OUT NOW ON
Relative Pitch Records
Dedicated to Greg Grimsich and Claudia Millucci for
dedicating their lives to helping others around the world.
Recorded Feb. 3rd in NY, NY by
Eli Crews at Rivington 66
Mixed in Oakland, CA by
Nicholas Taplin at Post-Consumer Studios
Mastered in Oakland, CA by
Myles Boisen at Guerilla Recordings
Effected Piano, AO44 Hammond
Organ, Analog Keys/Effects
Liner Notes by Fred Frith:
I love this record. I thought I probably would, but the reality surpassed my expectations. Maybe because so many more questions are posed and
elegant solutions put forward than I had imagined before I heard it. About
tuning and timbre. Density and openness. Repetition and memory. About
style and genre and the nature of technique. Flashes of Larry Young and
Tony Williams Lifetime when they were re-defining jazz forever. Tristano. Sharrock.
Subtle alterations, treatments, processes. Relentless kinetic energy.
Above all, an appreciation for how to find and hang on to your place in
a narrative unfolding at speed. For the fact that structure is not what is
imposed, but what is revealed. For how the recording process affects
sound and performance.
If empathy is the capacity for putting yourself in someone else’s shoes,
then these are truly empathetic players, which we hear at every twist and
turn. But I’m also struck by something about physics, about the nature of
mass and the strength of mutual gravitational attraction. This music seems
to exist as much on that basic level as on any other, and as such it is compelling and fun.
Like watching asteroids. Or blades of grass. Or shoals of fish. Or birds.
The title of this album was inspired by radical empathy, the philosophy that in order to find truly sustainable resolution to conflict, it's necessary not only to yield and compromise but to find empathy with each other's perspectives and suffering. While manifested from different viewpoints, as musicians, we practice this approach through the process of working/playing/being together. In free and structured improvisation, empathy is a core focus.
As a long time grass-roots activist, I find that people share similar, if not the same, struggles even if their causes are parallel or opposing. In this way radical empathy, the concept and practice of, is a necessary component to resolving long term conflicts and a way to help peoples overcome their respective historical oppression.
Thollem/Wimberly/Cline: Radical Empathy
Nels, Michael, Eli and I spent 3 hours together on a snowy February 3rd, 2014 at Rivington 66 in lower Manhattan, playing short collaborations steered very minimally by me. Nels and I are both playing with, and through, equipment that was created by Analog Outfitters, a small company in Champaign, IL. AO upcycles otherwise discarded Hammond organs (“no B3s were harmed in this process”) to create equipment new equipment. I am playing their ORGANic MINI 44 midi-controller which utilizes vintage Hammond organ parts including the key bed, draw bars and wood casing. Nels is playing through an amp they created out of tubes and such from discarded organs with an old metal road sign casing. On Howled Ground, I am playing a Yamaha pf10 through analog pedals from Bearfoot FX, a boutique pedal company out of St. Louis, MO. I'm also running a mic from inside the piano through these pedals (effected piano).
This is the 2nd album of the trio project on which Nels and I are collaborating. The first, 'The Gowanus Session', was with William Parker. The third will be recorded in August 2015 with Pauline Oliveros.