|Dexterity & Delicacy|
Sam Richards leads the Half Moon Jazzlab Assemblage
on fun-flute (with ocarina at the ready)
Bay Horse Inn Totnes Sunday 6 October
On the first Sunday of any month, drop into the Bay Horse in Totnes and experience another world.
Initially there may seem to be little going on. The regulars are at the bar engrossed in lively conversation. There are a few musicians in the adjoining room, but very little sound seems to be coming from there.
Move closer - as close as you like. (The musicians are very friendly.) Under the very gentle direction of Sam Richards at the electric keyboard, 'Jazzlab' is in progress. Starting tentatively, the four experiment with different sounds, listening carefully to the overall effect and responding to that.
Watch and Listen. The background noises fade into insignificance. The music grows organically. As Elie Fruchter and Pat Butterly collaborate to create a dynamic continuo, Tim Sayer introduces sampled sound in the baleful light of his laptop screen. Soon he is adding live samples of sound on his trumpet and flugelhorn.
fugelhorn & electronics
At the opportune moment Sam Richards starts some sampling of his own. His now familiar 'toychestra' offers many exciting sound possibilities. Toy bells make a magical sound when stroked with a double-bass bow. A zither, concertina and glockenspiel can be used to build complex melodies. Every slight imperfection in the instruments adds to the fascination of the sound.
Once focussed, it is hard to keep track of time. The music never stops, and becomes increasingly intense and intoxicating. A half hour improvisation seems to be over all too soon. Fortunately there will be a second set. As another thirty minutes of hedonistic harmony draw to a close, Sam introduces the 'pièce de résistance'. One by one, he winds up music boxes and sets them running. The clamorous tinkling inspires the quartet to ever more elaborate invention, before the springs wind down and the music is brought to a reluctant halt.
An experience well worth repeating.
|zither as dulcimer|
'Jazzlab' will continue on the first Sunday of each month into 2014. Regular participant, Lona Kozik, is studying in California until the new year, but her piano partner Elie Fruchter (who is a regular member of 'The Half Moon Assemblage' with Lona and Sam) will stand in with his supremely accomplished 'cello playing.
From 8pm at the Bay Horse, winter evenings become something very different - and wonderful!
Facebook Video Extracts:
Hear Sam on air 3-6pm every second and fourth Sunday. 'The Pulse' introduces exciting modern compositions. 'Prelude to the Red Curtain' (with Elie Fruchter) explores romantic music of the nineteenth century. Both on Soundart Radio.