The Moment's Energy

Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble

CD18,90 out of print

The fifth ECM disc from Parker’s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble whose pioneering work has effectively established a model for a new kind of improvising chamber orchestra, creating fresh colours from the blending and contrasting of acoustic instruments and live electronics. The latest edition of the group adds some new members – two Americans, Ned Rothenberg and Peter Evans, both well-known to followers of improvised music, and a Japanese musician, Ko Ishikawa – and expands the horizons still further. With more acoustic instruments in the mix, the group now embraces both the ancient and the modern: Ko, for instance, plays exclusively the shō, the archaic bamboo mouth organ, which sounds thoroughly futuristic when processed by the Ensemble’s sonic scientists. Similarly, the borders between improvisation and composition are dissolved in this music: “The Moment’s Energy” features an extended new work commissioned by the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.>

Featured Artists Recorded

November 2007, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Original Release Date


  • The Moment's Energy
    (Evan Parker)
  • 1I09:29
  • 2II09:45
  • 3III09:34
  • 4IV04:19
  • 5V09:23
  • 6VI08:11
  • 7VII11:14
  • 8Incandescent Clouds
    (Evan Parker)
Jazzman, Choc
This new release from the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble blurs the boundaries between conventional and electronic sounds. Yet, when one hears Peter Evans’ trumpet rich and almost classical in tone or Ned Rothenberg’s bass clarinet in all its doom-saying glory unaccompanied by any other instrument, it sounds completely contextual. Huge swathes and swirls of processed material likewise appear simultaneously unworldly but familiar, as if half-remembered from a dream.
Duncan Heining, Jazzwise
This commission for the 2007 Huddersfiled Contemporary Music Festival shows him brilliantly orchestrating the unexpected, his whirlwind improvisations thriving beside the bleeps. Spiky piano and bass duel in the shadows, and sparse trumpet glimmers in a mist of scrapes.
Mike Hobart, Financial Times

The fifth album by Evan Parker’s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble adds new members – Peter Evans, Ned Rothenberg, Ko Ishikawa – to the group, and explores dimensions of complexity and fresh sound-colour combinations inside the broad structure provided by its band-leader. As Richard Barrett has noted, the E-AE is effectively a new kind of chamber orchestra. In shaping and directing music for it, Parker puts his improvisational skills in the service of new composition – and, indeed, the music created for the present disc contributed to his receiving a Hamlyn Foundation Award for composition in 2008.

“The Moment’s Energy” features an extended work commissioned from Evan Parker by the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and was recorded at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in November 2007. Although it incorporates ‘live’ material, it is not primarily a live album, but then the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, with its ‘processing’ of improvised music, has been challenging notions of what ‘live’ means from the beginning of its history. Since “Memory/Vision” in 2002, furthermore, Parker’s albums with the E-AE have utilized, in varying ratio, both concert recordings and location recordings made under controlled ‘studio’ conditions. The electronic interventions in the music being both unpredictable and unrepeatable, ‘alternate takes’ in this context offer a wealth of radically different choices. On the present recording, only “Incandescent Clouds” , and Part IV of “The Moment’s Energy” are from the Huddersfield concert, the majority of the music being drawn from sessions in the days leading up to it.

The Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, a sextet on “Toward The Margins” (1996), has been growing steadily in size since the group’s inception. The current 14-piece group is also the most international version of the band, with members from the UK (including the Uganda-born Wachsmann), the US, Japan, Spain and Italy. Its distinguished line-up includes improvisers, composers, and sonic scientists – all of them well-known to followers of creative music.