ANTI-JAZZ

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The Vibrational Liquid of Improvisation

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Slave Pianos, The Vibrational Liquid of Improvisation, Programme Text

Slave Pianos in association with
Barney McAll & THE ANTI-JAZZ BEN-tet present

The Vibrational Liquid of Improvisation

From the Real Book of Visual Artists Music and Sound Works 1


“Dancing to Architecture”

Start,
A 4/4 beat
the bass a whiteboard marker on fibrous paper
soaking deep on the 2 and 4, countered by a
tik-tik-tik-tik-tik-tik-tik tickling the hairs
on the back of your hand.

Ribcage pounding stands for
six bars
then is joined by a whale-cicada whistle
leaving a space for guitar and keyboard
entwining on-off, on-off, off-on
and so on.

Bells grow ears to hear themselves.
Steam hisses on the 3
and in the distance
the engine of a ‘78 model Datsun 200B fails to turn over.
Bass ink sinks deeper
and the guitar flirts in and around
darting between and underneath
a curtain of soud
that parts for the singer.

Music gathers around her ankles,
caresses her hips and elbows.
A melody comes to rest on her wrist.
She considers it, sparkling like a
bracelet, now serious, now cheeky,
now trilling, now humming.

She smiles and frowns.
Her diaphragm shifts upward.
The melody alights from her fingers.
Alveoli expand and breath collects
and the whale-cicada-guitar-bass
drapes over her,
hiding from her direct vision,
she sings.

The bass acknowledges.
The engine stirs the brew
and the singer retreats behind the curtain.
A pattern is established, a loop of rhythms and melodies.
Pulsing like steel, muscular like a tree, delicate like nerve endings it slowly and steadily withdraws from memory.
repeating ‘til fade.

You press play, and it begins again.

Adam Ford, 1998.


“They Know Not What They Do” (jc)

They dont no why they’re here. Ben Monder never arsed Lee Konitz why he’s ere & he never arsed Marc Johnson neither. Ben Perowsky never arsed Dave Douglas nor Chris Potter. Ben Street never arsed Roswell Rudd, Clark Terry nor Jimmy Guiffre. None of them nose why is ere or why they aint playin jAZz or when they became bent, or how. For Gods sake why? Why me? To what purpose? Why here in New York? But THY WILL BE DONE (jc) (ow you say it in ewish?).They don’t no coz it woz all arranged by Barney McAll hoo aint ear neither & hoo never arsed Billy Harper or Dewey Redman for permission coz he’s in far away ozzieland in absentia & he aint playin jAZz neither.

A…Z Melbourne ANTI©opyright 1999


Barney McAll (in absentia) : slave piano
with The ANTI-JAZZ BEN-tet
Ben Monder: guitar
Ben Street: bass
Ben Perowsky: drums

WILLIE COLE (American, sculptor b. 1955)
Carousel 1996.

YOKO ONO (Japanese, fiuxist b. 1933)
Walking on thin ice 1981.

STEPHEN PRINA (American, photographer b. 1954)
No one calls me friend 1997.

JOHN BARLEYCORN as THE BALLET (Australian, painter b. 1949)
Alexander Blok Pt. 1. 1981.

DAVID BYRNE (American, composer)
Artists Only 1978.

MATT MOFFITT A.K.A. MATT FINISH (Australian band b. circa 1980)
Short Note 1981.

LAURIE ANDERSON (American, storyteller b. 1947)
It’s not the bullet that kills you-it’s the hole (for Chris Burden) 1976.


“No part of the world is not scoured for materials, and not all that is procured is included. Lying on the editing room floor for this particular manifestation of the SLAVE PIANOS project are some DIY-quality recordings of soundworks by Wojnarowicz and Longo which were omitted only after a heated row. This material deserves to be brought to the attention of the tiny elite the SLAVES are serving. I think Ted Joans would be proud of SLAVE PIANOS’ effort. After all, writers have described Ted as a bad influence on Charlie Parker; work that out!!!”

Julian Millie, Melbourne, 1999.


  1. plus Matt Finish