Wednesday, January 18, 2006

wind in the branches

The story behind Christopher Tree's solo percussion album, Spontaneous Sound: At the Cathedral of St. John the define, is that Glenn Kotche (in his pre-Wilco days) was looking through an old Paiste catalog and saw a spread on Tree with his hundreds of percussive instruments, jugs, flutes, bells and wild hair. He asked fellow drum buddy Tim Barnes if he knew about this guy. Turns out he played free concerts to NYC school kids in the early 70s as well as touring Europe and California (even playing prisons Sing Sing and San Quentin) -- long, improvised celebrations of sound. Outside of an appearance on an Aspen magazine split flexi-disc in 1971, nothing had ever been issued. So, Barnes found him, Tree sent a tape, and Barnes issued it on his Quakebasket label. Issued in 2002, it seems the album didn't quite reach as many ears as it could've.

The sole liner notes say: "There are no electronic sounds or overdubbing on this record." Those details are spelled out because Tree's thousand arms rustle up tonal clouds, percussive sheets and straight ambient lysergic visions. I'd love to see some footage of him packing up/transporting/setting up his instrument orchestra.

Spontaneous Sound from 1971 Aspen felxi-disc
At the Cathedral of St. John the Devine pt. 2


At 4:41 PM, Blogger heath said...

this reminds me of when I saw gongtopia a few months ago! sweeeet.


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