Alamout (Hall - voice)
2. Hallucinations (Gzowski - oud; Hall - bass flute)
3. Cut-Up (Hall - tenor sax; Rudd - trombone; Ratcliff, Gzowski
4. Grey Fingers ( (Merril - voice)
5. Splintered Carnival (Rudd - trombone; Molnar - marimba; Gzowski
6. Photo Falling, Word Falling (Hall - tenor sax; Rudd - trombone;
Perera - guitar)
7. El Hombre Invisible (Rudd - trombone; Ratcliff - guitar; Molnar
8. The Book of the Dead (Hall - voice)
9. The Blue Desert of Silence (ensemble)
10. A Few Questions for CONTROL (Hall -voice)
11. The Ant Hill (Molnar - marimba; Rudd - trombone)
12. Uranian Willy (He Wised Up the Marks) (Ratcliff - slide guitar;
Rudd - trombone)
13. Wild Boys (Ratcliff - guitar; Rudd- trombone; Gzowski - guitar;
Hall - tenor sax; Perera - guitar)
14. Virus Powers (The Book of the Word) (Hall - tenor sax; Rudd
compositions and arrangements by Glen Hall.
Personnel: Glen Hall - tenor and soprano saxophones, bass flute,
bass clarinet, electronics, samples, voices
- Roswell Rudd - trombone
- Handslang (Nilan Perera - guitar; Rob Clutton - bass; John Lennard
- Barry Elmes - drums
- John Gzowski - guitar, oud, soprano guitar, electric dowl
- Geordie McDonald - percussion
- Judith Merril - voice
- Allan Molnar - vibes, marimba
- Kim Ratcliff - guitar, slide guitar, banjo
- Don Thompson - bass, piano
All compositions recorded "live" February 28-March 2,
1997, at the Music Gallery, Toronto except (recorded and mixed
Mixed at Percussion Studio
- Mastered at Stimulus/Response
- Recording engineer - Paul Hodge
- Mixing - Allan Molnar, Glen Hall
- Producers - Glen Hall, Allan Molnar
- Executive Producer - Glen Hall
In 1973, while studying modern Amercian literature, I was asked
to produce "a response" to any novel I had been reading.
I chose to do a tape collage about "The Market", a section
of William Burroughs' "Naked Lunch". That same year,
I finished my post-graduate work with my thesis on Burroughs'
cut-up and fold-in techniques of composition. Later, when studying
composition, I produced a multimedia piece based on a chapter
of '"The Wild Boys".
Twenty years later, while recording with a group I was asked to
assemble, Strange Attractors, I used several scenes from Burroughs'
"Nova Express" and "The Wild Boys" to spark
spontaneous compositions. I tried unsuccessfully to do a multimedia
project with Burroughs himself among others, but the effort, the
mistakes and the contacts made during the attempt eventually bore
fruit. I had asked trombonist Roswell Rudd if he would participate
in the first project. When that didn't materialize, I persisted
and wound up conceiving "Hallucinations"-a multimedia
work involving recording rehearsals/performances attended by audiences
invited to watch "the process" of creating the work
Film, video, electronic sound projection, spoken word, visual
art (statues, found objects) and a ten-piece ensemble with three
guitarists, two bassists, two drummers, a percussionist, a vibist,
a trombonist and me were all incorporated into a visual/aural
work, judging by the audience's reaction, had quite an impact.
The recording, done five months before the novelist's death, is
a good representation of what we did over three days, and serves
as an alternative "port of entry" into the hallucinatory
world of William S. Burroughs.
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"Music and Words for William S. Burroughs," this ambitious
program attempts to evoke the mystical, other-world sensibility
of Burroughs' prose, by using motage-style arrangements, musical
cut-ups, disembodied voices, random radio signals, and narrated
excerpts from his books. There's also some devoutly weird music-from
Morrocan cool to junky noir, ominous drones to free jazz eruptions,
Fellini-esque distorted caricatures to a wicked desert boogie.
Hall's saxes lend a touch of jazz stability, in contrast to Roswell
Rudd's rip-snorting trombone, and there are three guitarists on
hand to inject a jolt of electricity to the proceedings. Sounds
like there's a layer of grit and grime over everything-a perfect
complement to Burroughs' grim view of life. -Art Lange-
will not find Glen Hall's name in the Richard Cook/Brian Morton
Penquin Guide to Jazz. Their usual scupulous attention to detail
for some reason does not extend to this innovative Canadian musician.
Even Leo Feigin's press release to "Hallucinations"
provides little information. As it happens I had already picked
up on Mr. Hall a couple of years ago. I must have been feeling
flushed and bought his "The Book of the Heart" CD on
Koch Jazz just because I fancied the rhythm section of Joanne
Brackeen, Cecil McBee and Billy Hart. "The Book" contains
a short track called "El Borrado" decidated to Bill
Burroughs, and I guess somewhere in the scheme of things it might
be the starting place for this recording.
is addictive; since I got hold of the CD I have played it constantly.
Although the game plan for the session is a "sonic film"
depiction of two of William Burroughs best know books, "Nova
Express" and "The Wild Boys", the fact remains
that both the ensemble and individual playing throughout this
recording packs a full punch, this is no mere soundtrack muddle.
Way back, Gil Evans had helped when Mr. Hall was fixing to tape
his second record under his own name. As I hear things though,
there is now more Charles Mingus about these loose limbed arrangements.
The tracks cross boundaries, moving between full-on blowing stations
to more introspective stuff incorporating settings for oud and
marimba. "Cut-Up" begins with a slide down the neck
of the bass in the best blue, quicksilver fashion this side of
a silk worm. At the bottom is a lovely executed horn passage which
leads straight into a gently smouldering tenor break by Glen Hall,
followed by Allan Molnar's vibes containing a hint of Bobby Hutcherson
circa Eric Dolphy's "Out To Lunch" with the final break
occurring under the withering playing of Roswell Rudd.
The great trombonist seems totally back on form these days, and
his work on "Hallucinations" is one of the recording's
many high spots. "Splintered Carnival" is a piece of
the old street party rountine which the Ruddy bone exploits its
full extent. The heat get turned on someone's head, by the time
(John Gzowski's) guitar comes would up tight to Mr. Molnar's (marimba),
the music appears ready to settle in for the night. This is not
the full picture.
is a big buzz. The ensemble passages are sliced up with tape and
electronics, sampled bits and pieces, at one point Mr. Burroughs
emerges from the fizz to ask, "What's going on out there?"
You tell me, sunshine. A really spooky section involves a reading
by Glen Hall from the Insect Man's instructions for the liberation
of the body by death. I made the mistake of listening to it for
the first time while driving my car and nearly took my four wheels
straight across the middle of a roundabout! There is so much going
on here it is easy to get drawn in. When all is said and done,
here is music containing a big lit beacon however shadowy some
of the interiors.
Coleman and Howard Shore recorded a brilliant score for David
Cronenberg's film of William Burroughs' "Naked Lunch".
In a different way Glen Hall has produce another dark gem to add
to the Bill Burroughs soundbite. Be careful; this has teeth and
is no short snack. -Steve Day-
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