From his early days with Henry Cow, Fred Frith was seen as a brilliant instrumentalist and improviser, but what has been overlooked is what a first-rate composer he is. This recording offers both aspects. His most complex orchestral composition and two selected improvisations with the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles.
"Something about this Landscape was commissioned by Ars Musica in 2018. I composed the piece during a residency at Lou Harrison's straw-bale house in the desert at Joshua Tree, California. It's an inspiring place for a number of reasons—the silence, the light, the life, the history. The extraordinary diversity of birds during the migration season. Both other pieces are improvisations. The first one is the one we did during the concert (in public), the other one, very different, is the one we did during the dress rehearsal (on the day of the concert)."
Fred Frith (guitar, composition) +
Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles:
Berten D'Hollander (flute),
Charles Michiels (clarinet),
Adrien Lambinet (trombone),
Hughes Kolp (guitar),
Pierre Quiriny (percussion),
Claire Bourdet & Laurent Houque (violins),
Karel Coninx (viola),
Jean-Paul Zanutel (cello),
Fred Frith (born 1949 in Sussex) is a musician, multi-instrumentalist but above all guitarist, and composer, an essential and emblematic figure of the experimental and improvised music scene. Co-founder of the bands Henry Cow (1968-1978), Art Bears and Skeleton Crew, he is at the origin of the Rock in Opposition musical movement. Based in New York City since the late 1970s, where he has collaborated with John Zorn
, Ikue Mori, Tom Cora, Bob Ostertag, and many others, he has appeared on over 200 albums, composed for dance, film, and theater, and performed all over the world.
Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles is a musical ensemble founded in 1962 by Pierre Bartholomée and Henri Pousseur
. Since 1997, the ensemble is directed by composer and violoncellist Jean-Paul Dessy
. Their projects include concert venues and multimedia works including video, dance, literature, electronic arts, installations, conferences, and a journal publication.