Knotted Threads

Credits:

Physical copies housed in stylish 6-panel digipack with transparent tray are available to order from 1 June, 2021

Yves Charuest: alto saxophone
Benedict Taylor: viola

All music by Yves Charuest (SOCAN) & Benedict Taylor (PRS)
Recorded by William Owen Benette at Studio Concrete in Montréal, Canada on 4/12/2019
Mixed by Zachary Scholes at Studio Concrete
Mastered by Richard Scott (Berlin)
Sleeve notes by Yves Charuest & Benedict Taylor
Cover linocut artwork by Éric Normand
Photos by Yefri Ventura (Charuest) & Shaun Cullen (Taylor)
Graphic design by László Szakács
Produced by Éric Normand & László Juhász
Special thanks to Alanna Kraaijeveld, Nicolas Caloia & Musique Rayonnante, Elizabeth Millar, Craig Pedersen, Éric Normand & Philippe Lauzier

I met Benedict Taylor in London in 2017 where I was doing a six month residency thanks to the Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec. I heard Benedict perform in ensemble and solo contexts and rapidly felt a strong connection with some of my musical concerns. I was particularly caught by his ability to listen to what sound elicits or suggests as he articulates and shapes it; a dynamic interplay of sensitivity and agency, at times yielding pretty surprising results. We managed to meet for a few private sessions and one short set at Mopomoso. Those encounters confirmed our determination to further explore this connection.

Back in Montréal, I invited Benedict in 2019 to perform with me and another duo partner of mine, Montréal-based dancer Alanna Kraaijeveld with whom I explore the kinetic quality and fragility/instability of movement and sonic threads in improvised dance and music. Around the rehearsals and performances, Benedict and I recorded the music presented on this album, a most rewarding session for both of us that we are happy to share here, especially in these times when world events force us to wait for the possibility to meet in person again and discover new threads to tie. I am grateful to Benedict for his enthusiastic response to my invitation and for sharing music, ideas, friendship, whisky and craft beer...

Yves Charuest

I met Yves in 2017 at a concert at Iklectik, London where I was playing at The Horse Improvised Music Club. After my set we chatted about the nature of our work, his background and ongoing work and research in London. We got along and felt it would be a good thing to meet and make some music together in a private setting. Yves invited me to his space where he was living and working as a part of his residency with the Quebec Arts Council.

We connected quickly as both friends and musicians. It was clear to me from the outset that this man had an extraordinary talent as a saxophonist, and a huge pair of ears as a musician, collaborator and a human. A superb listener and playing partner, and importantly a deeply questioning and challenging collaborator.

We knew it would be a good thing to continue working together in some way, though, as is often the case with connections within our musical sphere, we had to figure out some challenging logistics – in this case the Atlantic Ocean. That said after some time talking over distance, discussing ideas and attempts at regrouping – in Berlin, in London, in Canada – Yves was able to invite me for a project in Montreal in the Winter of 2019, playing and recording together as a duo, and collaborating as a trio with the wonderful contemporary dancer Alanna Kraaijeveld.

This album is part of our ongoing dialogue. The continuing musical thread. A knot for us to hold on to for a moment as we prepare to jump back in, and keep weaving.

Benedict Taylor

Canadian saxophonist Yves Charuest (1960) has been active since the 1980s on the local improvised music scene, and now, his solo work has recently gained renewed momentum. He has always devoted his creative energy to improvisation in varying forms and contexts: free improvisation, encounters between improvisation and notated material – conventional and graphic notation, verbal instructions –, and ensembles with more apparent stylistic links to free jazz. His approach is characterized by his sense of form and his attention to the sonic properties. / yvescharuest.net

London-based violist Benedict Taylor (1982) is one of the leading figures within contemporary composition, modern string performance and improvised music in the British and European new music world. The central focus of his work is in new composition for live performance, film, theatre, contemporary dance, art installation and electro-acoustic composition. In performance, he predominantly works within improvisation, new composition and 20-21. century music. His improvisational works have been released by labels such as Confront, Raw Tonk or Weekertoft. / benedict-taylor.blogspot.com