January 22nd, 2009, 07:13 AM
AAJ's Big Nose
Chris Cutler of Henry Cow Fame Joins the Board to Answer Your Questions
Percussionist/multi-instrumentalist/composer Chris Cutler has been on the cutting edge of both complex composition and the extreme reaches of free improvisation since co-founding Henry Cow in the late '60s, a group that lasted for but a decade but still features largely as a seminal influence, despite its relative cult status.
Chris has remained an active musician and label owner (ReR Megacorp) since that time, often intersecting with Cow mates Fred Frith and Tim Hodgkinson over the years in various configurations. He came together with Frith in 2008 at the Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville (FIMAV) to revisit the music of Art Bears (a trio he co-founded with Frith and singer Dagmar Krause after Henry Cow), in a highly anticipated project called Art Bears Songbook, and it was the highlight of the festival (review here).
With the release of the much-anticipated Henry Cow 40th Anniversary Box Set, a whopping 9CDs and 1 DVD housed in two 5-disc (and separately purchasable or available together) boxes that tell the complete story about Henry Cow that its original four studio discs and one live disc could not.
Have a question for Chris Cutler or a comment about his music? Post it here.
January 28th, 2009, 02:01 PM
Will the bonus subscription disc be available for purchase at a later date, Chris? I was aware of the empty third box, but hadn't a notion about this 'subscriber's only' disc. Money's real tight here in Michigan, we're (my wife and I) awaiting a federal tax refund, and I couldn't get the money together until about now. I would be disappointed, as a completist of sorts, to not have access to this bonus disc, and its availability status surely will affect my decision on whether to purchase the set at all. Thank you, Chris.
January 29th, 2009, 11:26 AM
> Will the bonus subscription disc be available for purchase at a later date
>I was aware of the empty third box, but hadn't a notion about >this 'subscriber's only' disc.
there is a finite number of these, and there are a few remaining after the subscribers have theirs, it is possible still to get an un-numbered copy if you visit this (not accessible from anywhere else) page on the rer site:
i completely understand the problem with the price, but when you see the boxes you'll see that they have to be expensive; i could have made a budget version but i think that would have sold the music and every listener short; we wanted to do this as thoroughly and as well as possible. For the still poor, but keen to have the set, there is also an installment-plan edition available though not with the extra CD... www.rermegacorp.com, click on new releases and scroll down
we're trying to make this as accessible as possible
January 29th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Chris: I'm a big fan of Henry Cow, and I'm glad you are putting out these box sets. I want to get the studio releases as well as one of the live sets. I've looked on the web site and i'm not sure how to figure out whats included in the different boxes.
January 30th, 2009, 03:17 AM
Chris, as much as I would like to order these two excellent boxes, I still haven't done so because I was curious if the boxes can be sent registered (at a higher expense of course). Recently a package was lost in the mail (not from ReR, mind you) and I would hate to see this happen with these box sets, also bearing in mind the price.
I've emailed ReR before the subscription offer ended, but sadly I got no reply at all and I let the offer slip by. A few days ago I emailed again with the same question, but again, no reply.
I've just clicked your link, and there's one more thing I don't understand. The Road Volume 2 costs £47, but when you click on the offer, it says £55.23. Same for The Road Volume 1 with the empty box and bonus CD: it costs £65, but when you click: £76.38.
I'd love to order these sets but I hesitate because of too many things that are unclear to me (it's possible that it's just me though). Anyway, here's hoping you read this and have an answer.
Let me stress that transactions with ReR in the past have been very satisfying (Faust box, Art Bears box for example), and that there always was a reply back then.
BTW - When only the two live boxes are ordered, does one end up with a box saying 'HENRY C' because of the missing 3rd one?
January 30th, 2009, 05:00 AM
First of all I want to say what an amazing job Chris and Bob have done in getting this set to us. It has been well worth the wait and more. One thing I want to ask is on the top of the studio box it says remastered by Bob Drake, but wasn't Bob only really involved in remastering "Desperate Straights" and "Concerts" of course. On my discs it says the others were remastered at SAE in the US. Or have I missed a more recent re-issue? I know its asking too much, but it would have been extra nice to have a booklet for the studio box, similar to that included in both live boxes. But thats just me being greedy!!
Lastly, when is the "Remastering Henry Cow" web site going live?
January 30th, 2009, 07:10 AM
AAJ's Big Nose
And Now...A Word from Our Sponsor
Just a quick moderator intervention; Chris won't necessarily be on every day, so be patient: he will get to all your questions....
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming....
January 31st, 2009, 06:04 AM
>studio box says remastered by Bob Drake, but wasn't Bob only really >involved in remastering "Desperate Straights" and "Concerts"
you're right. that's a mistake... sorry..
> it would have been extra nice to have a booklet for the studio box, similar >to that included in both live boxes.
yes, i thought about that, am still thinking; maybe at some point it might happen.. but it's hard to co-ordinate these things.. and expensive..
>when is the "Remastering Henry Cow" web site going live?
soon, i hope, will get back to you about that..
>if the boxes can be sent registered (at a higher expense of course).
yes, no problem, just email rer and say that - we'd charge the extra, which is not much.
>A few days ago I emailed again with the same question
Sorry, yes, we are being a bit slow at present with the current mails, since we are trying to send all the boxes out and clear the space - it takes longer than you'd think, so apologies for delays - we will get back to normal and deal with current mails early next week
> Road Volume 2 costs £47, but when you click on the offer, it says £55.23>Same for The Road Volume 1 with the empty box and bonus CD: it costs £65> but when you click: £76.38.
Thanks for pointing that out!! A glitch we hadn't noticed. I'll get it fixed.
The correct prices are as seen on the cowvolumes page, not the prices shown when you click!
>When only the two live boxes are ordered, does one end up with a box >saying 'HENRY C' because of the missing 3rd one?
yes, but it does work that way..
>I've looked on the web site and i'm not sure how to figure out whats >included in the different boxes.
Box 1 has volumes 1-5 of the new CDs
Box 2 has volumes 6-10 of the new CDs - & no. 10 is the DVD
Box 3 has legend, unrest, desperate straights, in praise of learning and western culture in it
the only cd unaccounted for is the double live Concerts, which fits into Box 1
- we left a space for it - because it is a collection mainly of live concert recordings and so belongs in The Road...
January 31st, 2009, 07:34 AM
Thanks and questions.
First of all, thanks John for the long article. It got my saliva running and made me go from calm to very excited to be among those who have been waiting since september or so. (of course i knew it wasn't coming in til at least christmas)
I too was at the Art Bears Songbook show in Victo last year and remain totally moved by the music and most of all the great pleasure that could be seen in the eyes of Cutler and Frith.
So, first question to Chris:
Will this show ever be released?
Next Question: (I guess you saw it coming)
Any chance to get a "Henry Cow Songbook (or musicbook)"?
Victoriaville is 2-3 hours from my house but after seeing the Art Bears Songbook show, i know i would swim to Tel Aviv for a one-off of this type.
Most of all, thanks for this music you've been feeding us for years. I await patiently for my box set knowing that slow-business it may be, but the reward will be great.
January 31st, 2009, 10:20 AM
Subscriptions to the Box
I appreciate all that you are doing to promote this special 40th anniversary of the Cow. I can only surmise that the group as a whole means a lot to you personally and professionally (in your musical development). It does to me.
I would like to know to what extent the like minded folks have responded. I personally posted to several places on the web where people with open, curious and adventurous minds dwell to "get the word out". Can you tell us how many have ordered the box(es)? How many were produced?
How about a hint on what is the "extra special subcription item"?
If I may get off topic for a second, but still on the subject of 40th anniversaries...
I know that early Mothers were an inspiration for HC, Lumpy Money a three disc set is out...it is blowing my mind....as did Stockholm and Goteburg did!
If I hold it together to get through 9 more dics from the Cow....I'll be a changed man indeed! Isn't that the point?
January 31st, 2009, 01:15 PM
AAJ's Big Nose
Extra CD Contents for Full Subscription Holders
The CD song list for the extra disc was posted over at the Faust news list:
01. pre-Virgin Demo 1 (mostly Fred) (1972 Rehearsal)
02. pre-Virgin Demo 2 (mostly Tim) (1972 Rehearsal)
03. Improvisation 1
04. Improvisation 2
05. Untitled Composition (Cooper?)
06. Exploded Amygdala / Teen Introduction
07. Lovers of Gold (from In Praise of Learning, remixed by Tim, 1984)
08. Hamburg 6 (Live, Hamburg 26.03.1976)
09. Ruins Extract (Live, Hamburg 26.03.1976)
10. Hamburg 7 (Live, Hamburg 26.03.1976)
11. Half the Sky (Live, Sendesaal, 22.03.1978
12. Extract From The Glove (from In Praise of Learning, remixed by Tim,
Looks like it's gonna be fan-freakin'-tastic!
February 1st, 2009, 06:29 AM
Thank you for getting back so soon on these questions, much appreciated. Just one thing: when I order through the cowvolumes page, the extra charge is not included in the final price there of course. Should I just order and pay the extra costs separately? And if yes, how & how much?
Originally Posted by chris cutler
Thanks again, also for making available these fascinating Cow documents.
February 1st, 2009, 06:45 AM
(This song list is freakin’ awesome!)
Can’t say how much I’m in love with your playing on ‘Stockholm/Göteborg’- one of my HC faves. Plus, I really dig the design of the boxes and the individual discs (as shown in John's phantastic article). Thanks so much to you and all the musicians, techs and artists involved.
With some truly phantastic HC footage now being around on the Vevey DVD, I wonder if there are plans at ReR to release a Cassiber live DVD , culled from (German?) TV archive materials (I’ve seen a few short snippets in a Heiner Goebbels documentary, some 5 years ago, great stuff, looked and sounded great!)
February 1st, 2009, 10:47 AM
They give and give...
and some people are never satisfied...
A great year so far, huh? Thank Chris for getting out a sample (S&G vol 6 of 10) of what is yet to come. A "Tasty sucker" indeed.
BTW, I did get the RER quarterly with the Cassix and Duck and Cover tracks...so I would like to know too...hehehe
February 1st, 2009, 12:27 PM
YEAH, the Brecht Ensemble tapes, they're brilliant…Iove that version of ‘Capital Investment’ with George Lewis and Alfred Harth, fascinating stuff!
Originally Posted by bobletteross
I was too young then to tape the complete 41 minutes off the radio (I did tape music off the radio, but I won't tell you what music...
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