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About the Artists


Steve Noble, Yoni Silver

Duration 37.12 | Released June 2017

Steve Noble - Drum and percussion

Yoni Silver – Bass clarinet


Recorded by Yoni Silver on April 7th and July 4th 2016 at Ping Pong Studios. Edited and Mixed by Yoni Silver. Mastered by Thanos Chrysakis at Meridian Studio.

Dedicated to Alexander Silver Schendar.



About the Artists

Steve Noble is London's leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Stephen O'Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more.

In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including Company Weeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey's excellent TV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book ‘Improvisation; its nature and practice’. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and currently leads the groups N.E.W (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins).

Picture of Steve Noble

Yoni Silver is a London based performer, bass clarinetist and multi-instrumentalist.

He works within a wide array of different and mostly experimental frameworks: different forms of improvisation, Noise, (Hyper)Spectral music, Performance and composition. Besides his main instrument, the bass clarinet, he plays on the alto sax, violin, piano, computer, voice and other instruments.

His bass clarinet sound is characterised by unique techniques and ‘instrumental prosthetics’ which he has developed and which have allowed him to shift the woodwind sound palette into the realm of electronics and Noise.

He has appeared on such labels as Creative Sources, Confront Recordings, Wasted Capital, Chocolate Monk, Edition Modern, and has collaborated and performed with musicians Mark Sanders, Tim Hodgkinson, Dylan Nyoukis, Sharon Gal, Hatam/Hacklander, Primate Arena, Thanos Chrysakis, Birgit Ulher, the Israeli Contemporary Players and the Hyperion Ensemble (Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana Maria Avram) and many others.

Picture of Yoni Silver


The Squid's Ear — Massimo Ricci — 3.11.17

Thanos Chrysakis' Aural Terrains celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Not a minor accomplishment, considering the level of competition - so to speak - distinguishing the sonic field inside which the label operates. Each new AT release attempts to raise the bar in a quest for improved artistic significance while not overlooking the sheer aesthetic attributes of interactions involving sets of players (or more unsocial investigations such as, for example, Edith Alonso's brilliant Collapse).

That said, Home represents a rather engrossing outing. Highlighting the rational consciousness of percussionist Steve Noble and multi-instrumentalist Yoni Silver (here exclusively on bass clarinet), the album comprises four improvised sets. Its overall pace is definable as measured, sometimes even reflective, notwithstanding both musicians' capability of augmenting the vibrational magnitude and the roughness of the timbral grain when new creative intuitions suggest it.

A striking quality amidst many is the absolute control shown by Noble and Silver, literally in every instant of performance. It takes a life entirely consecrated to the pursuance of meaningful sounds to get this result: a sensate coalescence of unfaltering pitches, pulverized upper partials and relative peacefulness, now and then spiced by a pinch of buzzing grit. Technical orthodoxy and transcendence of the physical being turn the interplay into a fresco of varying luminescences not deprived of stronger shades.

One may have listened a thousand times to a bowed cymbal, or to a reed's bell eliciting a metal sheet's vibration. Not only this duo exalts the harmonious features of those well-known components; they merge them within a “dynamic wisdom” that causes familiar gradations to appear fresher and ultimately more interesting to a listener's ear. Persistent, yet not obsessive; snoopy, but not foolish. Noble and Silver prove how an improvisation can still be identified by the adjective “clever”: this, too, is not a secondary achievement


Andy Hamilton — The WIRE [406] — December 2017

The second of this column's three improv duos are the most conventionally tonal and closest to jazz, though still a long way from either. Both players are London based — Steve Noble is a long established percussionist, while Yoni Silver is a bass clarinettist and multi-instrumentalist who works in improv, noise and what he calls (hyper) spectral music. He's developed "instrumental prosthetics" for bass clarinet, shifting the woodwind palette into electronics and noise. Four tracks across 37 minutes offer a unique range of sonic effects — tintinnabular, kazoo-like, turkey gobbling and multiphonic — that make for a beautiful and coherent musical world.

Orynx— Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg —12.11.2017


Aural Terrains, le label du compositeur  Thanos Chrysakis, nous offre un superbe enregistrement en duo entre le clarinettiste Yoni Silver et le percussionniste Steve Noble. Le Londonien Steve Noble est connu pour sa participation à des aventures musclées avec Alan Wilkinson, Peter Brötzmann etc… mais il faut absolument suivre sa démarche de percussionniste - improvisateur radical, spécialement avec le clarinettiste Yoni Silver, lui aussi installé à Londres. C’est principalement avec un archet frottant cymbales (chinoises), gongs, crotales que Steve Noble crée des vibrations métalliques, des résonances cuivrées et des crissements en suspension dans l’espace qui rencontrent les harmoniques et le souffle vagabond de Yoni Silver. L’écoute mutuelle est intense, tout autant que la qualité sonore. Ce qui pourrait être un effet exploité durant quelques minutes avant de passer à autre chose est ici mis en œuvre de manière intensive et jusqu’au boutiste. Il faut entendre les gémissements de la peau du tambour sous le frottement d’une cymbale chinoise pressée contre elle. Des voix irréelles prennent corps des manipulations maniaques du métal contre les peaux entremêlées de résonances de cloches – gongs et s’allient magiquement aux grincements aigus de la colonne d’air. Steve Noble va aussi loin qu’Eddie Prévost dans sa recherche sonore (cfr Loci of Change). Home est un fantastique album qui met en évidence la face cachée de la percussion et d’un souffle chercheur : les deux artistes créent des connections magiques. Les timbres et les vibrations sonores de chaque musicien s’interpénètrent, se confondent, leurs extrêmes se rejoignent. Maître-achat improvisation radicale.

[published also in the Improjazz magazine 243]


Composer Thanos Chrysakis's Aural Terrains label brings us a superb duo recording of clarinetist Yoni Silver and percussionist Steve Noble. Londoner Steve Noble is known for taking part in the muscular adventures of Alan Wilkinson Peter Brötzmann and others…but it is absolutely essential to discover his work as a radical improviser and percussionist especially with clarinetist Yoni Silver, who also lives in London. Noble uses primarily a bow to generate metallic vibrations on Chinese cymbals, gongs and crotales, with brassy harmonics and squeals that hang in the air. There, they encounter Yoni Silver’s harmonics and wandering phrases. The mutual listening is intense, as is the sound quality, so what could have been an effect exploited for a few minutes before passing on to something else is, instead, fully worked out in an intensive and fully exhaustive manner. You have to hear the drum heads moaning at the touch of the Chinese cymbals. Unreal voices that emerge from the manic manipulations of metal against the skin intermingle with the resonant cry of bells and gongs that magically melds into the high screeches of the clarinet. Steve Noble goes as far as Eddie Prévost in his exploration of sound (for example, in, Loci of Change) Home is a fantastic album that brings out the hidden side of percussion, and of a searching woodwind player: the two artists forge magical connections as each musician’s timbres and sonic vibrations melt and mix until the circle is completed. A masterpiece of radical improvisation.


Eyal Hareuveni — Free Jazz Blog — 16.02.2018

When Israeli bass clarinet player Yoni Silver relocated to London he began meeting with drummer Steve Noble for weekly sessions that lasted about two years and led to the recording of Home. The album was recorded during two session on April and July 2016 and is dedicated to Silver's newborn son Alexander Silver Schendar. Both Noble and Silver are clever and inventive improvisers, informed by free jazz but not committing themselves to any form or convention. Noble has played with innovative improvisers such as Derek Bailey, Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker, Thurston Moore, and Joe McPhee. Silver plays in the Hyperion Ensemble of Romanian composers Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana Maria Avram, played with German trumpeter Birgit Ulher, recorded with Israeli metal-circus-core band Midnight Peacocks, and with composer Dganit Elyakim. Silver has developed a unique technique for the bass clarinet - instrumental prosthetics - that enables him to expand the woodwind sonic palette into the realm of electronics and noise.
The first two pieces begin as quiet rituals, almost meditative, with super-precise and hyper-detailed search of common resonating, buzzing and sustained sounds. Patiently, Noble and Silver expand and deepen their sonic palette, transforming the ritualistic interplay into an intense, tense and dense texture. The third and fourth pieces extend this quiet approach with an unsettling dynamics, still totally attentive and exploratory, but with a conflictual spirit, allowing their reserved sonic storms to intrude and clash with each other Noble and Silver conclude this sonic meditation with a full return to the to the ritualistic mode that opened this recording. But like the Zen Buddhist circle, Ensō, the return only symbolize the beauty of the transient, imperfect spirit of the moment.

Jan Starý | The Aardvark | 18.07.2018


Čím více kolaboruješ, tím volnějším jsi improvizátorem, chce se glosovat při pohledu na resumé vážených osobností z okruhu volné improvizace. Více než v jakékoli jiné scéně tu platí, že jakmile se dostaneme do druhého nebo třetího řádu spolupracovníků, vynoří se globální síť. Okolnosti i výsledky společných improvizací ale samozřejmě bývají různé.
Porozumění, které nalezli Steve Noble a Yoni Silver, je z nejlepších. Bubeník Noble tu zastává roli veterána se třemi dekádami zkušeností z britské improvizační scény, který si zahrál také se slavnými (free)jazzmany Peterem Brötzmannem nebo Wadadou Leo Smithem. Příznivci alternativy a metalu jej zase mohou znát z působení v projektu Æthenor (porůznu Stephen O'Malley, Daniel O'Sullivan nebo i Kristoffer Rygg či David Tibet) a duu s O'Malleym. V současnosti se pohybuje v aktivní scéně kolem londýnského Café Oto – stejně jako klarinetista Silver. Ten už několik kolaborací také stihl, výčet je však mnohem skromnější. Za zmínku stojí působení ve spektralistickém souboru Hyperion Ensemble, a to zejména proto, že naznačuje možnou inspiraci této nahrávky.
Spektralismus jako kompoziční přístup jde na věc vědecky, pomocí spektrální analýzy zvuku, z pohledu laika však jde především o volné struktury a manipulace barvy zvuku, harmonií a alikvot, které ale stále působí poměrně logicky a organicky. Album Home pak představuje jeho intuitivní obdobu: trpělivé ohledávání zvukových možností nástrojů, které i díky absenci elektronické manipulace vyznívá povědomě.
„Zvukové hody tu nikdy neruší samoúčelné instrumentální exhibice nebo návraty ke konvenčnímu jazzu.“

Tvůrčí postupy jsou přitom dost radikální, a to zejména v případě bicích. Steve Noble evidentně nesouhlasí s názorem, že jde primárně o rytmický nástroj, a pomocí rozšířených technik z nich vytvořil zvukostroj, ve kterém je jediným zapovězeným postupem klasický úder. Hraní smyčcem na činel je jen začátek, tady se pracuje se škálou paliček, ozvěn a preparačních postupů, které vytvářejí ruchy a šumy, ale také zvonivé tóny s až sakrální atmosférou. Silverův klarinet v téhle situaci působí bezmála krotce, jelikož se převážně omezuje na kratší drony, jindy je ale rezonance obou nástrojů překvapivě těžké rozlišit.
Na Home struktury absentují, přesto díky klarinetovým plochám není těžké tok hudby sledovat. Celek je někdy plný horečnatých, chaotických vzruchů, jindy se dotýká ticha, převážně však plyne v pomalém tempu, které umožňuje ocenit bohatství detailů. Klíčovou metaforou pro pochopení a ocenění alba může být textura: nepravidelná plocha plná překvapivých konkrétností. Poslech Home připomíná trpělivý, pozorný pohled třeba na omítku nebo kůru stromu, který se nezaměřuje na vzorce a celek, ale naopak ve zdánlivé fádnosti objevuje nepředvídatelnost, anebo rovnou hmatový kontakt se syrovým materiálem.
Home je spíš standardní než revoluční nahrávka, v této kategorii však patří k naprosté špičce. Zaprvé, Noble a Silver si tu perfektně rozumějí a skvěle se doplňují. A pak je potřeba vyzdvihnout konzistenci alba jednak z hlediska čisté zábavnosti, jednak výrazově – zvukové hody tu nikdy neruší samoúčelné instrumentální exhibice nebo návraty ke konvenčnímu jazzu. Přelom na poli volné improvizace je z definice přístupu takřka nemožný, takto kvalitní nahrávky ovšem potvrzují, že ani není nutný.