Jim Denley: alto saxophone, flutes and electronics
Kim Myhr: acoustic guitar and simple mechanics

Jim Denley and Kim Myhr met in Sydney in early 2007, and "Systems
Realignment" was recorded six months later. Since then the duo has done
numerous concerts in Europe and Australia. "Systems Realignment" is not
only a completely new take on guitar/saxophone combinations, but an
attempt to rethink their fundamental musical methodology. There is an
interest in materiality, almost at a primitive level, without being
embarrassed to work with resulting harmonic structures. Frequency and
rhythm is examined, but not within conventional grids. Perhaps the
positivity of the result, comes from the project not rejecting other musics,
but embracing elements from a vast range of sources ranging form
traditional to contemporary and electronic music. The result is a lush and
surprising flurry of acoustic, electronic and mechanical gestures.

Track List:
01. Flurried Plainsong
02. Original Sing
03. Interlaced Codes Etching
04. Engraved And Suspended
05. Sonic Rockart
06. Anima Metal Breath
07. Systems Realignment
08. Sabretoothed Flickerfest
09. The Singing Neanderthal
10. Deconsingsong

Jim Denley is Australia’s foremost improviser with a career spanning over
three decades.  An emphasis on spontaneity, site-specific work and
collaboration has been central to his work. He sees no clear distinctions
between his roles as instrumentalist, improviser and composer. He was
recently awarded a Fellowship by the Australia Council for 2006 & 2007 and
is currently working towards a paradigm shift in the notion and perception
of the saxophone; to establish it’s relevance to ancient and current
traditions in Australian music, and to extend it's range with the addition of
innovative electronics and miking.

Kim Myhr is a young and innovative guitarist with a vivid and fresh
approach to his instrument. With an emphasis on a wide range of
percussive, harmonic and timbral effects on the acoustic guitar, he has
embarked on an international career with performances throughout
Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. His other projects these days
is a duo with Sebastien Roux (electronics/FR), the trio MURAL with Denley
and Ingar Zach and the group “Silencers” with Benoit Delbecq (piano/FR).
He has  also performed with Martin Tetreault, Anthony Pateras, Toshi
Nakamura, Tetuzi Akiyama, Robbie Avenaim to mention a few.

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catalog number: either/1
artist: JIM DENLEY & KIM MYHR
title: Systems Realignment
format: CD
status: sold out
JUST OUTSIDE  (March 2009)
Denley (alto sax, flutes, electronics) and Myhr (acoustic guitar, "simple
mechanics") here fashion capable free improv with a nod toward Australian
native traditions, the latter not done overtly but more by passing
references to the hums associated with the didgeridoo and dry, clattering
sounds that evoke the skittering of birds and other desert fauna. Both
possess an attractive clarity of sound, allowing a strong sense of
spaciousness into the music at the same time avoiding many free improv
routines. Myrh, who I've not previously heard, is an engaging guitarist,
even more so (I get the impression) when he plays "straighter" as on a
solo piece here, "Engraved and Suspended". Overall, a fairly enjoyable
pathway trod between an EAI-y approach and a more expansive one.

(Brian Olewnick)
DAGBLADET  (April 2009)
The guitarist Kim Myhr (27) received Sparebank 1's JazZtipend (monetary
award) during Molde Jazzfestival last year, which will see him return to the
festival with Trondheim Jazzorkester for a commissioned piece this year.
Featured on this piece is also the Australian freejazz veteran/saxophonist
Jim Denley who will also appear at Kongsberg Jazzfestival in duo with
Myhr. The two musicians will also embark on a Norwegian tour as well as
doing a trio concert with Sidsel Endresen at Nasjonal Jazzscene this
autumn.

Denley/Myhr's "Systems Realignment" is unashamed experimentation with
alternative sound solutions for acoustic guitar and alto saxophone/flutes,
and there´s a refreshing, if not alien music making. Ordinary rhythms and
melodies are absent, but the result is still warmer and more inviting than
what is usual for contemporary music at this degree of pling plong.
(Terje Mosnes)
AFTENPOSTEN  (April 2009)
Norwegian Kim Myhr has allied himself with Australian Jim Denley. The duo
keeps a tight dialogue, and is intimate and quiet, but delivers up contrast.
Myhr plays a guitar style with ancient undercurrents, and Denley
strengthens this impression with saxophone, flute and electronics,
especially on the title track. "Systems Realignment" helps to save
improvised music from stagnation, and takes freedom seriously. As such,
is a good listening experience.
(Arild R. Andersen)
WIRE  (June 2009)
At 52, saxophonist and flautist Jim Denley is Australia's most important
improvising musician, similar in spirit to Ross Bolleter in that his creative
language both recognises the symbolic import of colonial detritus - Denley
and collaborator Peter Ready used to make 'New Music Constructions' out
of industrial junk - and also the essential irrelevance of both European art
music and American jazz to the Australasian experience. Since returning
home from Europe in the late 1970s, Denley has applied himself to a
naturalistic idiom on saxophone and flute that makes Eric Dolphy's moves
in that same direction seem tentative.

There are echoes in these duets with guitarist Kim Myhr of Denley's early
80s work in Relative Band, which was essentially a duo with Jon Rose. The
basic palette is spiky, and each individual track is deceptively formless,
but it's impossible to miss the long, slow pulses that run through each
piece, giving them all a satisfying logic; or indeed the didgeridoo and
hollow-log effects that lend the music an immediately identifiable
provenance. Bolleter has talked about the characteristic effect of Denley's
music as a process of instantaneous transformation in which individual
sounds don't signify anything other than the processes of change.
Denley's use of electronics and Myhr's 'simple mechanics' extend and
enhance that impression on "Flurried Plainsong", "Sonic Rockart" and the
title track in particular.

Two tracks, "Original Sing" and "Deconsingsong", were recorded at a
separate session and are subtly different, but together with "The Singing
Neanderthal" they convey a sense that Denley is after a kind of sonic
vernacular that plugs into what can only crudely be called a collective
unconscious. He is convinced that our rational and intuitive selves are now
in a thoroughly dysfunctional relationship. Music like this helps to realign
them.
(Brian Morton)
THE WATCHFUL EAR  (July 2009)
Tonight I have been listening to Systems Realignment, a recent CD release
on the either/OAR offshoot of the and/OAR label by Australian Jim Denley
and Norwegian (but now living in Australia I believe) Kim Myhr. On the ten
tracks here Denley plays alto sax, flutes and electronics, while Myhr uses
acoustic guitar and simple mechanics.  I was pointed towards this disc by
Al Jones, head honcho of Bagatellen, who conducted a short inter-review  
of the album with the two musicians here.

The first thing that hits you when you initially put the disc into the player is
the quality and clarity of the recording. A mix of gentle percussive clicking
and light scraping appears, split perfectly between the two speakers. While
I always appreciate it, its rare that I think good recording makes any
difference to the actual music, but here every last detail rings out, every
tones dies away with a soft echo, it really does sound like the musicians
are sat behind me playing. The music itself sound somewhere between
the vitality of say John butcher with John Russell and the deep
concentration on individual sounds of someone like Jeph Jerman. Sorry f
that sounds vague, but at any one time this CD feels alive, on the move,
but yet also seems to include only carefully picked sounds neatly placed
on top of each other.

In fact it is a very nice listen indeed. Most of the sounds used to form it
are small, clicks, pops, taps and chimes, quite often sounding quite unlike
sax or guitar. On the whole, they tumble together quick and fast, but
actually manage to avoid any sense of frantic pace. There are slow parts
here and there, and they are often quite beautiful, such as the bell-like
guitar notes that ring out gently at the start of 'Original Sing', the oddly
named second track. The album is entirely improvised, and was played
live in the studio, but despite this it somehow manages to avoid many of
the trappings of improvised acoustic music (although there are electronics
involved it all still sounds very acoustic). In places, the two musicians
seem to play separate to each other, avoiding the obvious call-and-
response to and fro’ you might expect, and working through a series of
quite different pieces. The eighth track, named 'Sabretoothed Flickerfest'
with good reason begins as a skittery drone, tiny repetitive sounds
fluttering away under a fizzy sound that could be electronic or could be the
contact mic Denley attaches to the mouthpiece of his sax obscuring
natural vibrations. It feels a very purposeful, well structured piece, quite
different to other tracks on the album, suggesting some kind of advance
planning, but in the Bagatellen interview linked to above Denley and Myhr
assure us that no such thing took place and the music is entirely
spontaneous.

Systems Realignment is something of a hidden treasure, unlikely to be
talked about by many, but with the potential to be liked by a sizeable
audience. I suspect it would appeal to both traditional improv fans and
also those to whom a degree of electronics is essential. It is neither overly
busy or full of silences, but retains an attention to sound quality, both in
the choices made by the musicians in the moment, and then later how
they are presented on the disc. Thanks to Al for pointing this one out to
me or otherwise I would probably also have passed it by.
(Richard Pinnel)
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD  (October 2009)
Silence and sound define each other, although small enough musical
sounds can blur the line between the two, creating that intensity of
intermittent silence you might find in a rainforest. This is the area
inhabited by Jim Denley (alto sax, flutes and electronics) and Kim Myhr
(acoustic guitar, simple mechanics), whose free improvisations have the
spontaneity, surprise and capacity to delight of birdsong. There is a gentle
underscore of rustles and pops, out of which more strident sounds may
suddenly burst, such as Denley's luxuriantly breathy flute on Sonic
Rockart, which is like some exotic bird, far above in the canopy. Immerse
yourself in it on a still night, or use it ambiently.
(John Shand)
TOUCHING EXTREMES  (August 2009)
If a single record, among the latest batches received, could symbolize this
writer’s current partiality for a legitimate exploration in a studio setting, as
opposed to the release of an all-inclusive unsatisfying live performance,
this should be it. Jim Denley (alto sax, flute, electronics) and Kim Myhr
(acoustic guitar and “simple mechanics”) are captured in ten tracks in
which the overindulgence and the posturing often associable to present-
day improvisation are replaced by a simple concept - regularly and
conveniently forgotten nowadays to grant undeserved glory to nonentities
defining themselves as “artists” in the name of a corrupted democracy of
expression - called musicality. A lovely feeling materializing as soon as
you press “play”, quite relieving to experience after having spent months
squeezing our instinctive refusal of intellectually tinged rubbish to obtain
two or three logical drops, indispensable for a decent write-up, matching
the two or three isolated noises around which that drivel is usually built.

There is in fact evidence, since the very beginning of this program, of an
unambiguous alchemy at work. One immediately breathes consistency
while listening to the popping-and-fizzing emissions of the reeds in
parallel with the fundamental constituents of the guitar, whose wood we
can almost smell the essence of, thanks to the detailed quality of the
recording. On a first glance, the homogeneity demonstrated by the couple
throughout might be exchanged for a lack of inventiveness, but this is
totally untrue. There’s much to be found in terms of colour and resonance
in this non-stylish, non-regional exploitation of the entire attributes of
instruments apparently so dissimilar, an agglutinate generating effects
that are manifestly beneficial, pushing the ears towards a type of
perception which ideally should be linked to a direct experience in a
remote land (Denley is an expert of this field of action). This is probably
due to the musicians’ preference for the percussive features of their
playing, which rather frequently reveal a quasi-African aroma (incredible
how Myhr manages to make that machine sound like a mbira time and
again). Yet sticking a pseudo-world music tag to this duet would be a
gross misinterpretation of something more profound, both in the crucial
meanings and in regard to the analytical capacity of the instrumentalists,
always in the condition of eliciting captivating aural tints in dialogues that
never appear as previously rehearsed.

A mind-opening paradigm of mutual recognition and acute attention to
the communication between interacting entities,
Systems Realignment is
another example of Dale Lloyd’s discernment in choosing materials to
publish on his labels, regardless of genres and expectations.
(Massimo Ricci)