Maciunas Ensemble

Live With the Birds

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This is the third album by the experimental ensemble from the Netherlands named in tribute to George Maciunas, the late artist who manifested the Fluxus art movement in the 1950s. Somewhere between a free improvising ensemble and sound installation art group, the group make a respectful tribute to their namesake, who would have been proud of the outlandish music experiments that they explore. Having made compositions for multiple electric guitars similar to Glen Branca and Rhys Chatham, the ensemble of Paul Panhuysen, Jan van Riet, Leon van Noorden, and Jario van Horrik use this outing to exhibit an instrument of their own design -- a series of aluminum strips suspended in the air. Such a simple object produces an astounding range of tonalities and textures. The Kanary Grand Band aspect of the project is a vital part of the process. What makes this recording unique is that the presence of an aviary filled with canaries present in the room concurrently with the performance, and at time the interaction of these birds singing within the ensemble is a flight of exquisite song that could not be produced by and human and instrument. This is not a chance factor, of course; the Kanary Grand Band are an ensemble in their own right, and what a marvelous collaboration with nature this is.