kind words for hiken! by alex elgier and cecilia quinteros and manipulation by lauren sarah hayes!

kind words courtesy of louis pattison. the wire 399. may 2017.

It starts with a shouted “Hiken!”, and the Argentinian duo Elgier and Quinteros immediately let fly. He plays piano, she plays cello, and together they make more racket than most quartets, their chaotic improv conducted with a jerky energy that verges on the comedic. Explosive moments are balanced by subtler passages where the pair hunker down, working microscopically at their instruments with the surprising grace of a contortionist folding himself into a suitcase.

A different kind of trickery is at play on Edinburgh musician Lauren Sarah Hayes’s Manipulation. Her compositions are an exercise in unpredictability, the product of tiny circuit board ecologies that spit out malleable loops directed – albeit only in the most general sense – by outside input. Luckily, the sense of play extends to the finished product, its skittering melodies and clip-clopping rhythms suggesting a mischievous intelligence emerging from this web of wires.

kind words for java improvs by philip corner!

the kindness comes from the wire!

To get a more complete sense of Corner’s experiences in the Far East, however, the Pana Y Rosas website offers the Java Improvs as three sets of downloads recorded in Surakarta and Jakarta between April 1996 and May 1997. Although roughly contemporaneous with Two In Thailand, these are far more relaxed and exploratory sessions with local musicians – from the gently informal collaborations with percussionist Yasudah using homemade instruments and kitchen utensils to the intense vocalizing experiments with singer and dancer Restu Kusumaningrum. There’s more than three hours of material in these boxes; once again Corner lets the microphones pick up everything that happens and accepts it as part of the performance. Captured here is the whirring of night insects, the voices of performers winding down from a session just before the recording device is switched off, the sounds of water running, and a sudden downpour of rain.

“We are looking back at, and longing forward to, a world of artistic cooperations without artificial boundaries,” Corner said of his time with Fluxus. Even as a name it could perhaps only ever be a starting point, as his remarkably wide-ranging travels would indicate.

get the album here!