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Together Apart

by Ian Brighton, Henry Kaiser

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Spoonful 04:35
Lamplighters 05:56
Moving Along 05:12
175 & H 08:35


The background to this album has its roots in the year 1977 following their first releases; Brighton’s album Marsh Gas and Henry Kaiser’s Ice Death. Kaiser on hearing ‘Marsh Gas’ sent the album ‘Ice Death’ to Brighton and tried to arrange a meeting when he visited the UK later that year. However unfortunately that did not take place, and despite efforts, in the years before the Internet both parties lost contact with each other. It was re-established 40 years later when Chilean guitarist Gonzalo Fuentes was in the process of compiling an album call ‘Frets of Yore’ where both guitarists were asked to provide a contribution. Following contact, Kaiser asked Brighton to make a contribution to an album called ‘Friends and Heroes’ and in an associated press release stated his intent to make a duet album with him.

This is now been fulfilled by the release of ‘Together Apart’ in October 2017, recorded in Portsmouth Hampshire for Brighton, and for Kaiser, in Oakland California. After each session tracks were posted from one musician to another to add their contribution with the best being selected for the album. Kaiser mixed and mastered the final tracks.
The ideas behind the duets are varied, however in addition, it was agreed that each would make a solo recording that held a personal significance. Of those duets, some were intended to be thematic based upon previous experiences, while the remainder were directly interactive as if both musicians were sitting together in the same studio instead of thousands of miles apart, hence the title.

One of the thematic tracks ‘Cathedral Voices’ is intended to contain ripples of Brighton’s original track on ‘Marsh Gas’ entitled ‘The Chapel of Splintered Glass’ recorded in Chelmsford Cathedral. That track featured guitar, saxophonist Jim Livesey and the Sound in Brass hand-bell ringers and at the time of recording, captured the natural reverb of the Cathedral and its inherent delay to overlay sound on sound. For the current album it was agreed to try replicate something similar using two guitars. Despite best efforts to obtain use of the local cathedral, Brighton had to resort to recording techniques available within the studio at Portsmouth to try to obtain a similar sound and feel. Kaiser in tune with the concept created a background of moving sound replicating those that might be heard within a cathedral, hence the title. 

Another ‘feature’ track is a dedication by both musicians to the one of the greatest improvising percussionists, Tony Oxley. Brighton had previously recorded with Oxley on the Incus album ‘February Papers’ in 1977 with one of the tracks entitled ‘Sounds of the Soil Pt 2’. The instruction at the time from Oxley to Brighton and Philipp Wachsmann, also on the original album, was for them to imagine that the soil was amplified and to try to conceive and produce sounds of the creatures that would crawl and scramble above and below.  The track called ‘Sounds of the Soil Pt 2 (revisited)’ is an attempt to recreate a similar feeling using two guitars with different sound stimuli.

The remaining tracks are a series of duets featuring Brighton using his Gibson ES 175 and Kaiser, a variety of stringed instruments including a harp guitar. The tracks have been created with combinations of acoustic and amplified instrumentation exploring the different aspects of timbres and levels of interaction between the two guitarists in an improvised scenario from different locations.


released January 19, 2018


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Henry Kaiser San Francisco, California

Henry Kaiser is an American guitarist and composer, known as an idiosyncratic soloist, a sideman, an ethnomusicologist, and a film score composer. Recording and performing prolifically in many styles of music, Kaiser is a fixture on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. He is considered a member of the "second generation" of American free improvisers. ... more

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