MINIATURES 2020: l’ultimo minuto.

Il progetto Unfolk chiude le trasmissioni nel migliore dei modi partecipando con il brano Miniatura Luigi Russolo al prestigioso tributo di Barry Lamb. La mitica compilation datata 1980 è ritenuta un vero e proprio oggetto d’arte che ha lasciato il segno nella musica indipendente: un solo minuto di musica ma il più importante!

Questo il link per il box:


2 CDs in a DVD case with a thick 68p book. 124 assorted artists. This is the third in a noble series: the first was Morgan Fisher’s now legendary 1980 classic, then in 2000 his expanded volume two; now – another twenty years on – Volume three, an even further extended homage to Morgan’s minimal but cornucopian concept, which was simplicity itself: invite a selected body of artists to make a one minute composition and then group them together in through-listening blocks. This, the 40th anniversary edition, features 124 contributors.

Full list of contributors:
A Powdered Theorem, About Now, Adam Absent, Alahuta, Alan J Stuart, Albie Donnelly’s Supercharge, Alternative TV, Andy Ellison, Angel Corpus Christi, Apartment House, Attila The Stockbroker, Barry Lamb, Basil Kirchin, Ben Hewerdine, Bendle & Dean “Speedwell” Brodrick, The Bevis Frond, Big Al Davies, Billy Bragg, Blabbermouth, Bob Drake, Boo Hewerdine, Bringers Of Change , Bruce Woolley, Census Of Hallucinations, Chris Cutler, Clive PiG, Das Rad, David Cross And Mori, David Cunningham, David Jackson, David Thomas, dilate., Dylan Howe, Elena Theodorou, Emperor Rhubarb, Eyeless In Gaza, Ezio, Findlay Napier, Francesco Paolo Paladino & Ka, Fred Frith, Frenzid Melon, Gary Clail Soundsystem, Geoff Leigh & Cristiana Vignatelli Bruni, Geoffrey Richardson, Grand Hotel ,Greta Aurora, Hadar Manor, Half Japanese and Dot Wiggin, Hanging Freud, Hazel Jones, Helen McCookerybook, Henry Kaiser, Henry Priestman, Ihrsan, The Intercontinental Philharmonic Orchestra & Royal Choir, Isatta Sheriff, The Jaded Tea Time Orchestra, Jake Burns, Jasun Martz, Jayne Mason, Jim Tetlow, Joby Burgess, John Dunbar, John Ellis, John Greaves , John Otway, John Simms’ Light Trails, Jon Owen, Kev Hegan, Kevin Hewick, Lester Square, Lobby Lud & The Luddites, Lorraine Bowen, Magda Archer & The Cola Cubes, Martin Newell, Martin Stephen, Masonic Kitchen, Matmos, Matt Dangerfield & Margaret Barry, Mike Adcock, The Miniatures Family, Mitch Friedman, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, MX-80 Sound, Neil Luck, The Neu Psodyms , Nick Haeffner, Pariah State Building, Peter Blegvad, Phil Doleman, Pompadour, R. Stevie Moore, Rapoon, The Residents, Ric Sanders, Robert Le Plar, Rosie Abbott, Sean WO Smith, Sensible Gray Cells, Sherwood & Pinch, Shiva Feshareki, Shop Girls, Sigh Figh, Simon Steensland, Six Armed Man, Sonja Kristina & Robert Norton, Steve Johnson, Stewart Lee, Stuart Moxham, Tears Of Sirens, Terry Riley & Sara Miyamoto, Tom Robinson, Toyah with Simon Darlow and Bobby Willcox, Two Headed Emperor, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Unfolk, Wavis O’Shave, William Hayter, Yumi Hara.

[including members of Van der Graaf Generator, Curved Air, Zoviet France, Stomu Yamashta’s Red Buddha Theatre, Soft Machine, Fairport Convention, The Blockheads,The Stranglers, John’s Children, Alternative TV, Caravan, The Damned, Global Village Trucking Company, King Crimson, Adam and the Ants and The Monochrome Set. It’s a snapshot, a sampler, a box of variety and delights – and a window on the state of play]

Miniatures 2020
The 62nd Gramophone Company 2xCD

The sleevenotes for Morgan Fisher’s 1980 compilation Miniatures describe how “no attempt was made to find a perfect running, order”. This is partly because the possible permutations of 51 tracks equal a figure 63 digits in length. In spite of its random sequencing (or because of it) little pockets of weirdness gather together – slapstick brass from Trevor Wishart tumbles into John White’s angular chimes, Pete Challis and Phil Diplock’s concrete “My Way” idles toward Robert Wyatt’s looped and layered vocals on “Rangers In The Night”.
Miniatures 2020 – compiled by Barry Lamb to celebrate the 40 year anniversary of Fisher’s original – seems, initially, more planned in its sequencing. Opening with Bendle & Dean Brodrick’s “I Am Sitting In A Womb” and closing with “Mass Extinction Event” by The Miniatures Family, the narrative appears to moves from fleshy creation to fiery destruction. The mad bundle in the middle, however, is less coherently ordered and closer to the thrilling but bonkers bric-a-brac of its predecessors.
Similarly, each track is also musically tight and conceptually svelte, like a sonic haiku. Limiting tracks to one minute results in an economy and urgency that is completely engaging. “Shame” by Bringers Of Change sounds like piano practice in a drained swimming pool, before the narrator flings the story into the cosmos, while
“White Christmas” by Lester Square sets pieces of Christmas songs against the sampled speech of Donald Trump. Hearing this shortly after the tense capitulation of his presidency, these unhinged rantings feel chilling, magnified somehow against the queasy festive snippets.
Like Miniatures 2, compiled and released by Fisher in 2000, the central concept is expanded and made more contemporary. The Residents return with “Irish Wife”, their usual unsettling wonk transposed to church organ, but instead of Pete Seeger’s banjo take of “Ode To Joy”, Billy Bragg electrifies it. Instead of Norman Lovett’s perfect impression of John Peel, Stewart Lee’s track “Skippy (After Frank Skinner)” takes some of the non sequitur surrealism of his spoken word work with Capri-Batterie, propping it instead against sweet guitar notes and rising feedback.
It’s one highlight on a record that contains many, each of them a perfectly machined example of discipline and craft. But this record’s greatest achievement is to capture the same peculiar spirit seeping through the original, scattering about pockets of weirdo energy so that all two hours are a joy to behold.

[Spenser Tomson, WIRE magazine]

…e ancora un’esauriente recensione online su:

Approx google translation:

Forty years after the first, here are the new, strange and lightning-fast Miniatures.

The 1980 Miniatures record saw the light when the very active British musician Morgan Fisher (keyboardist of Mott The Hoople his best known assignment) compiled a list of the artists with whom he would be happy to collaborate on his album. The list soon grew out of all proportion, Morgan was sorry to have to make a choice and thus the idea was born of inviting them all to participate with a piece each, only one minute long.
Miniatures was a magmatic suite of 51 pieces mixed together; the responsibility for the final result was not only of the individual authors, many of them prestigious, coming from the most disparate musical fields, but of Fisher himself, who combined the various fragments, following an apparently random order. It was a triumph of creativity, inspiration, DIY ethics and aesthetics, and prophetically anticipated the blob of listening to which we often undergo today, in the age of hyperconnection and data bulimia, when we immerse ourselves in YouTube. or Spotify and we can’t resist the temptation to do a continuous and rapid zapping.

Year 2000: the second Miniatures and, recently, the third

In 2000 Miniatures 2 celebrated the 20th anniversary of the album’s release with a new collection which, thanks to the CD format, could reach 60 “micro-compositions”. Now with the double cd Miniatures 2020 the tracks of one minute each in duration are even 124, divided into 6 imaginary sides of a triple vinyl, with 6 long and kaleidoscopic collages separated by a few seconds of silence. This time Morgan Fisher limited himself to giving his approval and encouragement, while the enormous work of collecting and assembling the songs was carried out by a group led by Barry Lamb, veteran and tireless craftsman of the British experimental underground scene, who he claims to have been very inspired in his time by listening to the original album 40 years ago.
The box comes complete with a full-bodied booklet, full of information, accompanied by beautiful surreal and grotesque illustrations that perfectly interpret the spirit of the operation. In addition to the notes of the curators and musicians, there is an interesting essay by the Italian journalist Luca Ferrari who analyzes and deepens the nature and implications of this bizarre project.

How to listen to Miniatures 2020?

Miniatures 2020 is a new experience even for the most savvy users, it requires abandoning the rituals and established listening habits. The literary form that comes closest to these miniaturized songs is haiku, many of these turn out to be sudden and unsettling like Zen lighting, with the same irony and the same taste for paradox. I chose to dive into listening and let myself be stunned, like a long and exciting ride on a roller coaster. Only later did I go to see who played what, to search for titles and authors, to read their notes, I found a mine of sources of inspiration for subsequent listening. Each episode is a potential seed, a spore that promises to give life to stories far longer than a minute.

The construction of the disc

I don’t know if Barry Lamb made a casual juxtaposition like Morgan Fisher, it certainly wasn’t a coincidence to start it all with a piece describing the experience of an embryo and ending with another one that talks about mass extinction. Between these two extremes there is a world: folk ballads, captivating power pops, bizarre plunderphonic collages, noise breaks, home experiments, recited curtains, instrumentals with a jazz flavor, funk or dub… It is difficult to find a musical genre that is not represented; all the authors interviewed won the challenge, managing to express themselves fully within 60 seconds, without offering simple extracts or mutilated fragments. Many are specially conceived compositions, others come from the archives (even posthumous, in the case of some artists already deceased).

The power of chance

I have avoided mentioning single names so as not to get lost in the labyrinth and because I think that this monumental work is to be considered as a whole, but you can read and listen to them all here. Some of them had already participated in the 1980 album. If your CD player has the shuffle function, I recommend that you vary the listening experience, make it new every time by relying on chance.
Miniatures 2020 was conceived and built during the lockdown, a difficult and painful period that was interpreted as an opportunity, thanks to which creativity, and therefore life, got a revenge.
(review by Mirco Delfino)

e una cartacea di Vittore Baroni in BLOW UP di giugno 2021:

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