Chris Goode on ‘VIOLENCE’.


“ Meanwhile, in another part of Trumpet Island (now there's a reality show I could get into), far removed from Arve Henriksen's ambient chic, we find Matt Davis, beating a caribou to death with his instrument. Howzat for extended technique. Actually, in most ways this isn't a violent album at all -- as anyone familiar with Davis's remarkable body of work will have suspected. He's long been one of the most intriguing figures on the UK's improv / lowercase scene, extending the (so-called, or not even) 'New London Silence' outwards into considerations of not primarily musical performance, especially in that shadowy but engrossing interzone between dance and live art: most notably through his excellent Field series at Chisenhale Dance Space, to which many local heroes such as Rajni Shah and Tim Jeeves were contributors. What's really exciting about this release (free to download through Davis's web site) is observing Davis apply his intensely perceptive consideration of the socially constitutive aspects of sound to an entirely solo project: in this case, by using the qualities of the attentive space generated between musician and listener to host and nurture a profound and essentially collaborative reflection on violence. Where is violence in relation to this music? Violence is haunted by a sense of constraint, certainly, of self-harm even; notes are purposely split and misshaped, the trumpet itself is 'misused', its familiar voice made strange and broken; on the long centrepiece track, 'violence as cognitive mapping, an antidote to groundlessness' (I imagine its sharing of its title with the unexpectedly alarming 2001 farewell single by Steps is purely coincidental), it's made to resemble -- perhaps to ventriloquize -- shakuhachi and shawm... But isn't this part-demolition somehow also a release, a liberation, in a way that, for example, sadomasochists might recognize? Is this whole process somewhat akin to that familiar Thompson's bonnet-bee about the necessary 'breaking' of theatrical text? Part of the conundrum around violence surely is its sensuality, its insistence on a corporeality that will not be transcended or wished away; yet its inhabiting of hidden systematic pathways and occluded syntaxes does more harm by a mile than its spectacular irruptions in pop culture or in any number of artistic practices distortively labelled as 'extreme'. How Davis manages to create with such economy a site for this kind of contemplation, I've no idea, though certainly it matters that this is a music entirely devoid of ego and decoration, for all its sensual reach: it's lean, often delicate and minutely detailed, sometimes harsh and rebarbative, though it holds its ground in relation to the listener with uncommon grace, making its textures compelling even as they repel. I guess for newcomers to Matt Davis's work and ambit I might recommend a preparatory listen to, for example, Open, his beautiful 2003 album with Mark Wastell and Phil Durrant for Erstwhile, which is perhaps a little less freighted in its challenges (or, rather, invitations) to the listener; Violence is tougher going -- as it obviously should be -- but rewarding, expansive and profoundly stimulating..”

Mute Correspondence - review by Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic


“Matt Davis' solo trumpet CD Mute Correspondences was originally released four years ago on the Confront label back when it was a CDR imprint whose ridiculously limited editions sold out far too quickly, so its reissue is cause for some celebration. This new edition on the trumpeter's own Field imprint - slim transparent boxes and text and visuals on pale grey onion skin vellum - is in fact credited to Davis and Rosa Munoz, who is in fact a dancer (but dancers make noise too) performing with Davis on four tracks recorded in Salamandra Dance Studios in Barcelona in October 2000. For the reissue Davis has selected just seven of the original eleven cuts, dispensing with four multi-track pieces (shame, as they were rather wonderful: all the more reason to search out an original Confront if you have the patience) and also apparently changed round some of the titles. As a solo trumpet outing (no disrespect intended to Ms Munoz), Mute Correspondences certainly ranks alongside Franz Hautzinger's Gomberg, Axel Dörner's Trumpet and Greg Kelley's, erm, Trumpet (well, what's in a name?). It might not push things to the same extreme limits as Dörner, whose aforementioned offering on A Bruit Secret sounds more like an industrial ventilation system, studiously avoids the raw testosterone blasts that characterise much of Kelley's Meniscus album, and sure as hell doesn't come with a ranting set of liner notes by Bill "Trademark" Dixon like Hautzinger's, but for sheer musicality and, excuse the tired cliché, listening pleasure, Mute Correspondences has my vote. Extended tech trumpeters now seem to be all over the place, so high pitched whistles, barks, flaps, snaps, gurgles and plops might be familiar to several listeners, but what makes the difference here is not the vocabulary itself but how Davis puts it together to create organic and intricate pieces of music that richly reward repeated listening. It's been one of my favourite solo albums ever since I got hold of a CDR copy, and I can't recommend it too highly.”


http://www.paristransatlantic.com/magazine/monthly2004/06jun_text.html

Contact


matt (at) f-i-e-l-d (dot) co (dot) uk



Biography


London 1970


Matt Davis is an artist working in sound, music and performance living in Bristol.


In studying visual art an interest in strategic photography and process based work led Matt to the world of improvised and experimental music and sound art. Attending Community Music  in 1995 and completing John Steven’s Search and Reflect course, amongst others, he made several connections in the improvised music scene such as with Mark Wastell, Angharad Davies and Rhodri Davies.


In 1999 he relocated to Barcelona, joined the IBA collective and 'L’Orquestra IBA' as well as working with the dance company La Sospechosa - a collaboration which lasted many years.


On returning to London in 2002 he curated a series of events entitled FIELD designed to unite improvised music and dance. These events, with the support of the Chisenhale Dance Space Artist's Program, eventually became a live-art project investigating notions of space and performance, and were particularly influenced by the work of geographer Doreen Massey who collaborated on the project.


He has performed extensively throughout the UK and Europe, as well as touring Japan with Broken Consort in 2003.


From 2008-2012 he joined the ensemble Zeitkratzer, and in 2009 moved to Cornwall, where he was a member of the SoN collective and the trio Emlow.


He now lives in Bristol.



What


Working mainly in improvised and experimental music - using trumpet, field recordings and electromagnetics.


The latter could be described as performance based improvisations using electromagnetic fields from custom built cracked electrical devices and the immediate situation/space as well as field recordings of electromagnetic phenomena. Exploring them as acoustic phenomena and for their potential as feral musical elements.


‘Field’ is a live art/performance project, operating since 2003, which investigates Space as an ‘ongoing contemporaneity of crossing trajectories’*..... as a non-hierarchical, always-being-made matrix of realities, thoughts, histories or concepts.  Rather than a discreet work of art which invites a singular reading, concept or idea.


(*see ‘For Space’ Doreen Massey, Sage 2005)