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Loydd & Bill Duo

For the second post in this series I return to my own music — a duet with guitarist Lloyd Garber. I performed a number of times with Lloyd, in combinations featuring Stuart Broomer, Maury Coles, Victor Coleman, David Lee, Herb Bailey, John Oswald, Andy Haas… but only twice as a duet. One of which was recorded. He preceded violinist David Prentice in the New Art Music Ensemble [NAME] with David Lee and myself.

We were very fortunate in the eighties to have DB Hawkes recording our music on “First Take”, his regular Saturday midnight show on the University of Toronto’s radio station CIUT 89.5FM. You will hear Mister Hawkes’ dulcet tones as he introduces our duet…

This recording was originally issued as a cassette titled “through streets wide and narrow”. The recording heard on this post is a digital copy of that 30 year-old cassette so there is a brief  distortion at the end of “Celebration” which hopefully does not diminish the intention.

Lloyd has informed me that the title was just ad hoc. Through Streets Wide And Narrow to do with wide and narrow intervals. You can learn more about Lloyd’s adventures including a brief history and other music samples at: http://lloydgarber.com/index.htm

Lloyd Garber: Electric Arc-top Guitar & electric flat-top Guitar (Prepared)
Bill Smith: Eb Sopranino Saxophone

1. Introduction [0:56]

2. Celebration (A celebration to the greatest of all human benefits — people are still people and not guitar tuning keys) [7:31]

3. Willy-Nilly Suite (Last six pieces of book “Willy-Nilly) [7:15]

4. Circles In A Window (Prepared guitar and Saxophone) [4:11]

Willy-Nilly (this way or that)
The selections from “Willy-Nilly” are attempting to break free of the musical formula. The dogma of diatonic harmony, major scales and cadence. These pieces ignore the signboard “destroy our desire”. These pieces have come out into the world and burst out… with sax and guitar they dance and dance and dance.

An absence of any fixed framework, space itself vibrates and dilates from the centre to the periphery. Sax and guitar interact. Move through random occurrences. A constant shifting of material changes the sound from the original structures. They work the material. Guitar layers the material and the sax pushes back. These multi relationships create more relationships than they can understand. The Willy-Nilly Suite turns into a carnival of colliding overtones. While some intervals are pinged high out of sight, others drop and become out of print. The little blocks of sound break from the comfort zones (tonal centres) and never deny themselves destruction and chaos. Lloyd Garber

5. Without Constraint (Freely Improvised) [14:30]

6. Closing Improvisation (Freely Improvised) I [8:37]

End Notes:
Recorded at CIUT Radio by DB Hawkes on Saturday, November 7, 1987
Music with DB Hawkes: http://www.ciut.fm/shows-2/music-shows/musicwdbhawkes/
CIUT Radio: http://www.ciut.fm
Photograph by Marlene Hilderman

My favorite was Willy-Nilly. My thoughts when listening to the A tonal (if you will), contemplative, unorthodox style were many. Indeed, if it does escape from the dogma of Western music and all of its rules, there is one thing that I realize it cannot escape from: The arrow of time. This is perhaps what drew me into the piece actually. As much as I support a non-dual approach to cosmology, we are all still stuck in the everyday perception of linear chronology. In that way, Willy-Nilly blossoms in glory because it tells a subtle story, one action step at a time. The story is subjective to the listener, and it engrossed me into an pensive state; taking me away briefly from the hustle and bustle of the other external senses and drawing my focus into the realm of story through sound. I came out of the experience feeling as if I had just taken part in an ancient cave spelunking or a pick axe climb of some frozen mountainside at Summer’s end.
Ryan C. Paglia [Pennsylvania, U.S.A.]

Duets With:
Stuart Broomer
David Prentice
Tony Wilson
James Munro

Misha Mengelburg & Han Bennink