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Resonant Spaces

by John Butcher

Wind Piece 03:11
Styptic 03:23
Frost Piece 02:18


Includes a 16 page PDF with many colour photos from the tour, an introduction by Barry Esson, Biba Kopf's original liner notes and an essay by Stuart Broomer.

JOHN BUTCHER - Acoustic and Amplified Saxophones.

"A welcome reissue for this astonishing work of improvisation. It sees Butcher visiting obscure parts of Scotland to play gigs in sites – including an old military fuel tank in the Orkneys with a 15-second echo, as well as an abandoned reservoir, a sea cave, a mausoleum and so on –chosen for their specific, idiosyncratic acoustic properties.

If Butcher’s response to these locations is frequently astonishing – witness the serrated foghorn blasts that moan across the void in ‘New Scapa Flow’– so is the way that these places seem almost to answer his forays. In ‘Wind Piece’, recorded at the Standing Stones of Stenness on the Orkney mainland, the eerie pitch-shifted coos that merge with birdsong and Butcher’s own gurgling breaths could be emanating from the rocks themselves. This is a series of duets, really, Butcher not playing the spaces as much as tussling with them, each performance existing in an ongoing state of modification as he negotiates the different sonic qualities of each of his unusual venues.

And, while there’s a sense of Butcher being nudged constantly out of his comfort zone, there’s an accompanying feeling that he digs the brinkmanship that this requires. Raw and hypnotic, time has only increased Resonant Spaces’ power."
Radio Free Midwich.


released June 19, 2018

RESONANT SPACES was released on CD (2008) by Confront and on LP (2017) by Blume.
The tour was produced by Barry Esson and Bryony McIntyre of Arika.
Recording: Ruari Cormack in Scotland and Orkney, June 2006.
Photos: Bryony McIntyre, Keiko Yoshida, Garrard Martin & Iain Lindsay. Introduction: Barry Esson.
Liner Notes: Biba Kopf.
Essay: Stuart Broomer - courtesy of Point of Departure.

A Weight of Wax download - WoW DL 01.


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John Butcher London, UK

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

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