Stephen Black and Paul Jones cite Simon Jeffes and Virginia Astley as sources of inspiration for their collaborative Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol. 1. A set of Modern Chamber Music covers of an eclectic list of the duo`s favourites. Eight pieces where the main musical points of reference are indeed Jeffes` Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and Astley`s Ambient landmark, From Gardens Where We Feel Secure.
Their translation of Disasterpeace`s bass-heavy, 8-bit score for the contemporary horror, It Follows, is a field recording of birds, and insects. Cuckoos and bees. Running water. A park on a Summer`s day. Virginia`s idyllic childhood remembered. While their version of Euro Chid`s The Dog dissolves into Tom Waits hurdy-gurdy, and Hendrix-like feedback. The outsider Synth-Pop ballad becoming the weather breaking at a country fair. The use of clarinet brings comparisons with the Ives Brothers` Woo. The minimalist piano arrangements, Wim Mertens. Classical, Folk, and Jazz themes mix throughout – a la PCO`s recently reissued Union Cafe, as they take on Electronic pioneers Raymond Scott, Roedelius and Eno. Re-imagining Pastoral Kosmische, New Age and Prog / Art Rock. The acoustically strummed reading of Arthur Russell`s A Little Lost coming closest to the playfulness of something like Music For A Found Harmonium.
To be honest, the thing I love / loved about Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol. 1 was not just the original music, but the classics it introduced me to. Robert Wyatt`s beautiful Maryan in particular.
Robert Wyatt – Maryan
Roedelius – Wenn Der Südwind Weht
Euros Childs – The Dog
Raymond Scott – Soothing Sounds For Baby
Brian Eno – Julie With…
Arthur Russell – A Little Lost
Disasterpeace – Jay
Group Listening`s Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol. 1 will be released by PRAH Recordings on May 4th. You can pre-order directly here.
The duo also have the following live dates booked:
Flute And Tankard, Cardiff – July 4th
St Pancras Old Church, London – July 9th
Sea Change Festival, Totnes – August 25th