group listening
Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.1

Released on 4 May 2018 on PRAH Recordings

Catalogue number: PRAH10

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A new project formed by SB and experimental Cardiff musician and sometime Sweet Baboo collaborator, Paul Jones. 

Piano & Clarinet: Selected Works Vol. 1 is a collection of ambient works - from the likes of Brian Eno, Arthur Russell, Roedelius and Robert Wyatt - arranged for clarinet and piano. 

Having met at music college, Black and Jones went separate ways creatively. Black delved into pop, recording albums and touring extensively under the guise of Sweet Baboo, as well as working with Cate Le Bon, H. Hawkline and others. Paul leaned into the piano and pursued a career as a jazz pianist and experimental musician. He played with Keith Tippett, formed The Jones O'Connor Group, performed with noise improv bands and composed orchestral and chamber music.

Reconnecting years later, the pair discovered that their musical tastes, bizarrely, met in the middle. They have a shared love of The Beach Boys, Ghost Box Records, Messiaen and Angela Morley. They both like ambient and new age music, bubblegum pop, Artie Shaw, Moondog and the Songs in the Key of Z.

Piano & Clarinet: Selected Works Vol. 1 is the spontaneous, beguiling culmination of this friendship. Cutting out the post production and keeping overdubs to a minimum, the clarinet and piano were passed through guitar stomp boxes and other analogue effects to enable processing and manipulation directly in performance. The result hums with the ghostly energy of sound pioneers Joe Meek and Martin Hannett, while mbira and drum machines are sparingly deployed amid enveloping folds of space echo.

Like Virginia Astley or Simon Jeffes, Group Listening tread the overlap betwen classical and experimental music. Perhaps most startling here is the breadth of material arranged as one atmospheric whole. The pieces range from the ever-spiralling, fractal phrases of German composer Roedelius to the haunting rasps of game and Hollywood soundtracker Disasterpiece and the pioneering sonics of early electronic inventor Raymond Scott. Somehow, shot together through Group Listening's electro-acoustic lens, these works evolve into something supremely calming, poignant and new.”

Recorded live at Mwnci Studios, Hebron near Narberth.
Engineered by Iwan Morgan except track 5 engineered by Group Listening at Ty Cornel, Cardiff.
All tracks mixed by Group Listening.
Mastered by Guy Davie at Electric Mastering. London.
Cover photo by H.Hawkline.
Layout by Paul Rafferty. 

TRACKLISTING: 1)Wenn Der Südwind Weht 2)The Dog   3)Snow Cannon  4) Happy Whistler  5) Julie With 6) Maryan 7) A Little Lost  8) Jay