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by John Butcher

Merri I 07:31
Merri II 07:13
Merri III 06:58


Originally released on cassette by Tapeworm.

"Trace features two distinct works from the legendary Brit improvisor, the first capturing a concert recorded last October at L'Eglise Saint-Merri in Paris, featuring unaccompanied tenor and soprano saxophone solo work, the second taking more of an abstract and intimate feel. This latter piece, titled “More Of An Urge Than An Idea” merges sax, controlled feedback and piano, all seemingly played simultaneously by Butcher in an act of elaborate, one-man-band style autonomy. Across nearly twenty minutes, Butcher coaxes some incredible sounds from his horn - sustaining deep, resonant tides of feedback tonality, whilst intermittently harmonising or punctuating all this with the subtlest of piano keyings. Through certain stretches you'll even encounter some ear-defying percussive runs; it's extraordinary stuff."

"Two side long live improvisations, the first a three part epic for tenor and soprano saxophones, that takes the sound of the saxes and adds all sorts of grit and buzz and crackle, where the overtones throb and undulate, with sounds crumbling and moaning, ringing out, wreathed in a super spacious natural reverb, totally mesmerizingly intense and beautiful.

The flipside is a sprawling 20 minute piece for “saxophone controlled feedback” and piano, and consists of deep swirling tones, lustrous fields of muted shimmer, the piano not so much being played as offering up sympathetic vibrations, the whole thing delicate and crystalline, long stretches of hushed distant keening, slipping into warm bell like swells, deep low end rumbles, all laid atop one another, creating a sort of ethereal sonic field of abstract melody, until finally (or perhaps for the first time audibly) the piano enters, offering up isolated plinks, allowed to ring out, as the feedback swirls around each note sympathetically, creating something truly mysterious and otherworldly. So nice."


released July 9, 2017

"Merri I, II, III":
tenor and soprano saxophones, recorded in concert 30 Oct 2009, L’Eglise Saint-Merri, Paris by Augustin Muller.

"More of an Urge than an Idea":
saxophone controlled feedback and piano (one player), recorded 10 Feb 2010, Bernie’s Boudoir, London.

Illustration – Lorraine Elektronik.


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John Butcher London, UK

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

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