Betwixt & Between

Jacken Elswyth/Laurel Uziell and David Grundy – ‘Betwixt & Between 1’ CS/CDr £5
Jacken Elswyth is a London-based banjo player, exploring traditional tunes, extrapolations thereon, and improvisational / drone / noise pieces for clawhammer banjo and occasional accompaniments. She also organises Betwixt & Between tapes: an opportunity to draw together disparate strands of contemporary music-making across genres, communities, and locales. Each tape features music created by a different artist, paired with Jacken’s own banjo playing. The series aims to present interesting and unusual juxtapositions, and allow points of connection to emerge. On Betwixt & Between 1: Jacken Elswyth presents 5 traditional American folk tunes. Two are played straight, two are instrumental adaptations of songs, and the last is transformed into a starting point for improvisation against a shruti-box drone. Old-time Appalachian playing sits alongside inspiration from American Primitive guitarists and English folk revivalists to form a style that emphasises the ringing, droning qualities of the banjo. Laurel Uziell and David Grundy present two excerpts from a long improvisation for synths and electronics. Washes of sound by turns shimmering, rumbling, and pulsating, punctuated with fluttering atonal synths. Laurel is an improvising musician who also despairs, reads, and writes poetry – they’ve recently released the pamphlet ‘Instant Cop Death’ with Shit Valley press: shitvalley.tumblr.com . They write about electronic music for straylandings.co.uk/ . David is also an improvising musician and poet, and co-runs the small press Materials (material-s.blogspot.co.uk/). He writes about music, poetry, and beyond at streamsofexpression.blogspot.co.uk/ . Betwixt & Between 1 is available as a home-recorded cassette tape (black, in a clear plastic case, with a hand-printed art insert on brown card), as a CDr (white, in a brown card sleeve, with hand-printed art), or as a digital download. The cover features an image of a Blemmyae – a headless humanoid creature that has featured on the edge of maps and in catalogues of the unknown from Pliny’s Natural History, to the Letter of Pharasmenes to Hadrian, to the Hereford Mappa Mundi.

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