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Cipher's third album Elemental Forces from 2006 found the core duo of Theo Travis and Dave Sturt working alongside percussionist Steve Hubback.
Augmenting the band's trademark fusion of ingeniously looped compositional structures and highly melodic improvisations with a pronounced Eastern meditative influence, Elemental Forces is an exquisite and accessible blend of accident and intention, intensity and beauty.
1. Beyond All Things (11.50)
2. Solid Earth (4.12)
3. Spirit of the Void (8.25)
4. Shiki (6.47)
5. Into the Air (9.40)
6. The Sea Flows (8.20)
Theo Travis - Tenor and Soprano Saxes, Alton Flute, Clarinet, Loops
Dave Sturt - Acousitc and Electric Basses, Sound Design, Programming, Loops
Steve Hubback - Gongs, Hammer Harps, Cymbals, Drum, Percussion Sculptures
All compositions and arrangmenets by Theo Travis, David Sturt and Steve Hubback.
All percussion instruments made by Steve Hubback
Theo Travis plays all llops in real time using the travis system of ambitronics.
Mixed and edited by Dave Sturt
Design by Carl Glover for Aleph Studio
More information at www.cipher.f9.co.uk
Cipher's third album Elemental Forces finds the core duo of Theo Travis and Dave Sturt working alongside versatile percussionist/gong maker Steve Hubback. Augmenting the band's trademark fusion of ingeniously looped compositional structures and highly melodic improvisations with a more pronounced Eastern meditative influence, Elemental Forces is an exquisite and accessible blend of accident and intention, intensity and beauty.
The Work "Elemental Forces" is a new multi-media project which fuses new and emerging technologies in music and visuals with instrumental performance. Commissioned by Arts Council East Midlands, this
ambitious undertaking has its premiere on 29 October 2006 at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham.. .
Theo Travis tenor and soprano saxes, alto flute, clarinet, organ, loops
Dave Sturt acoustic and electric basses, sounddesign, programming, loops
Steve Hubback ? gongs, hammer harps, cymbals, frame drum, percussion sculptures
The six tracks on Elemental Forces combine the innovative rich organic textures of Steve Hubback's invented and handmade percussion sculptures, gongs and harps (and individual rhythmic approach) with Cipher's textured and looped soundscapes, bass, flutes and saxophones. The music is inspired by the philosophies and thoughts of various cultures on the elements that form our world and all that exists within it - from macroscopic to microscopic, external to internal. The music was created through group improvisation recordings that were subsequently rearranged, through both composition processes and computer manipulations, until the pieces were fully formed.
Cipher have been developing their own brand of melodic composition within the context of contemporary and futuristic soundscapes since they formed in 1996, primarily using contemporary digital sound-processing techniques, largely applied to real sounds (acoustic instruments, voices and natural sounds). It is an extension of this approach to work with Steve Hubback, an instrument inventor and maker, until recently based in Iceland, who uses raw metals to forge gongs, harps and percussion instruments Cipher's previous collaborators include Daevid Allen (Gong), Steve Wilson (Porcupine Tree/ No Man/Bass Communion) and Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree/Japan)
In early 2004 Cipher undertook a 10-date UK tour accompanying the 1929 silent film by FW Murnau, The Last Laugh. The music was universally praised and appealed to both contemporary electronic fans and admirers of traditional silent film piano music. The band has subsequently toured their alternative scores to Hitchcock's The Lodger and Blackmail around the UK. Cipher's music both on their two CDs and in live performance has gained both critical and public acclaim.
Cipher music includes the use of looping technology and effects, improvisation, and melodic composition. This results in structured layers of sound with developing themes which recur throughout pieces. The music is intense, emotional, and frequently dark, spontaneous and lyrical. Cipher have performed live with silent films since 1996, at chill-out events in London and Glastonbury and released two CDs, No Ordinary Man (1999) and One Who Whispers (2002), which have received excellent reviews in the UK, Italy, the USA, Germany and Sweden. Cipher's recorded compositions have been broadcast on BBC Radio Derby, BBC Radio 3 (Late Junction) and several radio stations in the USA. See www.cipher.f9.co.uk
Dave Sturt (fretless and electric upright bass, sound design/programming) - A member of the original ambient group Jade Warrior, Dave played on, co-composed and produced their last two CDs and is currently working on their new album. He has composed music for film and T.V including adverts, documentaries and dramas and has worked as a session player for the likes of Michael Kamen, Dave Gilmour, Isaac Guillory, Dream Academy and Andy Sheppard. He has a growing reputation in the UK as a producer, music educator and studio engineer and is developing the use of music technology in live performance for interactive surround sound and visuals. Musician magazine described Dave as a ?remarkable bass player?.
Theo Travis (flutes, saxophones) ? Theo has released six acclaimed solo albums on 33 Records, for which he composed, arranged, produced all the material and played saxophones and flute. He has performed over 60 times at London's Ronnie Scott's club, tours the UK regularly with his jazz quartet, and has performed at festivals in Norway,Finland, Japan, France, Italy, Israel and the USA. He has collaborated with musicians including David Sylvian, Tony Coe, Gong, John Marshall, Palle Mikkelborg, Mick Karn, Porcupine Tree, No Man, Lol Coxhill and Anja Garbarek. He is currently a memeber of the Soft Machine Legacy and during 2006 has been performing with them all over the world. MOJO magazine referred to him as "a brave and restless talent to watch for". See also www.theotravis.com.
Steve Hubback (percussion, sculptor, and blacksmith) - Steve is originally from South Wales and is now resident in Reykjavik, Iceland. He designs and makes his own percussion instruments, forging them from raw metals in a foundry. He also makes gongs, harps and instrument sculptures. His instruments have been commissioned by some of the world's leading musicians including Evelyn Glennie, Marilyn Mazur, Joe Lovano and Welsh National Opera. Having studied gong-making in the Far East and blacksmithing all over the world, his instruments have been exhibited in several countries. He has performed in Holland and at the Belgrade Festival of Alternative Culture. He has collaborated in Denmark with Robyn Lubaekker and worked on large scale projects there including sea sculptures. He is currently working on pieces for thesculpture park/arts space in Coed Hills, South Wales. He toured in South Korea with Lim Dong Chang and in Europe with Alan Wilkinson andFrode Gjerstad.