avant-garde

Articulation Incommunicate (2004)

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Previously unreleased! 

Dave Edwards dictaphone cassette recordings 2004, for spoken word and improvised guitar – a trip down a road not taken for New Zealand music.

Bomb the Space Festival, Wellington NZ, 2004

These tracks were primitively recorded, not just obscure but completely unheard by anyone else, and seemed like raw unfinished demos at the time – but in hindsight may be the culmination of my 1997-2005 early period (a fusion of original songs, spoken word and free improv).

By 2004 my style was wordy, dense with allusions, and deliberately flouted not only verse/chorus structures but grammatical convention in parts; the influences here were literary modernists as much as music – eg  Joyce, Beckett, Burroughs, Pynchon, Dylan (Thomas), and New Zealand poets James K Baxter, Alan Brunton and Hone Tuwhare. I was a postgrad journalism student that year, so partly it was spare time relief from the constraints of non-fiction writing.

My guitar heroes included British free improviser Derek Bailey and my Mississippi bluesman namesake David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards – and fellow explorers in the New Zealand underground music scene.

Wellington, New Zealand

The album is rounded out by an abrasive noise guitar, dictaphone and electric razor performance at the Bomb the Space Festival (the youtube clip is one of my few music videos to have over a thousand views… go figure),

and a pair of free improvisations, with percussionists Simon O’Rorke and Simon Sweetman, and Korean bassist Youjae Lee.

Next, needing a change of scenery, having pushed the singer/songwriter envelope as far as I could, and following some last ensemble collaborations with Ascension Band,

and The Winter

the next year I left the country on my OE and took a different approach again….

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Loose Autumn Moans (2003)

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“Wellington, NZ composer Dave Edwards with some able assistance from duo or trio the Winter... Guitars, violin, cello, and percussion all stack up… He’s got a persona that’s all his own.”

George Parsons, Dream Magazine #5

All acoustic, with a string section, recorded and mixed on analogue equipment, and originally released on cassette in 2003 – new 2020 remaster.

Featuring

Sam Prebble (violin)

Mike Kingston (cello)

sam & san

and Simon Sweetman on percussion.

simon w newspaper

Wellington, New Zealand

Bats Theatre, Wellington NZ 2003

 

Loose Autumn Moans consists of five acoustic ensemble tracks:

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The album is structured as a progression from summer (with a NZ pohutukawa tree in flower on the cover) through autumn – a time of harvest, preparation, shortening daylight, and the shedding of old dead layers – and finishes with an extended live version of ‘O Henry Ending’, recorded at the Winter’s first gig.

 

The original C60 cassette (and later online) release included solo interludes recorded in 2002. These are now available separately as

After the Filmshoot (2002)

By focusing on the 2003 sessions Loose Autumn Moans becomes concise, emphasising the lyrics and the jazzy acoustic instrumental interplay – a mini orchestra to bring colour.

Sam Prebble RIP, 2014

Loose Autumn Moans is dedicated to Sam Prebble (aka Bond Street Bridge), who died in 2014.

Further listening

The collaboration with these guys followed on from

The Winter: Parataxes

The Winter live at Photospace Gallery, July 2003 (photo by James Gilberd)

The Winter‘s debut: electric and acoustic trio improvisations for guitars, cello and percussion, by Dave Edwards, Mike Kingston, and Simon Sweetman (2003)

“A strange sonic brew that includes dissonant rock textures, rough outsider folk-blues mysteries, electric and acoustic improvisations and a considerable part of tasty feedback. Imagine equal parts Derek Bailey, New Zealand’s Pumice and classic ’60s blues/folk and you’re in the right ballpark.”The Broken Face

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After the filmshoot (2002)

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Dave Edwards solo cassette tracks, in Wellington NZ, 2002.

Wellington, New Zealand

 

Hey so the new (2020) album Ruasagavulu is out!

(go there, like, share etc)…

 

& in the meantime, until the next new project, here’s one from the vault:

 
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In 2002, a year whose digits are an anagram of this one’s,  I was living in Wellington (New Zealand’s capital, and my birthplace), looking for a way to follow up the almost-success of The Marion Flow (part 2).

But I was moving further away from conventional 3min song formats into the avant-garde.

This is the second largely solo album I made in 2002.

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Gar mar par da nee sa

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the opening track from Ruasagavulu

by Dave Black & Snake-Beings

recorded in Suva, Fiji, 2nd November 2019

Snake Beings and Dave Black in Fiji

This short warmup improv is based on an Indian scale, inspired by Dr Emit Snake-Beings‘ travels to Kerala in India, and harmonium lessons in Suva.

There’s an Indian influence throughout the album, as several sections are based on drones and modal improv (rather than the chord changes)… though this is not a traditional Indian album, we’ve borrowed ideas to inform our own experiments.

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The temple in the photo is Sri Siva Subramaniya in Nadi. It’s built in the Dravidian style from southern India, which is also found in Singapore and Malaysia.

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In contrast to other Pacific Island countries, Fiji has a large – almost half – population of Indian descent. Indians came to Fiji in the 19th century, as indentured labourers to work the sugar cane plantations.

The following videos are made in India, courtesy of www.snakebeings.co.nz

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2002: self-isolation before it was cool?

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The difficult third album – recorded during a time of intense introspection in 2002. I locked myself in my room in Wellington for all of November with an analogue 4-track cassette recorder.The results rapidly put an end to my promising New Zealand music career!

Wellington, New Zealand

In 2002, a year whose digits are an anagram of this one’s, I locked myself in my room for a month of self-isolation.

It had nothing to do with a pandemic!

Kia kaha Aotearoa…

It was just me living in Wellington and looking for a way to follow up The Marion Flow (part 2).

I was moving further away from conventional 3min song formats into the avant-garde. Read the rest of this entry »

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (part 2, 2014)

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978-1-877448-59-1

A few years ago I wrote a chapter of Jazz Aotearoa, a book about New Zealand jazz music history, discussing the free improvisation and avant-garde jazz scene in Wellington at the turn of the millennium.

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway is a collection of improvised instrumental music with some of the musicians in that scene, from the point of view of my own attempts as an untrained outsider to fit in with these advanced jazz players.

with

Simon O’Rorke – synthesisers

Blair Latham – bass clarinet
Julie Bevan – acoustic guitar
Michael Hall – alto sax
Chris Prosser – violin
Dave Edwards – bass, electronics, tenor sax (8)

These sessions were recorded in 2014. I’d just returned from living overseas, 15 years after my first exposure to Wellington free jazz.

The first volume was recorded in Wellington in 1999

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Ruasagavulu – with Snake Beings in Fiji

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Made in Suva, Fiji – the new album by Dave Black & Dr Emit Snake-Beings

“So easy to get totally lost in this music, recommend for helping with your inner peace” – Andi Verse

Meditative tropical avant-garde instrumentals for keyboards, ukulele, dholak, duduk, harmonicas, DIY kitchen gamelan, and video. This was one of the last in-person international collaborations from before the world ended.

This is currently a pre-order work in progress, as some of the mixes will be refined  over the next few weeks.

The title ‘ruasagavulu’ means ‘twenty’ in Fijian, to kick off the new decade.

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A new sound for 2020 perhaps?

In the meantime have a listen to the ‘Ngumbang‘ album we made together in 2015Read the rest of this entry »

11 through the viewer 7

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11th July 2019

Improvised acoustic guitar and video effects by Dave Black,

Featherston, NZ.

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Solstice Shards 19

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I spent the longest night of the year at home and improvised this:

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As I’d been doing mainly solo acoustic songs recently this was a palette cleansing electric improvisation from the other side of my coin.

I think of acoustic as yin and electric as yang forces.

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2005

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2005

The year got off to a good start, with Ascension Band: Evolution

The successful collaboration with Nigel Patterson, Ryan Prebble, and over a dozen other musicians, from jazz-schooled to untrained punks, won the best music award in the NZ Fringe Festival.

I had my first taste of success (the fame part of Fame & Oblivion 2005-2012)

Melbourne, VIC, Australia 2005

…But by this time I was ready to see the world beyond Aotearoa.  I shifted across the Tasman Sea to Melbourne – in Australia, the West Island.

 

For the next few months I lived in Brunswick, and worked in temp jobs around the city and in rural Victoria.

 

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The results became After Maths & Sciences

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