Chris Parfitt – soprano saxophone, flute, piano, loops, vocals, percussion
Tim Rancelant – tenor saxophone, flute, spoken word, percussion
Stuart Revill – guitar, effects, percussion
The group came into being in 2005 to provide a vehicle for shared improvisational development beyond their playing partnership in the Brighton Safehouse Improvising and Experimental Music Collective formed the previous year by Stuart Revill and Geoff Hearn – a venture inspired by the original Safehouse initiative in Poole, Dorset, led by the now sadly deceased Steve Harris of ZAUM; Revill & Hearn were longstanding friends of Steve, and saxophonist Geoff a member of ZAUM since the band’s inception.
The ensuing years have seen this trio develop its own unique identity, playing together regularly in varied settings and performances alongside occasional studio recordings, appearing throughout this time under the name ‘21grams’.
Throughout their existence, the music is always completely improvised – the increasing incorporation of Spoken Word sharing the same spontaneity in both conception and occurrence.
At the group’s inception, all 3 members brought with them a rich portfolio of experience – professional and personal as well as musical, all 3 having explored wide and varied musical and creative journeys before this venture in their quests for musical identity and fulfillment. Their shared voyage in this trio has now resulted in the emergence of 3 musicians with individual ‘voices’ and the growing confidence of experience to trust the music within themselves and then ‘combine it’ with a shared sense of wonder as their ensemble pieces take form; each piece being given the freedom to establish its own shape, texture and possibility. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Spoken Word pieces – narratives that begin a story, entice, and then leave open to possibility, alongside instrumental passages which range in character and intensity – all played with a sense of adventure; always inventive, occasionally irreverent – even within the idioms of Improvised Music.
‘Switch’ is the group’s debut CD and presents material drawn from recent visits into the recording studio. On each occasion, a 1 hour set was recorded entirely live and in its entirety. Each session used the same recording studio and engineer – no pre-planning, no rehearsals, no overdubbing or additional takes. Whilst the 6 tracks were recorded on separate occasions, they have been assembled as a programme of music and proposed as a continuing listening experience.
The trio’s own ’switch’ of identity, from 21grams to 4thirtythree is deliberate and considered.
With their music now achieving the maturity and unique identity by which this launch is defined, the 3 members are keen to signify their shared ambition for their music, and intentions to combine this with their work as visual artists and writers – both in individual and collective practice.
The overt reference to John Cage’s 4′33” and its intentional challenge to the boundaries of music and listening is reflected in the aims of the group.
Of equal significance and inspiration is Cage’s longstanding creative partnerships with artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, and the dancer, Merce Cunningham, echoing as it does 4thirtythree’s ambitions for future projects which, like their music, isn’t restricted by boundaries.