“I hope,” says Laurence Pike, “the listener is as excited – and at times confounded – by this music as I am.”
It’s a feeling that most musicians can relate to, but there’s a certain intensity to the way the Australian percussionist, composer and producer expresses it that reveals something very special in the way Holy Spring was created. Multiple threads running through a life of improvisation have recently converged in Pike’s artistic process, leading to working methods where he is endlessly surprised by the sounds he produces. The excitement is imbued throughout; it is written into the fabric of every sound.
Improvisation has always played a role throughout Pike’s long and diverse career in music. Whether as part of PVT, Triosk or Szun Waves, or collaborating with Liars, legendary jazz pianist Mike Nock, DD Dumbo or the mighty Bill Callahan, he has long been a responsive musician for whom sensitive listening leads to spontaneous invention. Every motion, from the most minuscule flicker to a primal groove, is an expression of what’s happening around him. Which is precisely how he, and the ensembles he’s been part of, have been able to navigate so deftly between the poles of the familiar. Pike’s work has always skirted around electronica, spiritual jazz, post-rock and many other recognisable sounds, without ever converging on one single style or resorting to obvious fusions.
Now, he is formalising his approach in new ways, making this continual act of creation in the moment as unconscious as possible. “The aim for my solo work,” he says, “has been to use technology to expand the sonic potential of the drum kit, without ever limiting the capacity for human expression.”