Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Davies, Rhodri (John)

Davies, Rhodri (John), harpist b. Aberystwyth, Wales, 19 December 1971.

Davis studied with Frank Sternefeld at the University of Sheffield, earning a Bachelors in Music (with honors) from 1990-1993. He studied with Hugh Webb from 1993-1994. At the University of Huddersfield from 1994-95, he studied with Charlotte Seale and earned an MA in Music. At Trinitiy College of Music, London, Davies studied with Sioned Williams and received a Postgraduate Certificate (1995-1997).

Davies is an improvising harpist who confronts traditional concepts of the harp through his use of preparations, detuned, bowed and e-bowed strings. Rhodri's extended prepared harp techniques are rewriting the history of the instrument. Influenced by live electronics, music-concrete and electronica he is particularly interested in exploring noise, silence, texture and abstract sound on his acoustic instrument and especially working with musicians who utilize electronics.

He has been based in London since 1995 where he soon became active on the London improvisation scene. He has since performed in America, Canada and Europe and has appeared on radio and television. Rhodri works closely in a duo with the seminal saxophonist John Butcher. They were recently appearing at the Empty Bottle in Chicago and touring England in October 2002.

He performs regularly with groups that are solely dedicated to free Improvisation; The Sealed Knot; a group that connects London and Berlin musicians, Derek Baileys Company, Assumed Possibilities, Strings with Evan Parker and The Broken Consort; a young ensemble working with acoustic and electronic instruments. The ensemble was formed in Stockholm, in August 2000 by its core members Mark Wastell and Rhodri Davies. The ensemble consists of a pool of musicians with flexible instrumentation.

Much of Rhodris work explores the contradictory and complimentary flux between composition and improvisation, and he plays with many groups that reflect this interest, notably, Apartment House, IST, CRANC, and Chris Burns Ensemble, he was also a member of Butch Morris London Skyscraper and the London Improvisers Orchestra.

As a concert promoter he co-ran with Mark Wastell the successful series of concerts All Angels.

In ad hoc groupings he has played with; Angharad Davies, Steve Beresford, Philip Corner, Axel Dorner, Isabelle Duthoit, Margarida Garcia, Christian Marclay, Sachiko M,  Mattin, Toshimaru Nakamura, Gert-Jan Prins, Jerome Noetinger, Eddie Prevost, Taku Sugimoto, Martin Tetreault, Annette Krebs, Andrea Neumann, Mark Wastell, Otomo Yoshihide and John Zorn.

Recordings:
IST: Anagrams to Avoid (1995), Consequences (of time and place) (1997); Chris Burns Ensemble: Navigations (1997); IST: Ghost Notes (1997/1998); Simon Fell: Compilation 3 (1998); Assumed Possibilities: (1998); Archer/Fell: Pure Water Construction (1998); Bisset/Davies: Malthouse (1998); CRANC: All Angels (1999); London Improvisers Orchestra: Proceedings (1999); Bailey/Davies/Fell/Gaines/Wastell: Company in Marseille (1999); Lol Coxhill: Spectral Soprano (1999); Charlotte Church: Charlotte Church (1999); Strings with Evan Parker: (97, 98, 00); Steve Beresford: Cue Sheets 2 (99,00); The Sealed Knot: (2000); Charlotte Church: Dream a Dream (2000); London Improvisers Orchestra: The Hearing Continues (2000); Butcher with Bailey and Davies: Vortices & Angels (2000); Relay Eight: (2000); Burn/Butcher/Davies/Edwards: The First Two Gigs (2000); Davies/Rombola/Davis/Wastell: (2000); Charlotte Church: Enchantment (2001); The Cinematic Orchestra: Every Day (2001); Total Music Meeting 01: Audiology (2001); Murry the Hump: Songs of Ignorance (2001); Apartment House: Cornelius Cardew Chamber Music 1955-1964 (2001); TREM (2001); Charlotte Church: Prelude (1999,00); Hans Koch: London duos and trios (2000); The Sealed Knot: Surface/Plane (2001); Chris Burn's Ensemble: Horizontals White (2001); Assumed Possibilities: Still Point (2001); Chris Burn's Ensemble: Ensemble at Music Genera (2002); Aled Jones: Higher (2003); No Spaghetti Edition: Real Time Satellite Data (2003); Davies/Garcia/Takehiro: Life is OK (2003)

Radio and TV broadcasts:
From 1998 appeared as Charlotte Church's accompanist on numerous TV and Radio shows including; Prince of Wales 50th Celebration, GMTV, Capital Radio, Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Films and TV soundtracks:
BBC: Speedy Death, a Mrs. Bradley Mystery
Short Films: Yawning Man and Going Going, Channel 4

Bibliography:
Interviews and Profiles in print:
Byr Fyfyrdod, by Guto Pryderi Puw, in Barn, October 1998.
Rhodri Davies - New Music for Harp, by Richard Cochrane, in Avant, Spring 2000.
Rhodri, Charlotte a Murry, by Lois Eckley, in Golwg (Atolwg), January 2001.
John Butcher and Rhodri Davies, by Kevin Whitehead, in Chicago Reader, March 2002.
The Sealed Knot  Silence is a Rhythm Too, by Will Montgomery, In The Wire, June 2002.
Tynnu'r Delyn Aur, by Rhian Price, in Golwg 2003
Rhodri a'i Delyn, by Lefi Gruffydd, in Western Mail, May 2003
Rhodri Davies interview, with Frank Sani, Paris Transatlantic Website, November 2002
Rhodri Davies interview, with John Eyles, All About Jazz Website, 2001

Works by Davis:
John Butcher - Inside the Narrative, by Rhodri Davies, in Avant, Spring 2001. Also on European Improvisers Internet site

Prfoiles on the Internet:
Nurnicht Nur
European Improvisers

Contact information:
+44 (0) 202 8361 5821
+44 (0) 7946 423 627
http://www.rhodridavies.com

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