Figments of Imagination





Mark Prendergast
Altair 5 "GP HALL

Figments of the Imagination (FMR Records) Graham Peter Hall is one of the very 
true mavericks of the English music scene.

Growing up through the London rhythm and blues and psychedelic music scenes
of the 1960's he fixed on the idea of 'mechanical sculptures in music' in the 1970's
and invented the concept of 'industrial sound sculptures' where the sounds of
flamenco, jazz and hard rock would be linked with more unconventional noises.

His eighties records on Colors and Kenwest were some of the best instrumental
music of the period. His new album works as a career summary.
Its eight tracks cover a welter of sound.
A remarkably original record."

 

Dann Chinn 15.2.97
for Absolute Jazz

"Hall is a man whose sheer diversity enables him to fit into any atmospheric context."
"Industry, in fact is a lasting preoccupation on the record. Some of Hall's most
 satisfying and melodically rich work springs from his digression from free jazz
into what he calls 'industrial sound sculptures' - the sounds of effects-treated
electric instruments played with an assortment of metals, household objects
and consumer items such as battery fans and electric shavers.

The results are like John cage's instrument - abusing rebellions bent to the
service of Gil Evan's sound tapestries.

On 'Figments of Imagination's 1994 title track, Hall embellishes his electric
guitar and Diana Van-Lock's terse violin with a six-string bass manacled with a 
crocodile clip and (again) strummed by steel bar.
Over the resultant rich, rippling, delay-looped wash, David Ford and Vicky
Burke engage trumpet and soprano sax with an interplay reminiscent of the
best of the best of Mark Isham.

Working solo, Hall delivers the most modern and possibly the loveliest
track on the record in the shape of 'Heat On The Horizon'. 
A slow, blue-classical acoustic melody meditates over a dark haze of sound
formed by deconstructed autoharps and gonging, tube-swept Stratocaster:
flickering like the memory of a distant sunset seen across a plain.
This is music you can practically touch, that leaves marks on the air and
textures hovering on the fingertips. Infusing, subverting, refining
and redefining traditions.

GP Hall has been using them to build us new places in which to live and
listen for years now - it's time you checked out his passionate musical
architecture."

Gus Garside from Rubberneck 55

"A great pleasure when GP Hall re-emerged on the latest edition of Unknown
Public.
Flamenco-style guitarist and composer of no mean skill, he combines 
instrumental ability with an intelligent experimentalism, using electronics, 
preparations and adapted instruments. Figments (1974-95) also features
greats like Lol Coxhill, Jeff Clyne, Lyn Dobson and Paul Rutherford.

Hall's music belongs to a personal territory and is best served on the
solo tracks.

With another retrospective due out on FMR in early 1997, perhaps
his time has come."

Dale Smoak
Cadence Magazine USA

"Hall presents what could be taken as a retrospective of his music, given
its chronological range.
Underpinning it all however, is flamenco music, whether in the straightforward
solo context of "Rio Magdalena," the layered solo recording and prepared 
instruments of "Mevva Coast" and "Heat on the Horizon," or the ensemble
improvising on "New Town Suite," "Glider," "Full Moon Over Madrid" and 
"Saw Mill Adagio" - even when, as on the latter three pieces, a significant
portion of Halls playing is on 6-string bass.
On "Glider and Full Moon," Hall runs his bass through a delay, but
despite his choice of instrument and technique, the flamenco feel is still
front-and-center.

Hall leads a fine cast of players, but it's his production, composition and
arranging, more than anything, that have marked this disc as an organic fusion of
flamenco and Jazz sensibilities."


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