Breaching the limits of an instrument
November 7, 2017 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Bendik Giske creates incredible solo performances with just himself and a saxophone. He states "By using a number of microphones on my instrument and body, I aim to create an augmented version of the instrument and my voice without any loopers or layers." The result is something unique, abrasive and wonderful.
posted by Field Tripper (7 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I don't see any additional microphones, but I've never seen so much circular breathing on a saxophone. It seems like there are no pauses.
posted by MtDewd at 11:24 AM on November 7, 2017

For people who are into this sort of thing, Colin Stetson has been doing similar stuff for a while to great critical acclaim.

It seems like one of the requirements for this genre of music is being built like a brick shithouse with the lungs of a champion freediver.
posted by scrump at 11:27 AM on November 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Very cool. Kinda like the intersection of Jon Gomm (previously) and Richard Reed Perry's Music for Heart and Breath.
posted by itesser at 11:54 AM on November 7, 2017

Nice! This kind of thing is always going to seem downright magical to me. Something about Giske's playing is reminiscent of Four Tet to me, especially of Circling. The sort of meditative quality of the way the music repeats and builds on itself is somehow much stronger when it's so viscerally tied to one man's breath rather than electronics.

And yes, if you like this, highly recommend looking into Colin Stetson. I did a couple FPPs of his work, as have others. Giske's work seems lighter and airier than much of Stetson's, while Stetson often seems to be channeling some sort of immense eldritch beast with the kind of sound he can pull from his body and saxophone. I literally could not believe the kind of almighty, awesome racket he created in To See More Light was possible with just one guy and a saxophone until I saw a live version on youtube. He's also a part of new post-metal group Ex Eye, and I'm not a metal person at all, but their debut album is a work of astonishing beauty.
posted by yasaman at 11:59 AM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

At least in the second video, there's a contact mic up against his throat to capture singing while playing.

As a lapsed tenor saxophonist I am impressed.
posted by supercres at 12:00 PM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

...while I'm throwing tangents in, I should call out Dana Colley of the late, much-lamented Morphine, who used to simultaneously play two and sometimes three saxophones in their live shows.

I'm sure musicians have been doing this kind of thing since reed instruments were invented. But, as a twentysomething bassist, when I saw him live with Morphine, it was the first time I'd seen anything like that. Seeing Dana Colley and Morphine changed my view of what was musically possible.
posted by scrump at 12:24 PM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

In the second video, along with the mic on his throat and the one at the end of the sax, he's got one by his bottom hand that gets the percussive sounds of the pads clapping closed.

Super interesting - A+ first post!
posted by Fig at 1:09 PM on November 7, 2017

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