||SLOW MUSIC (1980)
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With LOL COXHILL: Soprano Sax 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Vocals/Carillon 7
Album cover design by Morgan Fisher
UK: Pipe Records / Cherry Red Records PIPE 1
Re-issued in 1983, Japan: Japan Records JAL-2511
Re-issued on CD in 1995, UK: Blueprint/Voiceprint Records BP160CD
Re-issued on CD in 2012, UK: Cherry Red Records CDMRED537
Re-issued on black or green vinyl in 2020,
Belgium: Aguirre Records (Zorn58)
1. Que En Paz Descanse
5. Matt Finish
6. Slow Music
7. Pretty Little Girl
Bonus track on 2012 reissue:
8. Play Quiet
Music performed by John White, Gavin Bryars and Dave Smith at the launch party for the "Miniatures" album, collaged with remixed material from "Slow Music”. A rarity available here on CD for the first time. Originally released on the "Play Loud/Play Quiet" cassette with ZG Magazine in 1981.
Cherry Red generously gave Morgan musical carte-blanche by offering to distribute a label of his own so, like his studio, he called his label Pipe. For the first album he decided to record an album of ambient music. Rather than using synths, Morgan decided to invite soprano sax supremo Lol Coxhill to supply some raw material which he then processed in various ways. The opening track is based on Lol’s beautiful performance of Handel’s Largo, recycled through tape delays, VCS3 filters and octave shifts. The result (in Morgan's opinion) is somewhat like a Mexican funeral march. Other tracks transform the sound of the sax sound into bells (!) and lush orchestral soundscapes. The 20-minute title track is based on the melody of the short closing track (which Lol sang, accompanied by church bells!). Morgan recorded phrases from the melody using piano, guitar, bass and voice. He snipped off the beginning of each note (about 5mm of tape) making the sounds less recognisable, then looped each phrase and recorded long stretches of the loops onto individual tracks of his 8-track TEAC. Finally he created this piece in real time by fading tracks in and out through long tape delays. This pioneering work took weeks of intense experimenting and has been cited as an influence by several top Japanese artists such as Haruomi Hosono of YMO.
Lol Coxhill passed away after a long illness, on July 10 2012, aged 79. RIP.
John L. Walters, The Guardian, 11 Jun 2012
From Lol Coxhill obituary:
An encounter at the London Musicians' Collective led to a collaboration with the keyboard player Morgan Fisher on Slow Music (1980), a pioneering album of minimalist, ambient music, based partly on Handel's Largo. Many of the album's hypnotic, glowing timbres were produced by looping and slowing down Coxhill's saxophone phrases, a tribute to the sound and intonation of his playing.
4.0 out of 5 stars
worth it for the first track alone... 9 Nov 2003
By John J. Nicol - amazon.co.uk
i've been looking for this album for ages and finally, i've got it. the album is a very elongated almost ambient series of coxhill's sax and variety of fisher's muted instruments and looped/manipulated tape and field recordings.
fisher's contributions grow out of a riley, glass and eno tradition and are perhaps a little dated sounding, but coxhill's sax hangs through the recordings to give the music a strange and very beautiful quality.
the 10-min first track 'que en paz descanse' is outstanding, my track of choice at the moment, and reminds me of another alltime fave - gastr del sol's 'our exquisite replica of eternity' ...
Kevin Whitehead, e-music.com, March 28 2003
Adventurous English saxophonist Coxhill made this ambient work with keyboardist Morgan Fisher (ex-Mott the Hoople); Fisher's loop-and-layer electronic treatments of Coxhill soprano solos have the glacial pace popularized by ECM records. But in place of that label's pristine ice floes, these pieces are more like real glaciers, full of grit, pebbles and twigs the more bracing, crunchier textures of the real world.