Wire article on Manchester improvisors

Article from the May issue of Wire magazine20160705_16052420160705_16053620160705_16055020160705_16064120160705_16065420160705_160659


Open Eye Quartet 20th May

Some great video above from Open Eye gig opening for John Butcher & Okkyung Lee last Friday. Thanks to Dave J. for that.

Also a nice little write up from Daniel Ladd @ citylifer. You can read the whole thing here.

The pictures below are thanks to some fine camera work by Peter Fey.

Having seen PWHMOBS a few times previously, I had some expectations of what the OEQ might be like tonight. Nichols uses (a small set of) drums and effects on his voice as percussion and Jones plays flute, gong and effects. These are all in evidence, along with Birchall contorting over his guitar, scraping, sliding, tapping and drawing some very unusual sounds from the strings. The bass meanders beneath all this, being the most recognisable element of the set up, in that the sounds it made were conventionally that of a bass guitar, but not in the sense that it provided any standard rhythmic underpinning.

The music builds and fades throughout the course of one continuous thirty minute piece. At moments the sounds are genuinely uncomfortable and overwhelming, but the time spent on these elements is well judged, lasting only long enough to create the required tension which is immediately followed by the sounds dissolving and providing the release which became all the more memorable and enjoyable.

The sounds could be cacophonous enough to catch your breath but the quartet never seemed like they were out of control. At other times a particularly sweet sounding element is drawn from one of the instruments and, in this context, stands out as particularly lovely (this could just be Birchall hitting a certain notes on his guitar, or Jones running with a short flowing piece on the flute followed by swinging a small set of chimes around her head.


new open eye tapes!

Very excited to be handed the new Open Eye Quartet tape on the mighty Ikuisuus label this morning! Its a split with Mick Beck & Herve Perez on the other side. Open Eye side is Dave Birchall: guitar, Pascal Nichols: percussion, Kelly Jones: flute & Ben Knight: voice recorded live @ Cow Lane Studios, Salford August 2008.