Rhodri Davies & Ingar Zach “Ieirll” LP (2005)

LP coverThe very prolific Welsh harp player Rhodri Davies is often involved in very quiet improvisations wherein he uses preparations, bows and e-bows to create very delicate textures. Here he is paired up with Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach, one of the founders of the Sofa label. Zach has worked with a lot more “active” players such as Derek Bailey, Jaap Blonk, and fellow Norwegian Ivar Grydeland. This seems to have encouraged Davies to explore a noisier pather for this record as the seven pieces are a lot more edgy than Davies’ work with Ist and The Sealed Knot – both quite fine ensembles. The first side does focus more on the drone side of things but with a piercing quality that grinds and pierces. The second side is more active with small sounds and feels more in tune with old school European free improvisation.  Because Zach also approaches percussion in a very open manner, it can be hard to distinguish who is making which sound – is it a bowed cymbal or a bowed harp?  Certainly nothing adheres to what might come to mind when the simple instrumentation of harp and percussion is listed.  And far from settling into one mode for the album, the tracks show a variety in their inwards logic and approach to attacking their sound sources.  Recorded in the studio in November of 2002, this LP was not released until 2005 appearing in an edition of around 300 copies pressed on purple vinyl, which matches the purple theme of the cover.

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