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at99    Angharad Davies & Tisha Mukarji  -  ffansïon | fancies

Angharad Davies - violin,  Tisha Mukarji - piano

1 - ffansi i         8.25

2 - for Lucio i    2:27

3 - ffansi ii        8:58

4 - ffansi iii        7:03                    youtube extract

5 - ffansi iv      13:57

6 - for Lucio ii    2:37

7 - ffansi v        9:20

Recorded at St Catherine’s Church, Hatcham, South London on 5th & 6th February 2016

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Interview with Angharad Davies

When did you first play with Tisha and how often have you played together in the ensuing years?

I first heard Tisha playing a solo set at the Bridewell Theatre in 2005. It was the LMC's 14th Festival of Experimental Music. I was instantly struck by Tisha's sense of poise, her ability to give sounds breathing space and her powerful palette. Her sense of timing and supersonic attentiveness contributes to a cohesiveness in structure that is impossible to ignore and makes for a luxurious position to build or destroy. I have a real sense that the music is continually unfolding even when it seemingly comes to a dead end.

Having heard Tisha in 2005, I didn't get to play with her again until May 2007 at Music Fields Companion at the Sage Gateshead organised by Barry Esson. This was a trio with Andrea Neumann. We recorded endspace in July 2007 and I've played with Tisha about eight times since then spread over 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, plus a recording in a trio with Dimitra Lazaridou Chatzigoga in 2011, and a residency at Q-02, Brussels in 2013.

So, the very first track on ffansïon/fancies is the first time we've played together since 2013.

Is it easy to maintain a musical relationship when you don't see each other for long periods?

I feel that some musical relationships are similar to very good friendships where there is mutual respect for personal growth but you can equally just pick up where you left off. This duo for me is very much like this.

In many ways the new duo disc ffansïon/fancies is quite different from your earlier CD endspace. How would you describe the difference and do you feel that your practice as musicians have developed along parallel paths?

I'm glad you think the music is quite different from
endspace and personally I am in a very different place musically to where I was almost 10 years ago. These days it's all about finding a way to be more comfortable, and things that I found challenging then, thankfully, don't take up so much of my thinking time any more.

I was really struck by how much the building where ffansïon/fancies was recorded shaped and became part of the music. Though neither of you nor Tisha had been there before, it felt that the church's acoustic marked the music in many ways. Do you think that is right?

Absolutely. The building and its surroundings are integral to any improvisation and becomes the 3rd, 4th, 5th etc voice. I was very much affected by the church's gigantic proportions, its acoustics, the possibility of not finding the off switch for the droned pitched heating, the roadworks outside, the car alarm, the wind on the second day of recording.......the list is actually endless but all plays a part in shaping the direction of the music.

Yes, I felt that the space led you towards certain pitches that were particularly resonant in the church, and some of the pieces are built around these. Also I think it encouraged you to play louder than you might have otherwise in order to take advantage of the church’s acoustic.

Everything sounded so good in there so, of course we were going to find ways of attempting to fill the space and make the building sing.

I was also struck by the way you and Tisha re-worked material across the two days. We hadn’t originally planned to record over two days, but circumstances meant that we had to, and you really used the fact. Several of the pieces are developments of ideas which emerged in improvisations on the first day but which you then took further, or tried to explore more precisely on the second day. It struck me that this is a particularly fruitful way of using improvisation.

This is the first time we’ve worked like this and it focused the second day of recording but we still fucked up!

Recording ‘ffansïon’ at St Catherine’s Church, Hatcham


“ffansïon | fancies is the second release of the duo Angharad Davies & Tisha Mukarji. We don't often get a chance to hear good improvisation these days, so take your chance now. It's a great piano/violin duo recorded in a big church, seven improvisations with a large palette of sounds, silences and resonances. Minimal but not reductionnist, abstract and harmonic, full of extented techniques and great melodies, it's just beautiful, sensitive, and played with a lot of creativity.”

Julien Heraud, Improv-Sphere