percussion

2002: self-isolation before it was cool?

Posted on Updated on

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 »

logistical torrents

Posted on Updated on

31 July 2019

electric guitar and video by Dave Black,

Featherston, NZ.

One in a series of quickfire improvisations with video effects. Rather than finish an album before releasing anything in 2019, I’m opening a curtain on some of my demo ideas in progress.

The Winter: Exit Points

Posted on Updated on

Today is the last day of winter in the southern hemisphere – so to celebrate, here’s the fifth album from The Winter – a New Zealand free improvisation trio of Mike Kingston, Simon Sweetman and Dave Edwards… with a sound that swerves from acoustic folk/blues with hints of Asian, Celtic, and Balkan influences, to electroacoustic soundscapes, abstract dissonance, and pots & pans percussion.

Mike Kingston: guitar, bass, clarinet, electronics
Dave Edwards: guitar, bass, banjo, harmonica, ukulele, sanshin, electronics
Simon Sweetman: drums and percussion, electronics

Read the rest of this entry »

Simon Sweetman

Posted on Updated on

Simon Sweetman is the drummer/percussionist for The Winter

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He writes about music at www.offthetracks.co.nz

and podcasts at https://soundcloud.com/off-the-tracks

Ngumbang

Posted on Updated on

Out now!! the new collaboration with even more legendary & underground NZ artist Snake Beings.

Ngumbang is the first collaborative album by two of New Zealand’s more unusual artist/musician/filmmaker/ethnomusicologists – performed on guitars, bass, banjo, percussion, saxophones, clarinets, harmonicas, synthesisers, Okinawan sanshin, ukulele, violin, loop pedal, piano, drums and spoken word.  The album was recorded in and near Auckland, New Zealand in 20142015 and includes live performances at Vitamin S and the Audio Foundation.

Emit Snake-Beings, who over several decades has travelled intensively in Spain, Holland, the Middle East, Mexico, America and Japan, is a New Zealand / British experimental filmmaker and musician who has produced over 40 independently released film soundtrack CDs and made a number of short experimental and narrative films in Spain, U.K. and New Zealand. www.snakebeings.co.nz

Dave Black, originally from Taranaki and active since the late 90s on the NZ underground music scene, began by fusing acoustic songs, noisy postpunk, spoken word and avant-garde improvisation – and has diversified further from there. Notable performances include the award-winning 14-piece Ascension Band, appearing as an international artist at the Liquid Architecture Festival in Brisbane, Australia, and teaching a thousand Okinawan school students to perform a haka. www.fiffdimension.com

Dave Black & Snake Beings
Dave Black & Snake Beings

‘Ngumbang’ is Read the rest of this entry »

Bali, Indonesia

Posted on Updated on

There’s my first video from Bali, from footage taken on my earlier visit in August.  Note the gamelan (bronze percussion) and rindik (bamboo percussion) soundtrack.

I left my job in Perth and am on my way home to New Zealand, so I’m nervous about jobhunting & starting all over again (again).  On the way home I’m spending a week on a smaller island, Nusa Penida, doing conservation volunteer work with www.fnpf.org  If you’d like to help me afford to stay longer and make more of a contribution  ($20 = 1 day’s expenses) please  – or even better, buy some of our music.

Bali is (once you get away from the main city and the tacky resorts in the south) an almost absurdly beautiful place… frangipani and Indonesian flags (preparing for the August 17th independence day celebrations) everywhere, majestic hillsides lined with centuries-old rice terraces, and too many Hindu temples to count (each family has their own). That plus the many international flights, and entertainment options from adventure sports to nightclubbing to traditional arts make it easy to see why it’s such a popular destination (I read somewhere that 80% of visitors to Indonesia go to Bali and nowhere else, which makes me glad I saw Java first).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read the rest of this entry »

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (part 1, 1999)

Posted on Updated on

978-1-877448-59-1A 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 Simon O'Rorkeinstrumental 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 – including Jeff Henderson, Blair Latham , Paul Winstanley, Dan Beban, Julie Bevan and more.

It was recorded in Wellington in two halves, in 1999

Simon O’Rorke – percussion

Paul Winstanley – synth bass
Blair Latham – alto sax
Jeff Henderson – clarinet
Bridget Kelly – tenor sax
Dan Beban – electric guitar
Dave Edwards – electric and acoustic guitars

and 2014, to show an evolution.

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

Free improvisation is a genre of music with a self-explanatory name.  Nothing is planned in advance, and the performers create the music on the spot by responding to what the others are doing in that moment. Read the rest of this entry »

The Winter: Flying Visit

Posted on Updated on

Acoustic instrumental music by Wellington, New Zealand, improvising trio The Winter.

Mike Kingston: charango, guitar, clarinet

Dave Edwards: ukulele, sanshin, tenor sax, piano

Simon Sweetman: xylophone, percussion

Read the rest of this entry »

The Winter: 2011

Posted on Updated on

2011 – year of the Christchurch earthquakes, the Arab Spring, the Fukushima disaster, the shootings in Norway,the Queensland floods… and the Wellington (New Zealand) winter was colder than usual.
Acoustic improvisations on guitar, ukulele, banjo, clarinet, piano, harmonica and percussion by The Winter (Simon, Dave and Mike).

Liner notes by Dave

Read the rest of this entry »

The Winter: Parataxes

Posted on Updated on

The debut album by The Winter: instrumental improvisations from Wellington, New Zealand, 2003.  The band emerged fully formed on winter solstice day in June.

Builds from acoustic intimacy around the winter fireplace to the electric blizzard climax of ‘Parataxes 9‘.

“Derek Bailey on acid!” – Anthony Donaldson, Primitive Art Group

Photos by James Gilberd, from The Winter’s first gig at Photospace Gallery, Wellington NZ, August 2003.

Mike Kingston – cello, electronic composition (1,4,7), electric guitar (2), acoustic guitar and slide whistle (8)

Dave Edwards – acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica

Simon Sweetman – drums and percussion

The Winter are a Wellington based improvising trio, and Parataxes is their 1st release. It documents both acoustic and electric live sets that drift from eastern sounding cello led pieces to fairly extreme feed-backy noise. Read the rest of this entry »