Joey and I are thrilled to announce that our debut release as Tabua-Harrison is out on July 13, 2018. The album is entirely improvised and recorded within the space of a day. Scout is available through Psychopyjama on CD and vinyl (transparent orange, no less!), and as a digital download:
Psychopyjama is very proud to announce the first release of a unique musical force. Tabua-Harrison makes music that is both completely improvised and absolutely accessible, with the visceral energy of rock, metal and funk and the intricacy and surprise of contemporary art music. Resident Psychopyjama artwork maestro Ryszard Dabek says of their debut album, Scout, “at times the duo’s work recalls other high-wire improv pairings such as John Coltrane and Rashied Ali on Interstellar Space as much as the restless creativity of Battles and the post-rock guitar stylings of Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker.”
Drummer Holly Harrison is one of Australia’s foremost young composers. As we write this, she is furiously composing for a commission for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Her work has been commissioned and performed by ensembles across Australia, Europe, the US and Asia. The rhythmic complexity and polyphonic independence of her art music is really an outgrowth of her phenomenal drumming, which really has to be seen to be believed. Partner in crime Joseph Tabua refers to her as “endorphin machine” on the album’s liner notes.
Guitarist Joseph (Joey) Tabua brings a background in hard rock and funk styles to the project – his 2000s band Junto toured with the likes of COG and The Mark of Cain – but also his own compositional sense. Outside of Tabua-Harrison he pursues fusions of his rock history and Fijian heritage with minimalism and aleatoric music as heard on his recent solo album Half Ocean Half Sky. In Tabua-Harrison, the electric guitar and pedal board fuse as a palette of oceanic and volcanic possibilities.
Tabua-Harrison encapsulates a contemporary tendency to obliterate genre which we also glimpse in the work of Laurence Pike and Nicole Lizée. While Scout asks to be met on its own terms, its wide array of timbres, tones, temporalities and dynamics creates a compelling journey over 40 minutes.
Launch dates -with labelmates Espadrille, launching Tinderbox:
Thurs 9 Aug Johnston Street Jazz
Sat 11 Aug Junction 142, Katoomba
Sat 18 Aug Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, Hobart
All tracks were entirely improvised and recorded
within the space of a day (16 January, 2017).
Recorded by Adrian Barr
Mixed and Mastered by Mitchell Hart
Produced by Tabua-Harrison and John Encarnacao
Landscape photography by Katrina Milton-White
Band photography by Peter Jovanov
Design by Ryszard Dabek
Come along to hear what we got up to live in concert!
Studio shots by Bruce Crossman.
Traditional Noise & Sonic Punk Improvisation Concert
Date: Thursday, August 10, 12.15 PM – 1.15 PM
Venue: Playhouse Theatre, Western Sydney University, Kingswood Campus
Performers: Hyelim Kim improvises with WSU staff, students and alumni: John Encarnacao & Brendan Smyly, Jess Graham & Yantra de Vilder, and Joseph Tabua & Holly Harrison.
Over the past week, Joey and I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Western Sydney University's musician-in-residence, Chiu Tan Ching, both in the studio and in concert. Tan Ching plays guzheng in the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, and throughout her time at WSU we experimented with different approaches to free improvisation, drawing from traditional and contemporary guzheng techniques, Chinese colour worlds, rock, jazz, and noise.
Concert photos below are by fellow composer, Petar Jovanov.
As part of WSU's Poetic Energies Across Sonic Space, Tan Ching also collaborated with The Backslider's Dom Turner, experimental guitarist and tunesmith John Encarnacao, and violinst Jess Graham.
Last week, Tabua-Harrison was part of Penrith Talks: Innovation Series, providing onstage entertainment at the beginning of the event, and afterwards in the bar. I enjoy any opportunity to pull out the floor tom to bass drum conversion for a quick set-up/pack-down!
Joey and I went into the studio earlier in January to record our debut album with engineer Adrian Barr. All the tracks were improvised in a few hours - we can't wait to share the end product with you! The studio was a haven from the 45 degrees heat outside. . .