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LAURENCE PIKE

Laurence Pike

The Undreamt-of Centre

    The Undreamt-of Centre is the fourth solo album by prolific Australian drummer/composer/producer Laurence Pike, an evocative, contemporary reimagining of the requiem mass.

    The album draws on the sounds of modern classical music, Japanese environmental ambient music, fourth world electronics, free jazz and the choral traditions of Estonia, with particular influence from Tallinn-based composer Tonu Korvits.

    Produced in collaboration with the Vox Sydney Philharmonia Choir, conducted by Pike’s childhood friend, composer Sam Lipman and recorded in a 19th century Gothic church.

    Laurence Pike on The Undreamt-of Centre:
    I first had the thought of working with voices a number of years ago. I had the strange notion of making a requiem mass for drums, electronics and choir. It sat with me since then, until it felt the time was right to realise the idea.
    Why a requiem? Initially I simply liked the idea of a structural format that had existed and been reimagined again and again over hundreds of years. Ultimately, it’s a ritual set to music. The processes and ecstatic outcomes of rituals, were something I had explored in making the Holy Spring album in 2019. I became interested in subverting the religious musical construct of a requiem into something far more contemporary, using language and sounds not readily associated with it. It also seemed a ready-made vehicle to explore the sound of a choir with my electro -acoustic drum kit performances. I had begun searching for a narrative structure or text that I might set a choir to, while not adhering to the text of a Latin mass. I began reading the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, in particular his ‘Sonnets to Orpheus’, inspired by the classical Greek myth of Orpheus.


    TRACK LISTING

    1. A1. Introit
    2. A2. Orpheus In The Underworld
    3. A3. Mountains Of The Heart
    4. A4. Universal Forces
    5. B1. The Undreamt-of Centre
    6. B2. Eurydice
    7. B3. Requiem Aeternam
    8. B4. All Is Distance

    Laurence Pike

    Prophecy

      Laurence Pike continues in a rich creative vein with the release of Prophecy, his third solo album in as many years. Inspired to write and record in response to the devastating wild fires in his native Australia, the percussionist, composer and producer has created a work for our times.

      Adopting the working formula of ‘one take’ studio performances for drum kit and sampler; channelling the moment through Pike’s singular, organic use of electronics, and intuitively constructed arrangements. There is an instinctive and emotional resonance here, driven by his reaction to the climate emergency.

      Laurence Pike on Prophecy:
      The music on Prophecy was made during an intense period of climate-related disasters in my home of Australia last summer that seemed to represent the beginning of a strange new way of existing on Earth.

      The pieces were developed in the space of four weeks at my home, and then captured in a single day of studio performances. As a result, the music is as much an assemblage of moments from the days leading up to the recording (stepping into my garden to be greeted by a dark pink sun against a brown sky, and ash gently raining on me) as it is a reflection of how I felt in the moment playing them live in the studio.

      In the short time since, we’ve gone from staying inside and wearing face masks because the city was completely surrounded by fire, and the air filled with acrid smoke, to staying indoors to stop the spread of a global pandemic…



      Laurence is one third of Szun Waves, who released their second album New Hymn To Freedom last year to critical acclaim.

      “I hope,” says Laurence Pike, “the listener is as excited – and at times confounded – by this music as I am.”
      Holy Spring is an “article of faith” for Pike, expressing the sense that “The ritual of performance can transcend the confines of style, structure and concept to connect with something universal.”
      The name of the album is beautifully ambiguous, evoking a wellspring, but also rebirth, and more besides. It sounds constantly, effervescently fresh, just as it should when its creation was a series of surprises to its own creator. And that happens not just with one listen, but with many: each time you hear it, it’s as if this music has been created anew. The listener, just like the musician, are privy to what Pike describes as “the music simply playing itself, achieving what I now understand to be, and can only describe as ‘freedom’.”
      Improvisation has played a role throughout Pike’s long and diverse career in music. Whether as part of PVT, Triosk or Szun Waves, or collaborating with Liars, legendary jazz pianist Mike Nock, DD Dumbo or the mighty Bill Callahan, he has long been a responsive musician for whom sensitive listening leads to spontaneous invention. Every motion, from the most minuscule flicker to a primal groove, is an expression of what’s happening around him. Which is precisely how he, and the ensembles he’s been part of, have been able to navigate so deftly between the poles of the familiar. Pike’s work has always skirted around electronica, spiritual jazz, post-rock and many other recognisable sounds, without ever converging on one single style or resorting to obvious fusions.


      TRACK LISTING

      1. A1. Mystic Circles
      2. A2. Daughter Of Mars
      3. A3. Dance Of The Earth
      4. A4. Transire
      5. B1. Drum Chant
      6. B2. Holy Spring
      7. B3. The Shock Of Hope
      8. B4. Taught By Spirits
      9. B5. Rites

      "Distant Early Warning" is the debut solo album by Australian drummer, percussionist and composer Laurence Pike. For the best part of two decades Pike has operated at the cutting edge of the electronic and jazz music worlds, releasing albums to critical acclaim and touring the world with his bands PVT (formerly Pivot), Triosk and Szun Waves, and featuring on numerous albums, tours and soundtracks as a collaborator. On "Distant Early Warning" he carves himself a moment of reflection. The calm in the eye of the storm. An ominous portent as the rocks appear on the horizon.


      Originally conceived as a technological and spiritual jazz suite for drums, "Distant Early Warning" is a series of solo performances for kit and sampler recorded live in a single day. 'For a long time I’ve been feeling there’s a central part of my musical voice that didn’t have an outlet,' Pike says. 'So this album is definitely a product of inner necessity.' 


      TRACK LISTING

      CD: LP:
      1. A1. Life Hacks
      2. A2. Distant Early Warning
      3. A3. Cloud And Wires
      4. B1. Hard Feelings
      5. B2. Cyber Bully
      6. B3. Corporate Memory


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