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FRITH, FRED: Impur
In 1996, at the end of a two year residency, Fred organised an event at L'Ecole Nationale de Musique de Villeurbanne in France. He roped in as many of the students as he could, grouped according to their departments (early music, rock, African drumming, classical &c), and set them up in all the rooms in the building. The public wandered around creating their own mix, or sat in the courtyard listening to the sound drifting out through the open windows. For their part, each group of musicians played their own specially written music and occasionally were asked to improvise, all of them following a precise time-score prepared by Fred (55 minutes long). Synchronize watches. The whole thing was recorded on 4 A DAT machines and was later mixed - this was the result: an exiting, lurching and capricious beast with many heads, by turns an orchestra tuning up, a salute to Sonny Blount, a roiling chaotic mass of sound that splitting into layers colliding back together, pullulating, ululating, roaring and sometimes mewing like a kitten.