Monday, March 14, 2016

Fred Frith / Darren Johnston - Everybody’s Somebody’s Nobody (2016)

This is the first duo effort to be released by Canada-born, but long time contributor to the San Francisco Bay Area scene trumpeter Darren Johnston, and the legendary guitar iconoclast Fred Frith.  They can also be heard together on the fine release “Reasons For Moving,” (Not Two, 2007), alongside Larry Ochs, Devin Hoff and Ches Smith, but in this more intimate musical gathering, the results are truly astonishing.   The genesis for this session was originally to provide sounds for a short dance film for filmmakers John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson and choreographer Amy Seiwert in a commission for the SF Dance Film Festival, but as can happen when improvisors are effectively inspired by one another, this led to a full release’s worth of exciting new music.

With the distinct and unusual combination of a guitar and trumpet duo, from the very first moments of “Everybody’s Somebody’s Nobody” we feel that they’re inventing a new timbral map and a new format. These are musicians from different generations, but they have more in common than what you might suppose. Johnston has started a path with his instrument similar to the one taken by Frith 40 years ago. After the termination of the prog band Henry Cow, the British six-string player started  intense exploratory work around techniques, vocabularies and forms – frequently creating unprecedented and beautiful new sounds – and his accomplishments have since widely expanded the possibilities of the guitar. Now, Johnston is doing the same with the trumpet, taking it to its limits and sometimes beyond. Don’t miss this important step of today’s music evolution.

Fred Frith, guitar
Darren Johnston, trumpet

01. Barn Dance
02. Scribble
03. Luminescence
04. Everybody's Somebody's Nobody
05. Bounce
06. Morning and the Shadow
07. Down Time
08. Rising Time
09. Scratch
10. Ants
11. Standard Candles

All music by Fred Frith and Darren Johnston

Recorded September 5th, 2013 and December 17th, 2014 at Guerrilla Sound | Engineered and mixed by Myles Boisen | Mastered at Headless Buddha Labs by Myles Boisen | Creative engineer Myles Boisen

Produced by Fred Frith and Darren Johnston | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos | Cover art by Heike Liss

Many thanks to Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, John Haptas, Kristine Samuelson, SF Dance Film Festival, Liss Fain Dance