the international journal on free improvisation
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Dave Knott (stringboards, voice)
A CD of one man improvising on his self-designed and built instruments.
Stringboards are essentially hunks of cast-off wood with tuning pegs and
guitar strings attached. That description does not prepare one for what they
sound like though. Distant bells, odd filings and ratchetings, electrical
sounding buzzes, (these are acoustic instruments), giant out-of-tune
dulcimers, prepared guitars, warped blues records...all these and more are
conjured from these simple devices at the hands of Mr. Knott.
The improvisations range from short sound explorations to longer
structurings and build-ups of sound-mass. There is often a rise and fall, or
start and stop approach, using not playing as much as playing. The sounds of
the space where the recordings took place, (the old anomalous records space
in Seattle Washington), can also be heard occasionally. Oddly enough,
traffic sounds seem to fit right in, and some banging from the shop next
door works as well.
The titles of the pieces give clues to what may have been going through
Daveıs mind while he was making this recording, and index numbers will help
you with whatıs what. (I believe this is the first time Iıve ever seen this
feature on a CD). I listen to this disc often, and coming from me, thatıs
high praise indeed. -jeph jerman