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A Doughnut in Both Hands

Artist: Phil Minton
Phil Minton - A Doughnut in Both Hands CD
Label: Emanem
Regular Price: $17.95
On Sale For: $8.98 
Year: 1998
Format: CD


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"Let us all now breathe a brief prayer of thanks for Martin Davidson's Emanem discs. The catalogue not only stays abreast of current British free improvisation, but rescues from oblivion past classics of the field, as with this reissue of Phil Minton's landmark 1981 Rift Records vinyl release, here extended by six pieces, four from the original sessions and two from a little later. In nineteen improvised nonverbal inventions and two free treatments of a text, Minton unleashed a prodigious outpouring of formal and technical invention that still gives cause to marvel. Barely audible back-of-the-throat peeps, full-voiced roars in a bel canto vein, reedy constricted-throat multiphonics, spluttery, crackling, full-cheek effects, and a host of other radical mouth sounds are deployed in the service of Minton's abstract expressionist sonic creations."

"The eight tracks released as side 2 of the LP (plus one Extra) come from an August 1975 session. Here Minton tends to sing lyrically, playing with his volume capacity and expressive range, but staying confined to rather 'standard' vocal techniques, especially in the Wood Song series. All other tracks were recorded between 1980 and 1982. Now Minton explores extended techniques: strange multiphonics, tongue, cheek and throat sounds, quacking, etc. Each one of these short pieces (from 45 seconds to five minutes) concentrates on one aspect of his singing. Put together, they form an impressive tapestry of vocal possibilities. The last two tracks on the reissue, Psalm of Evolution 1 & 2, are improvised following a poem by Lou Glandfield. Discarded for the original LP in favour of the 'wordless' concept, they are essential additions as they point to the vocalist's future works involving literature. And this album was one of the most influential contributions to free singing or, as Paul Dutton calls it, sound-singing. "

Phil Minton (solo singing)
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