Iridescent Strand cd cover
Add to basket

cd in jewel case


About the Artists

Iridescent Strand

Thanos Chrysakis, Sue Lynch, James O' Sullivan, Joe Wright

Duration 49.21 | Released October 2018

Thanos Chrysakis | laptop computer | synthesizers |

Sue Lynch | tenor saxophone | flute | clarinet |

James O’Sullivan | electric guitar |

Joe Wright | tenor saxophone + dynamic feedback system |


Recorded at OneCat Studio in London

on the 29th of November 2017 by Jon Clayton.


Edited—Mixed—Mastered by


Between June — July 2018

at Meridian Studio.

About the Artists

Thanos Chrysakis is a Greek composer, musician, producer and sound-artist. He is best known for his work in electronic and contemporary music, free improvisation, and electro-acoustic music.

With several albums to his name his work has appeared in festivals and events in numerous countries, including CYNETart Festival, Festspielhaus Hellerau - Dresden, Artus Contemporary Arts Studio – Budapest, CRUCE Gallery – Madrid, Fylkingen – Stockholm, Relative (Cross) Hearings festival – Budapest, Festival Futura – Crest - Drôme, FACT Centre – Liverpool, Association Ryoanji – Ahun - Creuse, The Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale — Hanover - New Hampshire, Areté Gallery — Brooklyn - New York, UC San Diego – California - San Diego, Berner Münster – Bern, Fabbrica del Vapore – Milan, Grünewaldsalen – Svensk Musikvår — Stockholm, Splendor – Amsterdam, Logos Foundation – Ghent, Palacio de Bellas Artes – Mexico City, Műcsarnok Kunsthalle – Budapest, Spektrum – Berlin, Susikirtimai X – Vilnius, Festival del Bosque GERMINAL – Mexico City, ДОМ – Moscow, Oosterkerk – Amsterdam, KLANG ! – Montpellier, Nádor Terem – Budapest, Utzon Centre – Aalborg, Center for New Music – San Francisco, Västerås Konstmuseum – Västerås, Störung festival – Barcelona, BMIC Cutting Edge concert series at The Warehouse – London.

His music was among the selected works at the International Competition de Musique et d'Art Sonore Electroacoustiques de Bourges 2005, in the category oeuvre d'art sonore électroacoustique, while received an honorary mention in 2006 at the 7th International Electroacoustic Competition Musica Viva in Lisbon (the jury was constituted by Morton Subotnick (USA), François Bayle (France), and Miguel Azguime (Portugal).


He operates the Aural Terrains record label since 2007 where he has released part of his work until now, alongside releases by Kim Cascone, Franscisco López, Tomas Phillips, Dan Warburton, Szilárd Mezei, Michael Edwards, Wade Matthews, Dganit Elyakim, Edith Alonso, Luis Tabuenca, Jeff Gburek, Philippe Petit, Steve Noble, Milo Fine and David Ryan among others.


He has written music for musicians of the Hyperion Ensemble, the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, the Hermes Ensemble, the Nemø Ensemble, the Konus Saxophone Quartett, and the Shadanga Duo among others. Close collaborations with Tim Hodgkinson, Vincent Royer, Chris Cundy, Yoni Silver, Lori Freedman, Jason Alder, Julie Kjaer, Henriette Jensen, William Lang, Wilfrido Terrazas, Philippe Brunet, Wade Matthews, Ernesto Rodrigues, Ove Volquartz to name but a few.

Picture of Thanos Chrysakis

Sue Lynch (Tenor saxophone/clarinet/flute/composition)
She currently runs ‘The Horse Improvised Music Club’ with Adam Bohman, Hutch Demouilplied and Adrian Northover. Performs with Adam Bohman, Eddie Prevost, Richard Sanderson, John Edwards, Steve Noble, Crystabel Riley, Caroline Kraabel and Sharon Gal.
In 2015 she performed with Maria Vatentina’s opera ‘Mannequin’ and in 2016 as part of Tarek Atoui’s ‘Reverse Collection’ at The Tate Modern. She performs with Psychedelic Afro Beat Sudanese band ‘The Scorpios’, performing at the 2018 Womad Festival. Sue Lynch is currently one of the featured musicians for The British Music Collection interviews with 'Unpredictable Series' presented by Steve Beresford and Blanca Regina.
In 2016 she formed, ‘Paradise Yard’, an electro accoustic ensemble, performing at Iklectik, Cafe Oto and The ICA. In 2018, she performed at 3 Klange Tag Festival (celebrating literature and improvisation),in a duo with Hildegard Kleeb.


Picture of Sue Lynch

Using a combination of feedback, conventional guitar techniques and instrumental preparations, London-based musician
James O' Sullivan exploits the full sonic potential of electric guitar and amplifier, relating them meaningfully to the immediate physical environment.

His interest in improvisation, recording and performance has led him to record and perform across the UK and internationally, both solo and with numerous improvised music groups. More longstanding arrangements include Found Drowned, a trio with Pete Marsh and Paul May, and his collaboration with Thanos Chrysakis on several releases on the Aural Terrains imprint. 

His debut solo album, 'feed back couple', was released in 2011. His second solo album, IL Y A,  is out now on the Linear Obsessional imprint.

Picture of James O' Sullivan

Joe Wright is a London-based musician, sound designer and researcher with an interest in experimental music, curiosity-driven musical interaction and neurodiversity. He has performed across the UK and Europe as a soloist and collaborator in various projects, these include: duck-rabbit, an electroacoustic trio with Tom Taylor and James Opstad; Onina volatile electronics duo with James L Malone; and solo work exploring disruptive feedback systems with the saxophone. In all cases, active or unstable sonic material is sought that disrupts comfortable or familiar interactions between performer and instrument. Joe also works in inclusive theatre/arts as a composer, sound designer and performer with aboutNOWish and Ellie Griffithshelping to create immersive work for neurodiverse audiences. 

 His PhD research incorporates his practical experience in these fields by exploring the design of digital musical instruments for exploratory sonic play with/for young people on the autistic spectrum. The research, now nearing its completion, has produced a digital musical instrument, research tools, and design strategies that aim to broaden the range of musical/sonic experiences available to young people with complex needs.


Picture of Joe Wright


Darren Bergstein — The Squid's Ear — 21.05.2019

The latest reorganization and redistribution of electroacoustic improv tropes from the consistently fascinating Aural Terrains label finds a quartet of red-taloned sprites traversing blasted landscapes, leaving a broadly splattered residue of sonic detritus in their wake. Iridescent Strand is another in AT main-man Thanos Chrysakis's ever-persistent forays into the netherworlds of arcane texture, surreptitious drone, and choice instrumentation bent into heretofore unnatural and arresting shapes.

The five untitled sections proffer abrupt track outros and are indexed separately, ostensibly for random playback, yet they are all of a single piece, an interconnected suite whose parts import a more visceral power and intensity when experienced as a whole. And the intensity level is there, as are the variegated sounds, smartly-positioned 'movements', and the rest of the telepathic nuance required to keep the attendant squawk, brap, and bleet unified, focused, and inviting to the ears. Chrysakis is a seasoned, old hand at this; it might well be his orchestrations that provide the necessary conductivity to hold his three contributors' sinew in place, but regardless, it's clear this is a group effort. And those contributors aren't exactly novices either. Both Sue Lynch and Joe Wright let their horns rip through the surrounding fug with a vengeance, not in an overtly Coltrane-ian sense but in a manner carefully calculated, prone to stealthily moving about the soundfield, often engulfing Chrysakis's circuit-warped voodoo like obstreperous wraiths. Meanwhile, James O'Sullivan's shredded guitar bits weave and bob, happily channeling the firth of Frith and Elliott Sharp's myriad, boiling entanglements.

Is there a method to all this madness? The ends in this case surely justify the means, and when all is said and done, with music of this stripe that's really all that matters. The requisite 'madness' here lies in the visceral, sharp elbows of the music; spiky, confrontational, and piquant for its breadth, the quartet ingrain their evolving textures with a perfect amount of curatorial grit. There's no doubt that the historical antecedents for Chrysakis and Co. lie in the work of such venerated outfits as AMM and Musica Elettronica Viva, all three sharing a distinct, nearly intuitive ability to cultivate sounds, gestures, and the odd 'silence' to augur furtive environments where sounds intermingle and clash when appropriate. And the various "Strands" on display here all tickle the lobes with great facility. Even when the different sections sound alternatively like a robot being systematically eviscerated, the innards of a spaceship taken apart with childlike glee, or the babbling scree of a thousand cybernetic organisms being birthed through liquid lava tubes, the imaginative performances on display are never less than galvanizing. Supercharged EAI, as fleet as a flyby.



Orynx— Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg — 04.01.2019


Iridescent Strand, une œuvre sonore constituée de cinq parties numérotées I, II, III, IV et V. Un ensemble instrumental atypique : Thanos Chrysakis, le responsable du label, laptop computer et synthétiseurs, Sue Lynch, sax ténor, flûte et clarinette,James Sullivan, guitare électrique et Joe Wright, sax ténor + « dynamic feedback system ». Une telle instrumentation indique au premier abord que les artistes travaillent au cœur de la musique alternative expérimentale et/ou improvisée. Leur méthode dans l’improvisation, leurs modes de jeux, l’étagement des sons et leur imbrication dans l’instant créatif les rapprochent plus du courant AMM que de l’interactivité qui découle de l’expérience du Spontaneous Music Ensemble, John Russell, Phil Wachsmann etc…  Comme toujours pour ses propres productions pourAural Terrains, le compositeur - improvisateur Thanos Chrysakis a opté pour une œuvre graphique géométrique sur le recto de la pochette. Avec une couleur dominante verte foncée – noire, elle est faite de courbes disposées autour d’alignements verticaux, de surfaces arrondies d’un côté hachurées et traversées de lignes  droites horizontales ou obliques parallèles évoquant (peut être) une partition graphique. L’imbrication des sons électroniques abrasifs et étirés, des froissements des colonnes d’air des saxophones, du traitement du feedback, des effets saturés de la guitare, des drones décalés, leur étalement dans le temps trouvent quelque correspondances temporelles avec l’ordonnancement de ces motifs géométriques et leur perspectives. Ceux-ci sont  l’œuvre du graphiste Carlos Santos, lui-même responsable du graphisme du label Creative Sources. On découvre des liens esthétiques évidents entre ce label portugais et la musique d’Iridescent. Une écoute attentive de leur continuum sonore, dont chaque partie plonge dans le silence par la vertu du fading ou d’une coupure nette (dans la partie V) à la fin de chacune d’elles, révèle la profonde cohérence et l’intensité croissante et obsessionnelle de la musique. Un déroulement dans l’infini qui ne trouve de solution que dans l’instant et par l’activité sonore collective et une écoute astucieuse.  Un excellent album.

Eyal Hareuveni - The Free Jazz Blog - 11.08.20

Iridescent Strand brings together Chrysakis who plays laptop computer and synthesizers; Sue Lynch, who runs The Horse Improvised Music Club in London, on tenor saxophone, flute, and clarinet; James O’Sullivan on electric guitar, who use a combination of feedback, conventional guitar techniques, and instrumental preparations in order to exploit the full sonic potential of electric guitar and amplifier; and Joe Wright on tenor saxophone and dynamic feedback system, who has an interest in curiosity-driven musical interaction and neurodiversity. The album was recorded at OneCat Studio in London in November 2017.

The five-parts electroacoustic Iridescent Strand focuses on sonic research: methodical, patient, and quiet, where the electronic noises and feedback blend and often veil the extended breathing techniques and other preparations of the guitar of O’Sullivan. This kind of layered, highly nuanced improvisation strategy brings to mind seminal outfits like AMM and Musica Elettronica Viva or the sonic ambiguity of outfits like Polwechsel. The chaotic, abstract interplay of the first two parts shifts slowly into a more collective sonic organism and into a mysterious, loosely structured texture.

Todd M. McComb — Jazz Thoughts — 3.01.2019

Thanos Chrysakis returns with another quartet of deterritorialized (or deconstructed) sounds reterritorialized into classic forms: Iridescent Strand was recorded in London in November 2017, and features five tracks from Chrysakis himself (credited with laptop computer & synthesizers), Sue Lynch on reeds, James O'Sullivan on electric guitar, and Joe Wright on tenor saxophone with dynamic feedback system. (O'Sullivan has appeared with Chrysakis before, e.g. mentioned here in March 2015 around Asphodels Abide, while Lynch & Wright appear to be new collaborators: I found nothing by Wright, but Lynch has recorded with The Remote Viewers.) A horn is sometimes recognizable, although generally blended into the overall texture, but not always, and most sounds seem to be highly processed. For instance, the striking opening with its loud bass roar around various strange bounces & boings suggests an origin on guitar for the latter, but the latter might also be synthesized or related to whatever this "dynamic feedback system" is doing with the tenor sax. Harmonics fly, bass is generally big (despite no obvious bassist), ringing tones develop, and before the album's end there's a sort of metallic gonging — such that, once again, one might associate metallic sounds with the guitar? In between, there's all kinds of pitch bending, a bit (at least) of sampling, various loops (I guess?), some industrial buzz, and even a bit of horn skronk.... As "dynamic feedback" suggests, and as Chrysakis' previous keyboard work has already suggested (especially for organ, e.g. Music for Two Organs & Two Bass Clarinets, discussed here in May), there's a unifying overall texture, and indeed an evocation of some of the happenings of Pauline Oliveros' late Phase/transitions triple album. (The sorts of sounds that break up the larger textures are surprisingly similar in both.) One might also note the precedent of the dual electronics setup on Skiagraphía, which suggests more of a surging, ambient wave. (Despite the substantial electronic manipulation, sax & viola might actually be more identifiably themselves on the latter album.) I've noted before how Chrysakis excels at highlighting particular musical elements on the fly, thus drawing a structure into existence out of seemingly chaotic sounds, and Iridescent Strand indeed seems to consist of studies on molding or fusing deterritorialized sounds into e.g. grooves or recitatives, such that they come to take on an eerie familiarity despite their disembodiment. It's almost as though Chrysakis is taming & rearticulating (or sculpting) wild or orphaned sound fragments. (And as the synthesizers credit suggests, he adds some sounds of his own, including "spacey" sounds that quickly reassimilate to the texture.) Although sonically unfamiliar, and sometimes dissonant, the result comes to have real sensual appeal.... Iridescent Strand is thus a transformative album, generating (relative, musical) simplicity from (timbral) chaos — a real-time study in sonic form & perception — always finding a way forward. (Simplicity per se might be overrated, but we do need a way forward amid chaos today, and so such a result definitely seems relevant.)

Jan Faix — His Voice magazine — 19.08.19

[ CZ ]

Neúnavný světoběžník, experimentující skladatel, improvizátor a odborník na počítačový processing, Thanos Chrysakis, nahrával na podzim roku 2017 v londýnském studiu OneCat. Výsledky zveřejnil zatím na dvou albech skrze vlastní label Aural Terrains.

Na obou nejnovějších nahrávkách najdeme Chrysakise u syntezátorů a laptopu obklopeného vždy jinou trojicí hudebníků. S elektronickými nástroji je velice precizní, umí vytvářet rozličné ambientní plochy i mnohem konkrétnější syntetické či samplované party, ve zvukovém prostoru alb je klasickým nástrojům (zde především dechům) hlavně rovnocenným partnerem s obdobnou flexibilitou. Dlouhodobě mu je bližší spíše absolutně hudební myšlení, i tracky na obou aktuálních CD jsou vlastně jen očíslované.


Notně expresivnější dobrodružství nabízí poslech o pár měsíců staršího, též pětitrackového souboru Iridescent Strand. S Chrysakisem je nahrála Sue Lynch na saxofon, klarinet a flétnu (s výše uvedenou Caroline Kraabel jsou obě členkami našim čtenářům již dobře známé formace The Remote Viewers), Joe Wright vedle saxofonu přispěl i prací se zpětnými vazbami a s elektrickou kytaru zde experimentuje Chrysakisův častý kolega James O’Sullivan. Výchozím přístupem je tu opět volná improvizace, avšak oproti Music for Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinets & Electronics lze tady od prvních vteřin pozorovat mnohem živější a nevyzpytatelnější energii. Barvy se vrství do mnohem zahuštěnějších struktur, posluchač si může být příjemně nejistý v podstatě po celých bezmála padesát minut desky. Skrze kytaru a elektroniku se do celkového přediva dostává mnohem více zvukové špíny, tu překvapí pisklavé výšky, tu proletí subbas, jinde skoro industriální rachot, dechy poletují v rozsazích i ve stereoobrazu. Kdo by hledal střední cestu mezi zběsilým powerfreejazzem a táhlým ambientem, neměl by toto CD opomenout. Akce tu střídá akci, periodicity jsou spíše kratšího trvání, elektroakustických zvukových kombinací je nepřeberně. Mne osobně tu nejvíce zaujaly šťavnatě zkreslené kytarové preparace.

Obě nové desky pokračují v dlouhodobě nastavené estetice Chrysakisova vydavatelství, obě přitom nesou svůj vlastní abstraktní příběh. Nezbývá, než se s nimi seznámit na vlastní uši.

Peter Vercauteren — Gonzo Magazine — 23.08.2019

[ Flemish ]

Vier muzikanten, vijf composities en zeven verschillende instrumenten. We zouden kunnen onthullen dat het hier gaat om onder andere saxofoon, klarinet en gitaar, maar dat is bijzonder relatief als je weet dat de geïmproviseerde klanken bijna allemaal genadeloos door de laptop van Chrysakis gejaagd worden, om er onherkenbaar terug uit te komen. Geen idee dus waar de drones, metaalklanken en gecontroleerde feedback werkelijk vandaan komen. Bovendien worden de instrumenten ook niet conventioneel bespeeld. De gitaar wordt op schoot genomen, de klarinet klinkt als een piepende deur, en het lijkt alsof de saxofoons opgevuld werden met vuile voetbalsokken. Over jazz en improvisatie willen we op elk moment van de dag een boompje opzetten, maar deze cd landt volgens ons qua totaalklank toch eerder in de afdeling elektro-akoestische muziek. Zeker wanneer iets metaalachtig neerstort tegen een achtergrond van basdreunen en verroest snarengeschraap, schiet ons spontaan vergelijkingsmateriaal te binnen uit ons eigen referentiekader: Zeitkratzer en het debuutalbum van Nurse With Wound.