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The Psthurism Trio is a collective saxophone ensemble that began in 2012 through the mutual approach to their respective instruments + a love of free improvisation and experimental music in all their forms. Psithurism play the range of musics from minimalist (or lower case) free improvisation to maximalist free jazz blow outs at times. We tend towards thinking of music that is intersubjective; and organic, music evolving between the players as if at any stage it would have a life of its own. They are joined by the astounding French Clarinettist Xavier Charles for a set of multifaceted layered and complex improvisations, as well as solos from Xavier and the Psithurism Trio.

Psithurism Trio:
Rhys Butler: Alto saxophone
Richard Johnson: Soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, bird calls, prepared drum mute.
John Porter: tenor saxophone
Xavier Charles: clarinet

Rhys Butler: alto sax
Rhys has come to know the cities he has lived in through improvised music. The trio Dinner Sock (Stephen Roach (drums), David Keyton (feedback), and Rhys Butler (saxophones)) formed from the weekly Fugue State Sessions in Guangzhou. The group performed with local experimenters such as Yan Jun, Feng Hao and Li Zenghui and collaborated with musicians transiting China such as Uwe Bastiansen (Faust) and Lucas Abela. Despite living in different corners of the world, Dinner Sock has continued to participate in China's experimental music scene and played Beijing's Sally Can't Dance festival and NOIShanghai in 2012. In Santiago, Chile, Rhys participated in events run by Productura Mutante and played in the free-for-all Collective Improvisation NO. Now residing in Canberra, Rhys has been working in a reeds trio Psithurism with John Porter and Richard Johnson and Otiose Trio with Reuben Ingall and Paul Heslin on pure data manipulation.

Richard Johnson: soprano saxophone, Bird calls, Bass clarinet
Richard performs with soprano/baritone saxophone and bass clarinet, and uses a bass drum as a resonance chamber with soprano saxophone to create a language of microtonal multiphonics. Also he makes instruments from conical gourds from PNG, which allow the stripping back of the wind instruments to their most visceral and most sensuous form and allow for the exploration of extended techniques. He has performed at the SoundOut 2010 – 2017 festivals; What is Music Festival, Nownow Festival; the Make it Now performances; also performances with the Brice Glace Ensemble and the 102 Club Orkestra in Grenoble France; “Whip it“ series in Sydney; various Precipice annual Improv workshops hosted by Tony Osbourne as well as hosting local/interstate/international improvisation nights in Canberra. He is the Director /Curator /Producer /Administrator at the SoundOut festivals. As a sound artist he worked with renowned visual Artist Savanhdary Vongpoothorn for the Australia Exhibition at The Casula Power House as well collaborated with conceptual-visual artist Denise Higgins on soundscapes. He has performed with the likes of Jaap Blonk, Jon Rose, Hans Koch, Guylaine Cosseron, Jim Denley, Kim Myhr, Annette Giesreigl, Rodrigo Motoya, Antonio Panda Gianfratti, Thomas Rohrer, Luc Houtkamp, Clayton Thomas, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Yan Jun, Laura Altman, Michael Norris, Evan Dorian, etc. Currently performs in a wind trio with John Porter and Rhys Butler called Psithurism, which has another digital release with the renowned Canadian clarinetist Francois Houle.

John Porter: tenor saxophone
John is a formidable saxophonist with a deep interest in free improvisation. After starting on the clarinet at an earlier age he switched to the tenor saxophone and never looked back. In 2003 John moved to Brisbane to study music full-time, completing a Bachelor of Music in 2005 and a Master of Music in 2008 where his thesis was on the avant garde composer Cornelius Cardew. It was during this time that John received his first exposure to improvised music, participating in a number of groups in and around Brisbane. He has since played with a number of artists including Shoji Hano, Jeff Henderson, Kris Wanders, Madoka Kouno, Elliott Dalgleish, and the Stasis Duo, and appears on recordings released by the [Array] and Homophoni labels. John is currently in a saxophone trio with Richard Johnson and Rhys Porter called Psithurism Trio. He loves playing music to birds and animals in a dialogue with the sound-scapes around him, as it were.

Xavier Charles: Clarinet
The work of clarinetist Xavier Charles ranges from noise to electro-acoustic via sound poetry. He has played in numerous new music festivals in France and abroad. In his work with groups and collectives, he has also collaborated with Martin Tetrault, The Ex, Ingar Zach, Pierre Berthet, Axel Dörner, Ivar Grideland, John Butcher, Jacques Di Donato, Frédéric Le Junter, Otomo Yoshihide, Getachew Mekuria, Christian Wallumrod, Emmanuelle Pellegrini, Lionel Marchetti, Jean-Philippe Gross, Michel Doneda and Frédéric Blondy. Different collectifs (Dans Les Arbres, Ouie-Dire, ONCEIM, No Spaguettitti Edition, Chris Burn Ensemble, Atmosphérique). Currently his musical research ranges from performance on the clarinet to the installation of vibrating speakers, at the edge of improvised music, noisy rock and electro-acoustic sound. He's deeply involved in the music world as an organizer of the festival "Densities”. www.xaviercharles.com

Recorded live at the SoundOut 2017 Festival in the Drill Hall Gallery Canberra.
Recorded/Mixed/Mastered by Kimmo Vennonen.
Produced and designed by Richard Johnson and Rhys Butler.
Photography by the Steve Axford whom we thank very much for allowing us the use of his brilliant photos of fungi. steveaxford.smugmug.com

Also SoundOut wishes to thank the Drill Hall Gallery for their continued support of our music and the SoundOut festival in particular.

“I have come to the conclusion that much can be learned about music by devoting oneself to the mushroom,” John Cage (1954)


released June 21, 2017



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SoundOut Canberra, Australia

SoundOut Recordings has developed out of the annual SoundOut international festival of free improvisation, free jazz and experimental music held in Canberra, Australia.

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