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Originally released in 1999, 'No Ordinary Man' is an ideal introduction to Theo Travis and Dave Sturt's Cipher project. Inventively fusing live flute, sax and bass with dark and hypnotic layers of looped instrumental textures, Cipher create a seductive and unique Ambient soundworld.
Mixed and co-produced by Porcupine Tree/No-Man multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson, the album also features guest appearances by synth innovator Richard Barbieri and vocalist Rabbi Gaddy Zerbib.
"This is trance-out music of the highest order." Progression (USA)
- Dusk 7:51
- The Lodger 8:54
- The Waiting 6:41
- A Far Cry 6:34
- White Cloud, Blue Sky 5:37
- Desert Song 7:04
- Canyon 6:47
- Bodhidharma 4:48
- No Ordinary Man
Theo Travis - soprano sax, alto flute, piano, samples
Dave Sturt - fretless bass, sound design/programming, atmospheres
In October 2003 Cipher re- release No Ordinary Man on Hidden Art Records.
The album (first released in 1999 on Voiceprint) explores Cipher's individual soundworld, mixing live flute, sax and bass with dark soundscapes and hypnotic layers of looped instrumental atmospheres. It also features guest appearances by synth texturalist Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree/ Japan/ Rain Tree Crow) and vocaliser Rabbi Gaddy Zerbib. There are also two guest appearances and the album was mixed and co-produced by Steven Wilson - main man behind Porcupine Tree, No Man and Bass Communion and producer of Anja Garbarek, Fish and Opeth.
Cipher was formed in 1996 and since then they have released two albums, performed live at chill-out events and written and performed new scores to silent films by Alfred Hitchcock and Karl Valentin. They recently completed a successful UK tour performing live with their new score for Pabst's Pandora's Box - a film once described as "The most humanely tragic portrait of obsession that the cinema has to boast" and featuring the erotically alluring Louise Brooks. Cipher, comprising Dave Sturt and Theo Travis use sound samples from a wide range of sources, create new soundscapes incorporating Dave's warm fretless bass playing with his unique harmonic textures and Theo?s haunting soprano saxophone and flute. The result is structured layers of sound with strong melodies and developing themes that recur throughout pieces. The music is imaginative and compulsive and yet can work on the level of background atmospheres and mood music. It is intense, relaxing, emotional, lyrical, often dark and spontaneous - there is a considerable element of improvisation in all performances.
Theo Travis - Theo has released five acclaimed solo albums on 33 Records which he composed, arranged, produced all the material and played on saxophones and flute. He has performed many times at London?s legendary Ronnie Scott's club and jazz clubs and festivals throughout the world including Norway, Finland, France, Israel and the USA. In 1998 Theo released a CD of free improvisations with John Marshall and Mark Wood entitled Bodywork which was described by the BBC Music Magazine as a tour de force. He has also written music for theatre. Theo he has established a reputation not only as a composer and soloist but as a distinct voice on soprano saxophone, with a unique haunting and melodic sound. He is a member of psychedelic space rock band Gong and has also collaborated with an eclectic range of musicians including Porcupine Tree, Mick Karn, Richard Barbieri, No Man, Bass Communion, Jade Warrior, Richard Sinclair, and Anja Garbarek (with whom he recorded and toured Europe in 2001). He has played on over 40 CDs. MOJO magazine referred to him as "a brave and restless talent to watch for".
Dave Sturt - A member of the original ambient group Jade Warrior, Dave played on, co-composed and produced their last two CDs. 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. Dave was a founding member of the Celtic band Thee na Shee who have had much success in the celtic/folk world. He produced and arranged both their albums. He has a growing reputation in the UK as a producer, music educator and studio engineer. Dave has also worked in the free improvisation arena and has recorded an album Stereo with avant rock guitarist Gary Smith which received excellent reviews. Musician magazine described Dave as a "remarkable bass player".