Another Timbre TimHarrisonbre
at-b07 Tuned Moment, weighting
Stephen Cornford piano feedback
Samuel Rodgers piano
1. Weighted 17:04
2. Moment 15:28
3. Turning 12:26
Recorded at Dartington College, Devon, April 2009
CD copies sold out, but downloads available from Bandcamp here
An excellent long review from The Wire of all of the four discs comprising the Piano Series can be found here
A brief extract from that review is found below:
“Sound artist Stephen Cornford stumbled across pianist Samuel Rodgers photocopying pages of Morton Feldman's Triadic Memories (a good omen) when both were students at Dartington College of Arts, and Turned Moment, weighting features Cornford's realtime feedback treatments of Rodgers's touchy-feely, incisive playing on piano and miscellaneous objects.
Impressively, this taut 45 minute disc was culled – as detailed on an interview on the Another Timbre website – from a weekend-long recording session of their improvisations. Some of that material has, apparently, been filtered off for another project; what remains here, however, spotlights an intriguing tension between the seamless, relentless hum of the electronics, which transcends time, and the unstable rattling and evolving mantras of the piano Rodgers still occupying countable time. There's a bewitchingly beautiful moment during the second track as all the sounds coalesce, then hover, around an open octave – a gesture not normally part of the improvised music lexicon – which then broadens its harmonic reach to inhabit some unexpectedly conventional triad relationships which the overlaid feedback peels apart, as though sound has been illuminated with an x-ray.”
- Philip Clark, The Wire
“A recent entry in Another Timbre's "byways" series, intended less as finished releases and more as snapshot documents of a scene. Cornford (piano feedback) and Rodgers (piano & objects) are both new names to me and based on this, I hope to hear more soon. Very calm, soft underlying drones, presumably generated via feedback, accompanied by plectral sounds from within the piano, vibrating devices against strings, etc. I could see some listeners finding the first two pieces overly drone-y/chime-y, though I enjoyed them throughout. The last track, however ("turning"), edges into darker environs, the drones arcing toward scrapes, the chimes hardening into more foreboding thuds. It's a very strong and complete piece, well worth hearing. Looking forward to more.” - Brian Olewnick, Just Outside
“A very brief note to encourage listeners to hear the duo recording of Stephen Cornford
and Samuel Rodgers released several months ago on the Another Timbre imprint, Turned
The title may read as obtuse, but the sound world explored on this release is anything but. The duo generate a floating field of pin-prick, crystalline feedback, piano strings prepared in media res [the recording is taken from several hours of their improvising, edited by Cornford] and, here and there, struck piano keys. I have vowed to myself to write about this area of music without using the by now codified adjective Feldmanesque; I may now have to take up that vow after this write up.
The sound sources are two pianos and a feedback system Cornford designed that allows unstable, aleatory and sometimes noisy sounds to infiltrate the sober piano tones. Suspended pitches hang in the air with small, barely-controlled feedback squalls. Overall, with Cornford's post-production work, the three sections never spin out of orbit, the center holds.
Anyone who liked the territory explored in the Tilbury/Schmickler release Variety, or Paiuk/Kahn's beautiful Breathings will want to check this out. As in those two antecedents, there is an interface of piano and lacings of nuanced electronics. Cornford has very consciously chosen the instrument arguably most history-burdened and exhaustively plumbed for radical musicans, determined to find something new to say nonetheless. The results of this duo's intimate meeting merits close, repeated listens. “ - Jesse Goin, Crow with no Mouth
“ Once again, Another Timbre's Byways imprint lives up to its reputation for delivering stimulating and exciting cutting-edge explorations. This 45-minute CD-R pairs the piano feedback of sound sculptor Stephen Cornford with the slightly more conventional piano experiments of Samuel Rodgers. The two met and collaborated when they were both students at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England. This music was recorded there is April 2009.
Unlike on The Middle Distance, above, there is no separation of the two between left and right channels. That would have served no useful purpose, as the two players sound distinct enough to easily tell who is doing what. Their playing coalesces into a unified whole, with ebb and flow between piano, feedback and objects. If "cutting-edge explorations" makes the music here sound daunting or dry, be reassured that it is neither. On the contrary, it is engaging, enthralling, entertaining and enjoyable. Apparently, this release contains only a fraction of the music that Cornford and Rogers recorded over a productive weekend. It must be hoped that more of that sees the light of day.” - John Eyles, All About Jazz
“Cornford is a sound and installation artist (his work also includes trespassing on the London site of the 2012 Olympics) and here he’s working with feedback, micing a piano that Rodgers plays in an extremely minimalist way. Like the work of Sebastian Lexer, it’s meditative in the extreme, clearly touching on the music of Morton Feldman, and while it possesses little of Lexer’s technical sophistication, it’s nonetheless beautiful work, slowly unfolding music that maintains an extraordinary concentration, taking on the quality of a Japanese temple gong (a fundamental legacy of Cage’s interests in prepared piano, Zen Buddhism and I Ching: take the definitive Western instrument and make it as Eastern as possible). There’s an intense sense of the spatial here, as if Cornford is using the piano and its electronic feedback to measure the room, its psychological parameters as well as its physical dimensions. “ - Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure
[Stuart Broomer reviewed the entire piano series, and you can read the full review here]
“Cornford and Rodgers extend the Cagian challenge of the piano’s nature on Turned Moment, weighting. Cornford comes from a sculpting background, and here he works with piano feedback. To him the piano is a big shaped thing with movable parts, like a kinetic sculpture; sound is also something to be shaped. Rodgers, who is credited with piano and objects, is also drawn to the malleability of sound. His clanking, chiming attacks on the strings make impressions on the ribbons of feedback, like a piano roll puncher that can’t quite get through the paper. A listener unfamiliar with the notion of prepared piano might never know that the instrument was involved.” - Bill Meyer, Signal to Noise
You can read the full text of Bill meyer’s review of the entire piano series here