Ensemble pieces - Gavin Bryars, Christopher Hobbs et al album review

Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 15:30


Ensemble Pieces

Christopher Hobbs, John White, Gavin Bryars, Cornelius Cardew, Derek Bailey, Mike Nicholls, Celia Gollin, Brian Eno, Andy MacKay, Stewart Deeks, Paul Nieman, Fred Frith

GB Records


This selection of experimental British music was originally issued on Brian Eno’s Obscure label in the mid-1970s. Christopher Hobbs’s bell-infused Aran is related to Aran sweater knitting patterns.

His McCrimmon Will Never Return for four reed organs slows down a pibroch melody so that the decorative flourishes stand out. Gavin Bryars’s spaced-out 1, 2, 1-2-3-4 is for performers trying to reproduce their instrumental or vocal part from a work they’re hearing on headphones.

His The Squirrel and the Ricketty Racketty Bridge, for four players using eight guitars, sounds like a weird toy going round and round on some kind of musical skidpan. Performers include Derek Bailey, Brian Eno and Cornelius Cardew.