On the face of it the human voice and analogue synthesizer may appear to have little in common but Audrey Chen and Richard Scott share an intuitive, corporeal and dynamic sound world out of which an intense and sustained musical conversation develops. Phrases and interjections bounce and ricochet between Chen’s vivid lexicon of glottal pops, rasps and expulsions and Scott’s exhaustive catalogue of electronic clangs, plosives and propulsions. The resultant musical conversation may not always seem entirely human in origin, conjuring sonic images of stories, languages and environments populated by many unearthly creatures, real or imagined.
Audrey Chen is a Chinese-American musician who was born into a family of material scientists, doctors and engineers, outside of Chicago in 1976. Parting ways with the family convention, she turned to the cello at age 8 and voice at 11. After years of classical and conservatory training in both instruments, with a resulting specialization in early and new music, she parted ways again in 2003 to begin new negotiations with sound in order to discover a more individually honest aesthetic. Now, using the cello, voice and analog electronics, Chen’s work delves deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component of her music is improvised and her approach to this is extremely personal and visceral. Her playing explores the combination and layering of a homemade analog synthesizer, preparations and traditional and extended techniques in both the voice and cello. She works to join these elements into a singular ecstatic personal language. Over the past decade, her predominant focus has been her solo work with the cello, voice and electronics, but she has more recently begun to shift back towards the exploration of the voice as a primary instrument. Among musicians, she has worked with Phil Minton, Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Ko Ishikawa, Tomomi Adachi, Matana Roberts, Elliott Sharp, Aki Onda, Phill Niblock, Frederic Blondy, Jerome Noetinger, C. Spencer Yeh, Nate Wooley, Mats Gustafsson, Mazen Kerbaj, Michael Zerang, Tatsuya Nakatani, Le Quan Ninh, Joe Mcphee, Susan Alcorn, Michele Doneda, Paolo Angeli, Dylan Nyoukis, Id M Theft Able, plus many more. Recent projects, aside from performing solo, include her voice only duo with London based artist, Phil Minton and a collaborative project with German conceptual artist, John Bock. Two new album releases in 2013 include, a quartet LP with Nate Wooley, C. Spencer Yeh and Todd Carter on Monotype (Warsaw), and a duo record with Phil Minton on Subrosa (Brussels).
Richard Scott is an electroacoustic composer and free improviser living in Berlin. He is working with analogue modular synthesizers and alternative controllers such as the Buchla Thunder and Lightning as well as his own self-designed WiGi infra red controller developed at STEIM, Amsterdam. Scott has been composing and performing improvised music for over 25 years, producing, performing and recording with artists such as Evan Parker, Twinkle³, Edward Barton, Clive Bell, Olaf Rupp, David Ross and Grutronic. He studied improvisation with John Stevens, saxophone with Elton Dean and Steve Lacy, action theatre improvisation with Sten Rudstrom and electroacoustic composition with David Berezan and Ricardo Climent.
Partial:Recall is the first iteration of a group exploring compositions that focus on memory and organisation in improvising. At this moment in time it is formed by a quartet of Ecka Mordecai (Cello), Michael Perrett (Bass Clarinet), Sam Weaver (Modular Synthesiser) and Otto Willberg (Double Bass). Partial Recall tries to test and push our abilities to listen and interact with what we hear around us. Is is also very much a work in progress, and will hopefully remain that way for a long time to come.