plume, Experiments with a Leaf, Drunk on Dreams, Thermal, We met - and then, Old Paradise Airs, Last Dream of the Morning, and 53 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      £194.50 GBP (50% OFF)


Notelet 01:43
Mackle Music 01:49
wisp & whisk 06:02


First solo album, from 1991.
For single and multi-tracked saxophones.
First released as a CD on Acta (original cover shown) - then reissued on Unsounds with a new cover..

"This is an essential document for anyone passionate about, or even mildly interested in, improvised music. Indeed, it's fair to say this set cut a new expressionist template for the saxophone.
The sounds on the first track alone range from slab-like, low-voltage hums to clouds of didgeridoo huffing to the sounds of an old-skool mainframe breaking down". "

"A British improviser whose playing is highly accomplished and strikingly individual, Butcher's recital is unlike any other solo-saxophone record. Nine of the 13 tracks are real-time solos, while the other four create some unprecedented sounds and textures through overdubbing: 'Bells And Clappers', for instance, piles up four tenors into a brittle choir of humming overtones that has a chilling, sheet-metal sound, while the amplification introduced into the very brief 'Mackle Music' is peculiarly disturbing.
On the more conventional solo tracks, Butcher's mastery of the instrument creates a vocabulary which can accommodate pieces as disparate as 'Notelet', which is like a single flow of melody, and the explorations of single aspects of performing technique, as on 'Humours And Vapours' and 'Buccinator's Outing'. Assisted by a very clear and suitably neutral recording, this is a masterful record which should be investigated by anyone interested in free playing."


released July 3, 2020

Solos recorded at Gateway Studios, Kingston, London, 1991- by Steve Lowe.
Multitracks recorded at Pathway Studios, London 1991- by Justin Underhill.
Original (1991) cover art by Glasford J. Hunter.
Reissue (2004) artwork by Isabelle Vigier


all rights reserved



John Butcher London, UK

Improviser, Composer, Saxophonist.
Born in Brighton.
Lives in London.

contact / help

Contact John Butcher

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like John Butcher, you may also like: