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Encyclopedia > News from Babel

News From Babel was an English avant-garde rock group founded in 1983 by Chris Cutler, Lindsay Cooper, Zeena Parkins and Dagmar Krause. They made two studio albums with several guest musicians (including Robert Wyatt) and disbanded in 1986. Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked 1st UK 50. ... A work similar to Marcel Duchamps Fountain Avant garde (written avant-garde) is a French phrase, one of many French phrases used by English speakers. ... Rock band (or rock group) is a generic name to describe a group of musicians specializing in a particular form of electronically amplified music. ... Chris Cutler (born January 4, 1947 in Washington D.C.) is a percussionist, performer, and theorist, and runs the label ReR/Recommended Records. ... Lindsay Cooper (born 3 March 1951) is a British bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist. ... Zeena Parkins (born Detroit, MI) is a harpist active in rock music, free improvisation and jazz. ... Dagmar Krause (b. ... Robert Wyatt, born Robert Ellidge, in Bristol on January 28, 1945, is an English musician, and a former member of the influential Canterbury scene band Soft Machine. ...

Contents


History

In the wake of English avant-garde rock group Henry Cow (1968-1978), Art Bears (1978-1981), a song-orientated group, was formed by three of Henry Cow's members, drummer Chris Cutler, multi-instrumentalist Fred Frith and singer Dagmar Krause. In Art Bears' wake, News From Babel was formed in 1983 by Cutler, Krause, Henry Cow woodwind player Lindsay Cooper and United States harpist Zeena Parkins. This new group followed the song-orientated approach of Art Bears, but with a different musical emphasis. Cooper composed all the music and Cutler wrote all the song texts. Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked 1st UK 50. ... A work similar to Marcel Duchamps Fountain Avant garde (written avant-garde) is a French phrase, one of many French phrases used by English speakers. ... Rock band (or rock group) is a generic name to describe a group of musicians specializing in a particular form of electronically amplified music. ... Henry Cow performing in Fresnes, France, 16 November 1975 Left to right: Tim Hodgkinson, Lindsay Cooper, Dagmar Krause, John Greaves, Chris Cutler and Fred Frith Henry Cow was a British avant-garde rock group, founded at Cambridge University in 1968 by multi-instrumentalists Fred Frith and Tim Hodgkinson. ... The Art Bears formed out of what was left of the disassembly of the Progressive Rock group Henry Cow in 1978. ... Chris Cutler (born January 4, 1947 in Washington D.C.) is a percussionist, performer, and theorist, and runs the label ReR/Recommended Records. ... Fred Frith (born February 17, 1949) is an English musician and composer. ... Dagmar Krause (b. ... Lindsay Cooper (born 3 March 1951) is a British bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist. ... Zeena Parkins (born Detroit, MI) is a harpist active in rock music, free improvisation and jazz. ...


News From Babel was purely a studio group. In 1983 they recorded Work Resumed on the Tower, the title referring to the Tower of Babel, with guest vocalist Phil Minton. In 1986 they recorded Letters Home, named after the title of one of Sylvia Plath's books, with guest vocalists Robert Wyatt, Sally Potter and Phil Minton. Cooper's music on both albums is a blend of jazz and cabaret, while Cutler's lyrics are literate, exploring Marxist themes and personal alienation [1] . The Confusion of Tongues by Gustave Doré According to the narrative in Genesis Chapter 11 of the Bible, the Tower of Babel was a tower built by a united humanity in order to reach the heavens. ... A self-portrait circa 1951. ... Robert Wyatt, born Robert Ellidge, in Bristol on January 28, 1945, is an English musician, and a former member of the influential Canterbury scene band Soft Machine. ... Sally Potter (1949-) is a British film director and writer. ... Jazz master Louis Armstrong remains one of the most loved and best known of all jazz musicians. ... Cabaret is a form of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue - a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting around the tables (often dining or drinking) watching the performance. ... Marxism is the social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ...


The group disbanded in 1986 after recording their second album.


Personnel

  • Lindsay Cooper – keyboards, bassoon, sopranino and alto saxophones, all musical compositions (except "Contraries")
  • Chris Cutler – drums, electrics, percussion, all song texts
  • Zeena Parkins – harp, prepared and electric harp, accordion, composer on "Contraries"
  • Dagmar Krause – voice

Lindsay Cooper (born 3 March 1951) is a British bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist. ... Chris Cutler (born January 4, 1947 in Washington D.C.) is a percussionist, performer, and theorist, and runs the label ReR/Recommended Records. ... Zeena Parkins (born Detroit, MI) is a harpist active in rock music, free improvisation and jazz. ... Dagmar Krause (b. ...

Guest musicians

  • On Work Resumed on the Tower
    • Phil Minton – trumpet, voice
    • Georgie Born – bass guitar
    • Bill Gilonis – guitar, bass guitar
  • On Letters Home

Robert Wyatt, born Robert Ellidge, in Bristol on January 28, 1945, is an English musician, and a former member of the influential Canterbury scene band Soft Machine. ... Sally Potter (1949-) is a British film director and writer. ...

Discography

In 1990, Recommended Records reissued Work Resumed on the Tower and Letters Home on a single CD. 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... RéR Megacorp logo, 2005. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... RéR Megacorp logo, 2005. ...


Singles

1984 (MCMLXXXIV) is a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mid-19th century tool for converting between different standards of the inch An inch is an Imperial and U.S. customary unit of length. ... RéR Megacorp logo, 2005. ...

Trivia

  • News From Babel's name was derived from the title of George Steiner's book After Babel. Some of the songs on the albums relate directly to Steiner's books.
  • For technical reasons, the original Work Resumed on the Tower LP was released on a 45rpm 12" disc)

George Steiner, prominent literary critic, was born on April 23, 1929 in Paris to Viennese parents. ... Revolutions per minute (abbreviated rpm, RPM, r/min, or min-1) is a unit of frequency, commonly used to measure rotational speed, in particular in the case of rotation around a fixed axis. ... Mid-19th century tool for converting between different standards of the inch An inch is an Imperial and U.S. customary unit of length. ...

External links


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