BPA 004 The Voice Imitator

by Frank Gratkowski / Damon Smith / Jerome Bryerton



Frank Gratkowski, Damon Smith, Jerome Bryerton

A penchant for the surge filled spaces, a drive to find that musical needle in the haystack - the search alone speaks volumes. The verve and wit required to spontaneously create music that speaks form three hearts and blends three souls in the faith that countless ears will be melted by the phosphorescent output isn't enough, not for these three. Here it also takes slithering down into a sound press to squeeze the fresh the sonic juices.

It takes a jumping around the playground, burning with playground fever, then stumbling over to the junkyard -- for some junkyard fun for the whole family. As the creation flows it restfully and thankfully takes up residency in the inn of space and calm, each room equipped with an air filtering device which silently spews forth healing tones. Breathe, breathe, to breath so fully, without anxiety...

Now fullly oxygenated, the players fabricate layers piled up like the layerings of a big burger gleefully gotten at a late night diner. crackle, pop--buzz, saw... the wild kingdom is eminently evident.
Wonderful, its like nature brought home. These three sonic subversives blend and meld themselves into inventing a feeling I can only describe as being akin to that given off by floating ducks on a dry pond of hope.

That is a beautiful and faith filled image, an that propels this music to resonate deeply for those who allow it into their inner sanctums, their inner chambers of existence...I allowed it, I welcomed it, it beckoned me, and I am enriched. Let's share in the riches, always, to all, always.

John Lindberg, 2/1103

Incidental Notes

The title/titles are taken form the of short stories by Thomas Bernhard, originally published as "Der Stimmenimitator". It refers to the ability to imitate other instrumentals sounds, as opposed to imitating other musicians. This is especially true with the pitch based approach to percussion: which can blend and quickly change roles with the bass or reed player, who in turn can both be quite percussive. In the liner notes of Bill Dixon's "Vade Mecum" he spoke of each player being their own orchestra. It took a while to figure out what he meant - it makes sense in terms of the variety of colors any modern improvisor has... the ability to shift textures like different sections of an orchestra unfolding, but not so much in the density. Of course this is not a new idea, but I feel is is central to the percussion/bass relationship Bryerton and I have created over the years. It would be difficult to call us a rhythm section, but we are a section of some kind.
And although we often interact as equal voices in the improvisations, there is still some element of support in what we do. We also recommend that the two concerts on this disc are listened to as separate works. Of course there are some ideas that reappear but they seem to play quite different role in each concert.

Damon Smith 3/21/03


released March 7, 2013

Frank Gratkowski, alto saxophone, bass clarinet clarinet
Damon Smith, double bass
Jerome Bryerton, percussion.

Tracks 1-3 recorded on 10 October 2002 at 509 Cultural Center, San Francisco, California; tracks 4-6 were recorded on 9 October 2002 at 21Grand, Oakland, California.
Front cover artwork (reproduced above) Crossfire by Rebecca Morris, oil and spray paint on canvas, 26in. x 27in., 1998.


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