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Live Trajectories

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Album Review

Green Room is a trio of Scottish improvisers. Their music falls into that loosest of categories, "electro-acoustic," but aside from that faint appellation, the group is impossible to classify. Suffice it to say that they create formidable music. Green Room utilizes a variety of sound sources, including tape, prepared piano and dulcimer, digital (and perhaps analogue) synthesis, bamboo flute, and something called a rotalodien. The members display a familiarity with 20th century classical forms, including serialism and the electronic experiments of composers such as Stockhausen and Cage. One suspects a free jazz influence, but it's not particularly obvious; Green Room's wholly improvised music is ultimately non-idiomatic. The band has apparently been around a while, and the musicians do indeed exhibit a focus and shared vision that bespeaks a long-term creative commitment to one another. The improvisations are mostly direct and to the point; there's little aimless rambling. David Baird plays an especially expressive electric cello, and David Garrett's prepared dulcimer is an interesting and unusual voice. Chick Lyall's keyboard work is fine, as well, but, really, to single out any one of them for praise is silly; this is the consummate group enterprise. Certainly, working in Glasgow has done little to make them a more visible presence on the world's soapbox-sized free improv stage. Perhaps they should be more famous, but that can be said of hundreds if not thousands of artists. They make compelling art for art's sake, and that's something everyone should appreciate.

Live Trajectories, Green Room
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