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It’s rare that an album emerges as something entirely new; so different that there aren't any genre or sub-genre categories into which it comfortably fits. Like its critically acclaimed, similarly forward-reaching and all-improvised sister The Stone House - released first but actually recorded second during a marathon six-day 2016 series of sessions that will ultimately yield more than the three albums initially planned - Lighthouse is an even more tumultuous, texture-driven and, perhaps, overtly daring ride than the undeniably audacious The Stone House.
Lighthouse, featuring guitarist Mark Wingfield, touch guitarist Markus Reuter and drummer Asaf Sirkis, represents a true paradigm shift in what improvised music can be. This isn’t jazz, though its improvisational spontaneity suggests at least a tenuous link. It isn’t rock - or, more appropriately, progressive rock - though it certainly is, by definition, progressive in its futuristic stance. Nor is it free improv, despite its overall lack of planning. Instead, the bold and utterly fresh Lighthouse represents nothing less than a brand new methodology and a completely unheard-of way of doing things, its sense of progression and imagination miraculously drawn from the ether, with no clear precedent or preconception.
Mark Wingfield's 2015 MoonJune album Proof of Light (also featuring Sirkis and The Stone House bassist, Yaron Stavi) was a career-definer and instrument gamer-changer for the American-born British guitarist, whose reach ranges from jazz to rock to classical music and beyond, and with a C.V. that features work with improvisers ranging from fellow-Brit Iain Ballamy and Indonesia's Dwiki Dharmawan to Norway's Thomas Strønen, as well as tenure in ResRocket, which includes collaboration of big names such as Peter Gabriel, Tricky, Todd Rundgren and Dave Stewart.
The multidisciplinary Markus Reuter - musician, composer, record producer and instrument designer - has become, after early years garnering exposure as a solo artist and with groups including Centrozoon and Tuner, to more popular acclaim and high demand as a member of Stick Men (featuring King Crimson's Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto) and The Crimson ProjeKct (Stick Men, joined together with Crimson alum Adrian Belew's Power Trio with Julie Slick and Tobias Ralph).
Israeli expat Asaf Sirkis' expansive resume has, since relocating to U.K. where he's achieved attention for his own groups including The Inner Noise and guitar-based Asaf Sirkis Trio, built an expansive, still-growing resume that includes Tim Garland's Lighthouse Trio, fellow Israeli expat Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble, Jacob Collier, Natasha Atlas, Nicolas Meier, Phil Robson, Dwiki Dharmawan and Glauco Vernier, amongst many others.
Individually and, now, together as Wingfield Reuter Sirkis, these three imaginative musicians continue to expand the potential of their respective instruments … and, with the exhilarating Lighthouse, developed a new vernacular for 21st century improvisation.
released September 11, 2017
MARK WINGFIELD guitar
MARKUS REUTER touch guitar
ASAF SIRKIS drums
All compositions by Wingfield Reuter Sirkis.
Produced by Leonardo Pavkovic and Wingfield Reuter Sirkis.
Executive production by Leonardo Pavkovic, MoonJune Records.
Recorded live in the studio with no overdubs and minimal editing. The music on this album was composed at the moment of playing with no music written down or rehearsed.
Recorded by Jesus Rovira at La Casa Murada Studios, Banyeres del Penedés, Catalunya, Spain, on February 18, 2016.
Mixed by Mark Wingfield & Markus Reuter at Heron Island Studio, Cambridgeshire, England, in March 2017, and mastered by Mark Wingfield in May 2017.
Special thanks to Jesus Rovira, Dusan Jevtovic, Xavi Reija, Bernat Hernandez, Yaron Stavi, John Kelman, Andrzej Mackiewicz, Marcin Dabek, Alekdandar Popovic, and above all Leonardo Pavkovic, the mastermind enabler of the session.
First of all, it sounds great. A very clean and intentional-sounding recording and wonderful performance. I haven't been able to sit down with the score yet to work out the numbers, but I love how it evolves, it's almost as if the pieces are speaking to each other - A very cohesive and enthralling experience. It feels like a Stanley Kubrick film - Heartland is a full meal for the ears and the active listener's imagination. Dustin Wall