Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Rhodri Davies & Terry Day


13 May 2007  •  The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead

“Let's hear it for Terry Day, the man that put the mental into instrumental” Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic. 

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Terry was one of the most entertaining and unpredictable musicians in the London free improvising music scene, a founding member of the People’s Band, and a multi-instrumentalist of unbelievable energy and invention.  His recently released set of recordings from that period gives voice to his near boundless, self starting inspiration across just about any instrument he can get his hands on: not just any old piano, cello, saxophone, but also crackle boxes, bamboo pipes, ping pong balls, squeakers and balloons, and alarmingly something listed as ‘poppers’.  Across all of these instruments, as well as some inspired and rasping cockney-punk singing, ideas and humour seems to just boil over as a result of Terry’s energy and conviction, a mad scramble of whims, notions and deep ceaseless conviction that for some reason that you can’t quite put your finger on, is always incredibly emotional.


Recently Terry has stepped back from his principle instrument, the drums, and started playing live again with a clutch of great young UK improvisers, focusing on the rasping sound of bamboo flutes, through which he still delivers all of that energy, conviction and most affectingly, emotion. One of those improvisers Terry has been playing with recently is Rhodri Davies, who alongside Alice Coltrane is the only improvising harpist we listen to round here. Rhodri is a central figure in European improvisation; extending his instrument under a battery of techniques – rubbing, scraping, e-bowing, placing mic’s in the sound board of his harp, and a particularly otherworldly tactic of resting a tambourine on the strings as they are excited into some kind of celestial, helicopter blade drones by, what is that, a fan, a vibrator? He creates sound colours and textures quite alien to the harp, carefully placed in and resisting the silence; textured, sometimes restrained but (and here’s why he’s a great foil for Terry), deeply passionate.

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