Common Objects

The Oriental Museum, Durham.

Pat Thomas, Lena Lapelyte, Lee PattersonAngharad Davies, Rhodri Davies & John Butcher.

Common Objects

Rhodri Davies formed Common Objects in 2005 for a series of concerts at that year’s LMC Festival. At first the group had a fluid membership, but in recent years the line up has settled to the six musicians in the photo.

Sonorous Matter was a 2016 project involving six UK museums. Each musician researched items from one of the collections to create an Object Score for the group to perform in situ. Skullmarks was recorded inside the cavernous Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford -  home to a mysterious ethnographic collection of over half a million items.

Skullmarks begins with each of the musicians building their parts from cycling motifs which accrue into a collective coursing pulse of free beating overtones. Sliding electronic whistles and yowls, and low-end shuddered rumbles enter in to break open the sonic field, creating a particularly effective section with Butcher’s keening soprano playing off of the natural delay of the hall.
In his liner notes, Davies references the relationship that musicians have with the “objects” of their instruments and that physicality of the instruments comes through as well. Over the course of the piece, the rise and fall of densities and dynamics creates a captivatingly immersive listening experience.
Point of Departure - Michel Rosenstein.

Whitewashed with Lines is some of the most gorgeous abstract music I have heard this past year. "Cup and Ring" is a Davies composition, based on European primitive art forms of marked cups and rings for notes. It is a masterwork of atmospheric sounds, punctuated by designed notations of winds, strings and electronics, and above all, leads the listener on a journey that builds slowly but is rewarded throughout by textures, movements, and flavours.
"Repose and Vertigo” is, alternatively, an improvised work, with similar sounds, but more interactive, less designed. Butcher's staccato like sounds really penetrate the smoothness of the electronics and silence provides key breaks.

Freejazzblog - Stefan Wood.

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