British soprano saxophonist
Martin Archer (1957) drew inspiration from both free-jazz and contemporary
avantgarde music for Wild Pathway Favourites (february 1988).
Archer played in the saxophone quartet Hornweb that released
Sixteen (1987) and
Universe Works (1989).
Transient v Resident was a collaboration with synthesist Chris Bywater that
marked Archer's venture into computer improvisation, as documented on
Broken to be More Beautiful (1993)
Four Static Music Examples (1994)
and especially Electrical Shroud (1996).
Archer also founded Angel High Wires with Julie Tippetts.
88 Enemies (june 1997) was a solo work for digital piano and electronics
Winter Pilgrim Arriving (2000) was a tribute of sorts to progressive-rock of the 1970s.
Ghost Lily Cascade (january 1996) and
Pure Water Construction (1999)
were electroacoustic studio collages of live solo improvisations.
Archer also started the project Combat Astronomy.
Masayo Asahara, the alter-ego for avant-jazz musician Martin Archer, released
an album of drone-jazz-rock fusion, Saint Agnes Fountain (2002).
Heritage And Ringtones (2004)
Inclusion Principle was a duo with Hervé Perez that recorded
the digital and electronic performance
The Leaf Factory Fallback (september 2009)
on which Archer played software instruments, organ, sopranino & baritone saxes while Perez was in charge of field recordings, sound design, laptop and soprano sax.
Archer also recorded two duo albums
with vocalist Julie Tippetts: Ghosts of Gold (2008) and the double-CD
Tales of FiNiN, featuring a chamber combo.
Venturing further into digital music, Archer formed
Outward Sound Ensemble, that debuted with the live
Cloudburst (june 2003). The sound was dominated by
table-top guitar and sound effects.
Another live performance was documented on
Thunder In A Clear Sky (2005), a collaboration with
Mick Beck on bassoon,
Chris Meloche on table-top guitar, Nick Robinson on guitar and loops,
Herb Bailey on trombone and cornet, Charlie Collins on vibraphone.
The double CD In Stereo Gravity (recorded between 2005 and 2008)
collects Archer collaborations with Julie Tippetts
(voice), Chris Cutler (drum loops), Charlie Collins (drums and
percussion), Dave Kane (double bass), Terry Todd (bass guitar), and
guitar-duo Karl D'Silva/James Archer.
Serpentine (2012) was another collaboration
with Julie Tippetts.
Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere (2012) was one of his most ambitious
Chris Bywater (organ, synthesizers,
laptop, acoustic and electronic percussion, electric violin), Radio Massacre International's drummer Steve
Dinsdale (also on synthesizer), Walt Shaw (percussion,
electronics) and Terry Todd (bass guitar).
Engine Room Favourites debuted with
Blue Meat, Black Diesel & Engine Room Favourites (Discus, 2013),
featuring four percussionists
(Peter Fairclough, Walt Shaw, Johnny Hunter and Steve Dinsdale)
and a reed trio (Archer on bass clarinet, sopranino, alto
& baritone saxes, Kim Macari on trumpet and Lee Hallam on trombone),
plus Seth Bennett on bass, Laura Cole on piano, Corey Mwamba on
vibraphone and Graham Clark on violin.
Martin Archer's Engine Room Favourites of
Bad Tidings From Slackwater Drag (2015) featured
Mick Beck on
tenor sax and bassoon, Laura Cole on piano, Corey Mwamba on vibraphone,
Graham Clark on violin, Seth Bennett on double bass, and finally Peter Fairclough,
Walt Shaw, Johnny Hunter and Steve Dinsdale on drums and percussion.
Echoic Enchantment (Discus, 2015) contains a suite for large ensemble composed and recorded between summer 2013 and spring 2015.
A sextet performed on the six lengthy pieces of Story Tellers (Discus, 2016): Mick Somerset (concert and ethnic flutes, bass clarinet, harmonium, shaman drums, bells , rattles, musette), Kim Macari Stone-Lonergan (trumpet), Corey Mwamba (vibraphone), Anton Hunter (guitar and electronics) and Peter Fairclough (drums and percussion).
Sunshine Quartet (october 2016), consisting of
Corey Mwamba (vibraphone), Seth Bennett (double bass) and Peter Fairclough (drums), delivered
four lengthy improvisations (notably the 20-minute It's Not Finnished).
Felicity's Ultimatum (? 2016)
featured Graham Clark (violin), Stephen Grew (piano) and Johnny Hunter (drums).
Archer played organ, electric piano, electronics, Eb saxophones, clarinets, and VST trumpet on
the Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere's double-disc ?2
along with: Chris Bywater (organ, synthesizers & electronics, samples, percussion, voice, electric violin); Steve Dinsdale (drums, floor percussion, synthesizer); Frostlake (voice, electronics, glockenspiel); Yvonna Magda (electric violin, loops, electronics); Walt Shaw (percussion, voice, electronics); Terry Todd (bass guitar, effects, voice); Mick Somerset (concert, alto and bamboo flutes, Bb saxophones); Paul Schatzberger and Heather Cordwell (violin); Aby Vulliamy (viola); Angela Rosenfeld (cello), and the choir Juxtavoices. The album includes
the 26-minute The Breaking Of Bonds and The Rearrangement Of Atoms and the 23-minute Potent Lunation.
The Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere returned with the double-disc
03 (Discus, 2017), collecting 20 pieces recorded between 2015 and 2017.
The ensemble featured Chris Bywater (keyboards, electronics, laptop, percussion, voice, violin), Steve Dinsdale (electronic drum kit, keyboards), female songstress Frostlake (voice, electronics and viola), Yvonna Magda (violin, electronics), Walt Shaw (percussion, electronics, voice), Terry Todd (bass guitar), George Murray (trombone), Paul Schatzberger (violin) and Aby Vulliamy (viola).
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