Wendra Hill For / John Harries & Grey Sea Over a Cold Sky Ensemble

The Lumen Lake, Fig Tree Music may 2019

This split cassette presents two different takes on group improvisation with both acoustic and electronic instrumentation. Wendra Hill For explores close collaboration and communication in a small group setting, in conjunction with compositionally integral digital editing. Grey Sea Over A Cold Sky Ensemble is a larger group, working with broader gestures, the results presented here as performed.

The two groups are also connected personally by the friendship of John Harries and Jenny Berger Myhre, Jenny having released her first album, Lint, on The Lumen Lake in 2017. 

Wendra Hill For:

Wendra Hill For is a Norwegian ensemble formed by Wendra Hill members Jo David Meyer Lysne & Joel Ring, exploring sound in both acoustic and electric landscapes through collective improvisation. Getting together with multi-disciplinary artist and composer Jenny Berger Myhre and energetic multi-instrumentalist Tobias Pfeil, the quartet recorded seven diverse sounding tracks in Oslo in December 2017 — including the brilliant flutist Henriette Eilertsen as a guest on two tracks. The quartet developed their musical communication through performing in Europe and touring in Japan during the spring of 2017.

The music was created by acoustic improvisation with instruments such as guitar, cello, clarinet, saxophone, flute, vocals, cassette tapes and effect pedals. The richness of the different textures created by the mix of instruments also inspired then inspired processing of the sound at a microlevel in post-production, building new compositions from small samples and events that happened during the studio session. 

The Wendra Hill Collective is a forum where different personalities meet.

The trust between the members is the most important premise of their music making.

John Harries and Grey Sea Over A Cold Sky Ensemble:

John Harries is an improvising drummer and electronic musician based in London, England. He is founder of the artists’ collective, live night and independent label The Lumen Lake, and plays in Rutger Hauser and Sea Songs, as well as making music on his own.

‘Grey Sea Over A Cold Sky’ is a semi-improvised piece for eight or more cymbal players and high-pitched instruments, based on a pictorial score and some simple instructions:

Cymbal players move from rolls with soft mallets, to free playing with sticks, to a simple pulse with soft mallets again. Other instrumentalists play small, fast sounds for part 1; long, sustained notes for part 2; then revert back to small, fast sounds again. This version was one of two performed around the same time by a group of friends and amazing musicians based in and around New Cross, South East London.  

‘Tea, Coffee, Pepper’ was made at home by John on his own, with soprano sax overdubbed by his dad (the other John Harries) later on, and completes a pairing of pieces about the sea, and the feeling of being close to it.