Many Altered Returns (CD)
In conjunction with Earshift Music, Sydney based saxophonist-composer Sam Gill announces his new album Many Altered Returns. The album is the first release by his quartet Coursed Waters, a Melbourne/Sydney collaboration featuring drummer James McLean alongside pianist Novak Manojlovic and bassist Jacques Emery.
The inspiration for Many Altered Returns draws from Gill’s interest in the line between highly structured composition and free improvisation: “All of the music I love as a listener shares the quality of sounding both tightly organised and completely spontaneous,” says Gill, “leaving me feeling disoriented in some way. So my aim when writing for Coursed Waters was to foster a group approach that could generate that disorientating feeling in our own, personal way.”
With this aesthetic goal, Gill has created a body of compositions that push rhythm to the foreground of the music, written with the unique creative voices of McLean, Manojlovic and Emery in mind. “When we play together, there’s often a rhythm cycle that we’re improvising around or referencing in some abstract way, but we try to avoid stating the cycle explicitly. We’re more interested in being able to hold a state of playful ambiguity.” Variations on unfamiliar themes, recurrences without clear boundaries. It is these ideas of disguised cycles and hidden repetitions that inform the album’s title, Many Altered Returns.