American-Norwegian experimental improviser, producer and also a Nashville-based singer-songwriter Ed Pettersen, likes the British free-improvising scene for his experimental projects. His new album. «Plumes of Ash in Moonlight», documents a live, unedited, free-improvised first collaboration of British percussionist Eddie Prévost, the founding member of AMM, and Oslo based percussionist Ståle Liavik Solberg, accompanied by fellow-British improvisers – double bass player Olie Brice, pianist Tony Hardie-Bick (both collaborated before with Pettersen in the London Experimental Ensemble, «Cornelius Cardew – Treatise» and «Child Ballad», Split Rock Ballads, 2018, 2019), electric guitarist NO Moore who adds ambient soundscapes and Pettersen himself on lap steel guitar. The session was recorded at Westpoint Studio in London on February 2019.
The focal-point of this session is the spirited interplay between Prévost and Solberg, both navigate cleverly the ad-hoc ensemble through challenging dynamics and textures that comprise the five extended pieces of the mini-suite «Plumes of Ash in Moonlight». The first piece «Rattling Branch» dives immediately into dense and nuanced improvisation that suggests an enigmatic yet highly colorful and imaginative narrative, fragile tension, and, obviously, deep listening, that emphasizes the distinct work of Prévost and Solberg. Prévost injects more delicate, almost silent and softly resonating sounds that affects the overall atmosphere while Solberg opts for fragmented patterns that charge the tension.
«Spark Sorting» develops another kind of ambient, almost-atmospheric texture. This quiet, dream-state piece features careful arco work of Brice, distant soundscapes of Moore, and in-the-piano delicate hammering of Hardie-Bick, with delicate, resonating percussive touches of Prévost and Solberg that patiently become the focus of this piece. «Clattering Device» intensifies the tension and the urgency of the interplay but retains the distant, spacey atmosphere and even offers some shy playfulness. The two shorter pieces «Thermal Dive» and «Soot Arrangements» continue and expand the urgent, often conflictual interplay, now gravitating carefully towards clear rhythmic patterns, especially on the latter where suddenly the drum-set dictates a loose pulse.
Olie Brice (b), Tony Hardie-Bick (p, tape machine), NO Moore (guitarism), Ed Pettersen (lap steel guitar), Eddie Prévost (perc), Ståle Liavik Solberg (perc)