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«Dawn Throws its First Knife»

«Dawn Throws its First Knife» draws its title from a poem of Mexican poet Octavio Paz (who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1990) and brings together three fearless American improvisers – Austin-based drummer Lisa Cameron, who also produces feedback sounds, and St. Louis-based double bass player Damon Smith and violinist Alex Cunningham, who also did the artwork.

Cameron, Smith and Cunningham improvised together for the first time as a trio in January 2020 at Bird Cloud Recording in Edwardsville, Illinois, and the album is the result of this meeting.

Cameron, Smith and Cunningham mention that this meeting echoes the innovative work of the Revolutionary Ensemble (violinist Leroy Jenkins, double bass player Sirone and percussionist-pianist Jerome Cooper), the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Polish composer Krystof Penderecki and Eastern European folk music.  The titles, again, are borrowed from Paz’s poems and explore gradations of texture, structure, melody, and percussion.

The restless and urgent dynamics are inquisitive, focused on an inventive timbral search through an array of extended bowing techniques, free rhythmic approach and loose and sometimes chaotic textures. As this session progresses, the uncompromising and fierce free-improvisations gravitate into more structured forms as on the dense and tense «Ashes Stiff With Cold», the playful and rhythmic attacks of «Forest of Glass» and «The Endless Instant» or the haunting-tortured drone «Unforeseen Ciphers of the World».

Eyal Hareuveni   

Lisa Cameron (dr, feedback), Damon Smith (b), Alex Cunningham (vio)

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