Two Silent Schnauzers

by Cyanotype

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about

This version of Cyanotype came together for a performance at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the fall of 2015. Although Dan, Chris, Laurent, and I had all played together before in various settings it was the first time the four of us had played together as a quartet. After the performance we all felt great about the music, and agreed that we should get together for more performances and perhaps do a recording session. As Laurent so eloquently puts it, “This quartet—almost against all odds—is constituted by four very different personalities and aesthetics, yet it remains perfectly balanced. The sound is the quartet’s spine, from which every single idea or discovery—melodic, noisy, or rhythmic—is welcome, allowing for total freedom.”

On a bright Saturday afternoon in November the four of us arrived at Dan Lilley’s house in Raleigh for the recording session that led to this album. We were greeted at the door by a pair of barking schnauzers. “It’s OK,” Dan L. assured us. “They’ll quiet down once you start playing. They seem to love music and often accompany me when I’m listening, regardless of how loud it is.” I didn’t believe him. At all. I was afraid we’d be in the middle of a great take that would be interrupted by a woof, growl, or yip and have to scrap the whole thing. Turns out he was right; those schnauzers didn’t make a peep, no matter how far out we got. They seemed to be transfixed by the sound. One even laid down next to Laurent while he was playing.

The two hour-plus session felt great, and at the end we were all exhausted in the very best way. After each take Dan L.—who recorded us with his hi-fi binaural rig—would comment on the music. He was always supportive, but he was especially excited that day. After we recorded “For DTL,” he remarked, “Wow, that was transcendent.” He had some of the biggest ears of anyone I’ve ever met. A few months after the session he had an accident at his home, and passed away several days later. I didn’t know Dan well, and I had only met him a few times, but it crushed me. I will always remember that session, Dan’s generosity and passion, the music, and those two silent schnauzers.

—Chris Robinson

credits

released August 12, 2016

Laurent Estoppey, soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones
Chris Eubank, cello
Chris Robinson, baritone saxophone
Dan Ruccia, viola

Recorded November 21, 2015 at Nordon Grocery
Engineered in glorious binaural sound by Dan Lilley
Mastered by Andrew Weathers

All compositions by Estoppey/Eubank/Robinson/Ruccia

© 2016 Traumatic Harmony (ASCAP)

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Cyanotype Durham, North Carolina

Cyanotype is an oft-changing collective of NC-based improvisers.

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