John Butcher

Photo © Aleks Kolkowski

Recorded in London on 11th January 2011.

Tenor Saxophone Improvisation

John Butcher‘s work ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked saxophone pieces and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics.

Originally a physicist, he left academia in 1982, and has since collaborated with hundreds of leading musicians. He is well known as a soloist, recently exploring unusual site-specific acoustics, and has released seven CDs of solo saxophone music.

He has toured and broadcast in Europe, Japan, North America and Australia, and was featured, playing solo, in the BBC TV programme Date with an Artist.

His compositions include pieces for Polwechsel, the Australian Elision Ensemble, the American Rova Saxophone Quartet, Futurist Intonarumori and “somethingtobesaid” for the John Butcher Group.

Recording Notes

The forth of five two-minute cylinder recordings made in my studio, that included some experimental multi-tracked tenor saxophone recordings overlaid on a single cylinder. In this take, John avoided sustained sounds for the most part, because of the exaggerated wow caused by the uneven blanks. At the beginning, his slap-tonguing and key-popping sounds mirror the cylinder’s own surface noises.