These Are Our Shoes
From the Pacific edge of Canada comes a recording by two of the brightest lights on the new music/improv/jazz scene. On this CD they are two musicians playing as one. Hand-in-glove (or rather, foot-in-shoe), Lee and van der Schyff serve up 18 to-the-point improvisations. Spirited, sensitive, imaginative. Produced by Peggy Lee and Dylan van der Schyff for SPOOL. Recorded and mixed March 1997 by Shawn Pierce for Maximum Music Ltd.
Selected four times to Coda Magazine's Writers' Choice lists!
What the critics are saying:
These Are Our Shoes (Spool), the couple's 1998 duo recording, might best characterize their art — in miniature. Fifteen short cello and drum improvisations, Shoes is surprisingly accessible: These are musicians who interact with frightening immediacy, without inhibition. van der Schyff, the master manipulator, tests and expands common notions of timbre, moving easily from grooves to propulsive swing. Lee weaves discord, melody and sheer sonic weight into seemingly innocuous spaces.
—Greg Buium, Downbeat
"Ideas flow freely, themes and dialogue are intimately explored and rhythm elements attract most emphasis in an intriguing mix of pointed commentary and sonic colour."
—Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star
"Hearing cellist Lee and drummer van der Schyff tucked tight inside each other's playing is a treat often reserved for moments in performance. This CD allows for an hour of concentrated delight."
—Sasha Dryden, Terminal City
"They work extremely well as a duo ...The opening of the first track contains bizarre sound colours reminiscent of the religious music performed by Tibetan monks. This turns into a kind of improvised Webern with plucky percussion, and then into minimalist jazz …"
— Richard Hemmings, Avant
"… there's an openness and an emotional transparency here that are rare even in improvised music. And, of course, they're both brilliant players.."
—Alexander Varty, The Georgia Straight
"These Are Our Shoes presents 18 short pieces which show the musicians have a broad and effective conception of improvisational vocabulary, grounded in respect for the distinctive characteristics of their instruments."
—Julian Cowley, The Wire
"Peggy Lee and Dylan van der Schyff are in fine rapport on These Are Our Shoes, eighteen duets for cello and percussion. ...What I like here is the lack of pretense, what I'll call "the emerging unconscious innocence of those approaching mastery." As poets find their voices by what they strip away (and leave to the arms of silence), so too do improvisers catch a thrifty spirit when not dependent on dousing everything with technical fuel... I have a sense that Lee and van der schyff smiled after the last note of this record."
—Doug Lang, Coda