Frey

the Ballad of William Knife

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Music video from the album ‘South Island Sessions‘, set in 19th century New Zealand with an ecological theme.  ‘The Ballad of William Knife’ was the name of the show we took to the Dunedin Fringe Festival in 2006.

See also the videos for ‘Bandit Joe on a Scraded Gat’ and ‘BFD’

1861 revisited – Read the rest of this entry »

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Ascension Band 2004

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The post-punk big band Ascension Band convened in 2003-2005… here’s the 2004 lineup performing at the Meatwaters Festival at Happy in Wellington.

Nigel Patterson – hammond organ & conductor
Dave Edwards – guitar & electronics
Mike Kingston – guitar
Jesse Toews – bass
Warwick Donald – bass
Antony Milton – violin & electronics
Damian Stewart – laptop
Jason Secto – cornet
Simon O’Rorke – percussion
Myles Climo – drums

The following year we won best music award in the 2005 Wellington Fringe Festival

Ascension Band 2005

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“With elements of punk, post-punk, jazz, classical, straight rock, opera and music hall, the Ascension Band are that rare thing: Something Wholly Other. They retain avant garde cred and still manage to rock harder than AC/DC.” – www.varsity.co.nz 

This riff

by organist/conductor/arranger Nigel Patterson (The Black Seeds, The Manta Rays, Fly My Pretties), guitarist & organiser Dave Edwards (fiffdimension, The Winter), and over a dozen musicians on guitars, basses, drums, electronics, keyboards, trumpets and vocals, was the seed that grew into a full scale electric symphony: Evolution.

“The 50-minute piece of music, broken down into six movements, was performed live over a few nights for the Fringe Festival in 2005; the group taking out the Best Music Award. 

“It was stunning. Discordant guitars were choked, drums clattered and crashed, voices mingled with percussion and keyboards – but this form of free-improvisation had a structure to it. It had movement, it had a plan. It was a great beast of a song that writhed and wriggled and often managed to run downhill, away from the players – in the best possible way. 

“Here, the show has been recorded onto a CD for posterity – and it begs discovery. It’s an intense listen – but that’s to be expected from a group of players who took their name from one of John Coltrane’s toughest listening albums.” – Simon Sweetman

Dave Edwards – electric guitar & electronics
Nigel Patterson – hammond organ & conductor
Will Rattray – electric guitar
Bell Murphy – bass
Warwick Donald – bass
Murray Stewart – keyboards
Damian ‘Frey’ Stewart – laptop
Ryan Prebble – tone generator
Sam Jenks – trumpet
Felicity Perry – vocal
Atushi Iseki – vocal
Matt Baxter – drums
Greta Welson – drums
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South Island Sessions

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1861 revisited – my first pakeha (European) ancestors, Totara Jack and Mary, arrived in the South Island of New Zealand on board the Olympus and settled in Nelson.

John ‘Totara Jack’ Edwards

When I lived nearby a century and a half later,

I found the address where they’d lived, just below a spot on a hill that marks the geographical centre of NZ.  To the north is Tasman Bay, and south are the foothills of the Southern Alps.

I jammed with South Island musicians; studied at the Nelson School of Music; played in Hokitika, Greymouth, Westport, Nelson, Blenheim, Lyttelton and Dunedin (as well as Brisbane, Australia); and recorded the sound of tui and makomako (native birds) in Nelson Lakes National Park.

Music by:

Dave Black – acoustic guitar, banjo, drums, harmonica, laptop, field recordings, tenor sax, and vocals

Cylvi Manthyng –  vocals & phat beatz

Hayden Gifkins / Matt Thornicroft – electric guitars

Frey – no-input mixing desk

Haz / Cookie – drums

1 Eats Beats Roots Sleeps (B(W)FD) (warning:explicit) free download 3:20
2 The Only Ones Who Know the Earth’s Worth free download 3:25
3 Lake Rotoiti to Fox Glacier free download 6:35
4 gridget k free download 3:52
5 End of Daylight Savings free download 5:15
6 Bandit Joe on a scraded gat (west coast highway in digital Junefree download 4:36
7 The Ballad of William Knife free download 4:59

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