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Fresh presents Group Listening and The Tara Clerkin Trio.

  • Cobalt Studios 10-16 Boyd Street, Ernest Cafe, Shieldfield Newcastle upon Tyne United Kingdom (map)
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Here is another very special FRESH that we are serving up .
Presenting two new and interesting new projects linked by their use of clarinet and keys, experimentation and the refreshing –hard- to categorize results . Expect an evening of relaxed ambient soundcsapes with occasional aspects of jazz, classical influences and floaty loops.

Group Listening
PRAH Recordings is excited to present Group Listening, a new project by Stephen Black and Paul Jones. Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.1 is a collection of ambient works - from the likes of Brian Eno, Arthur Russell, Euros Childs and Robert Wyatt - arranged for clarinet and piano.

Having met at Music College, Stephen and Paul went separate ways creatively. Stephen delved into pop, recording albums and touring extensively under the guise of Sweet Baboo, while working with Cate Le Bon, H. Hawkline and others. Paul leaned into the piano, pursuing a career as a jazz pianist and experimental musician. He played with Keith Tippett, formed the Jones O’Connor group, performed with noise improv bands and composed orchestral and chamber music.

Reconnecting years later, the pair discovered that their music tastes, bizarrely, met in the middle;they have a shared love of The Beach Boys, Ghost Box Records, Messiaen and Angela Morley. They
both like ambient and new age music, bubblegum pop, Artie Shaw, Moondog and the outsider music handbook Songs in the Key of Z.
Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.1 is the spontaneous, beguiling culmination of this friendship.

Cutting out post-production and keeping overdubs to a bare minimum, the pair passed their clarinet and piano through guitar stomp boxes and other analogue effects to enable processing and
manipulation directly in performance. The result hums with the ghostly energy of sound pioneers Joe Meek and Martin Hannett, while mbira and drum machines are sparingly deployed amid enveloping folds of space echo.

Like Virginia Astley or Simon Jeffes, Group Listening tread the overlap between classical and experimental music. Perhaps most startling here is the breadth of material arranged as one atmospheric whole. The pieces range from the ever-spiraling, fractal phrases of German composer Roedelius to the haunting rasps of Hollywood and game soundtracker Disasterpeace, via the groundbreaking sonics of early electronic inventor Raymond Scott. Somehow, shot through Group Listening’s electro-acoustic lens, these works evolve into something supremely calming, poignant and new.

The Tara Clerkin Trio
So, these guys just played here and it was way too quiet for such a great new project (wrong time of year, everybody Xmas shopping – mental note for gigs close to Xmas next year!) . So we invited them straight back and they make a great fit with Group Listening.

They say …. a new band pushing genre boundaries. Think along the lines of Broadcast meets Arthur Russell with noisey soundscapey bits, aspects of jazz with minimalism and groovy electronica stitched in. .

We say……its almost impossible to describe most music well with words and in particular with these guys defy words. Their sound encompasses rhythmic percussion, jazz elements and playful experimental noise.