|Matt and I first met while we were attending the music school at Florida State University. We became roomates in 1990-91 and remained close friends since. I have always been in awe at how warm and kind he was to every person and every living being he encountered! Matt truly lived a very spiritual life that is a model for how the rest of us should live.
Our musical careers grew together from being students to both attaining a certain amount of reputability in the international new music world. Through the years we were duet partners as well as being in numerous trios and larger ensembles together. As friends we saw each other through so many different experiences and relationships, watching and helping each other grow. We inspired each other to begin exploring organic gardening and further our culinary interests from the kitchen to the garden. Matt was someone I always considered a close friend for the rest of my life. You will notice that, on the piece with Matt (Lila), towards the end as a very interesting section is about to begin, the piece is cut short suddenly as the tape ends; a seemingly appropriate way to end this recording.
The Space Between offers this CD as a tribute to the beautiful life that Matthew Sperry lived.
Coda Magazine: The Space Between is an improvising trio of Philip Gelb (shakuhachi), Dana Reason (piano) and Pauline Oliveros (accordion). Named for the title of an earlier meeting (Between/Waves, released in 1999 on the Sparkling Beatnik label), they investigate spaces quietly, if not always gently. Preferring to work slowly, and at what might be called a molecular level, they subsume ego to the point where the individual sounds are less important than how those sounds react. While Gelb's contributions are worlds away from Japanese flute tradition, the veteran Oliveros goes deep beyond any expected accordion voice to tap the breathing through the reeds. In turn, Reason sprinkles notes like early-evening stars or jabs just enough to goose the dialogue. There are two long improvisations. The first, "Stacia," does not so much gather momentum as circle around moments of simultaneous activity, convincing eventually via a kind of pointillist responsiveness. "Lila" adds Matthew Sperry on bass, to whose memory the record is dedicated, and is even spookier, from the early evocations of whale song to eerie keening. The choice of instrumentation and the lovely, mysterious packaging suggest New Age music; it isn't.