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ELISION & John Butcher
butcher with elision
© brian slater - HCMF, huddersfield, uk. nov 2009.

Carl Rosman - Richard Haynes - John Butcher - Graeme Jennings

ELISION | real time arts

O'Dwyer's transcription of Butcher's improvised solo in Gravity


In 2006, Tim O'Dwyer wrote Gravity, a piece for the Australian new music ensemble ELISION. He wrote:

"Gravity explores questions (about improvisation) in a chamber work using the improvisational language of British saxophonist John Butcher. The work is inspire by his live concerts in Japan from 2002 and from his solo recordings.
John's language was used as the basis for generating the other instrumental parts of the ensemble."

The piece was performed is Brisbane and Sydney, with Butcher as improvising soloist, and brought to the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival later that year.
The desire to develop this way of working led to Daryl Buckley, ELISION's musical director, commisioning Butcher and O'Dwyer to jointly write a new work for a larger version of the ensemble, Residue (aka What Remains). This was premiered at the Queensland Fesival in Brisbane in 2007.

The collaborative relationship continued when Butcher was invited to join ELISION and O'Dwyer's hommage to the music of Anthony Braxton at the 2009 HCMF.

"Not for the musically squeamish, ELISION's lacerating and provocative WHAT REMAINS is a four-movement electro-acoustic work framed by improvisational challenges and compositional structures.

In a festival that is celebrating connection and new modes of music making. Elsion partnered extraordinary London instrumentalist John Butcher, whose extended vocabulary of multiphonics, pitch bending, amplified feedback and percussive keypad pummelling transforms the saxophone into a bewitching, gnashing, endlessly variable sound source."

Queensland Music Festival. © Gillian Wills, THE AUSTRALIAN.