ESCAPE ROUTE

PANDORA'S BOX (Auricle AMCDR 128) CDR

Escapade - if/or, artwork by Alan Freeman7.00 + p&p

1. OPENING THE BOX 15'53"

2. NO ESCAPE ROUTE
2. Entry 2'13"
3. Search 5'35"
4. Puzzle 8'00"
5. Flight 7'49"
6. Reflection 2'04"
7. Hope 2'56"
8. Despair 4'44"
9. Fury 5'35"
10. Lament 2'15"

Live at Bambu, Welford Road, Leicester, 21 November 2007.
Recorded direct to mini disc. Edit and mix by Alan Freeman 29-30 June 2008.

Chris Conway: theremin, synths, flutes, whistles, kalimba, voice, effects
Alan Freeman: springs, acoustic CD, guitar, synthesizers, gadgets, effects
Steve Freeman: bass guitar, acoustic CD, prepared tapes, voice, effects
Simon Styring: guitar/guitar-synth, effects

From Al's blog: Last Wednesday's Bambu Electronic gig went really well, with basically Simon doing a mellow intro followed by two huge jams, with the 4 of us: Alan (me), Steve, Chris & Simon taking to the stage and leaving ad hoc as seemed appropriate! Not much of an audience though. Well, we were competing against England losing to Croatia. But, Extremities fan Mo made it this time, scuppered by cancellations of his previous two attempts to see us play live.

Opening the box: After Prometheus' theft of the secret of fire, Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create the woman Pandora as part of the punishment for mankind. Pandora was given many seductive gifts from Aphrodite, Hermes, Charites, and Horae (according to Works and Days). For fear of additional reprisals, Prometheus warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but Epimetheus did not listen, and married Pandora. Pandora had been given a large jar and instructed by Zeus to keep it closed, but she had also been given the gift of curiosity, and ultimately opened it. When she opened it, all of the evils of mankind escaped from the jar, although Pandora was quick enough to close it again and keep one value inside - Hope.

SCYLLA & CHARYBDIS (Auricle AMCDR 130) CDR

Escapade - if/or, artwork by Alan Freeman7.00 + p&p

1. ODYSSEY [Alan & Simon] 17'55"
2. SCYLLA [Chris, Alan, Steve, Simon] 13'50"
3. WHIRLPOOL [Chris & Steve] 16'40"
4. CHARYBDIS [Chris, Alan, Steve, Simon] 18'00"

Live at Bambu, Welford Road, Leicester, 24 January 2008.
Recorded direct to mp3 recorder. Edit and mix by Alan Freeman February & July 2008.

Chris Conway: theremin, synths, flutes, whistles, kalimba, voice, effects
Alan Freeman: springs, acoustic CD, guitar, metal, plastic, effects
Steve Freeman: acoustic CD, prepared tapes, voice, effects
Simon Styring: guitar/guitar-synth, effects

The second actual Escape Route gig was one of two halves (kind of). The first half comprising two duet sets: The first with me (Alan) and Simon both on guitars. I'd just taken the guitar with Zoom effects and delay this time (no synths) leaving all the guitar synth work to Simon. The second duet was with Chris and Steve, with Steve this time limiting himself to what he could route through the Tascam 4-track, and Chris adding all the synth and "pretty" tonalities. The two big jams by the four of us are witnessed here in considerably edited forms, to give it all a sense of composition, balance and dynamics.

In keeping with the mythology theme of "Pandora's Box" we have again another aptly titled outing with Scylla & Charybdis, as playing free-improvised live electronic music can be like being between Scylla and Charybdis, trying to stay afloat and avoid being sunk under the waves!

Scylla and Charybdis are two sea monsters of Greek mythology who were situated on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and Italy. They were located in such proximity to each other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors; avoiding Charybdis meant passing too closely to Scylla and vice versa. Scylla was a creature who dwelt in a rock, had six heads and ate people, while Charybdis had a single gaping mouth that sucked in huge quantities of water and belched them out, thus creating whirlpools. In Homer's The Odyssey, Odysseus is forced to choose which monster to confront while passing through the strait: rather than risk the loss of his entire ship in the whirlpool, he elects to pass by Scylla and lose only a few sailors.

COLUMNS OF HERAKLES (Auricle AMCDR 146) CDR

Escapade - if/or, artwork by Alan Freeman7.00 + p&p

1. MINUS ONE 9'26"
2. CAVE DWELLERS 1'56"
3. EVERYONE SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL 8'44"
4. INTERLUDE 0'44"
5. I'VE BEEN HAVING SOME WEIRD DREAMS 15'00"
6. THIS SHELF IS BROKEN 9'30"
7. THAT IS DIFFERENT 6'19"
8. I DIDN'T GO THERE MYSELF 12'30"

Captured during spontaneous live session at Quadelectronic events, held at Quad Studios, Friday Street, Leicester, England,
17 June (1-4), 15 July (5,6), 21 October (7) & 23 December 2008 (8).
Recorded direct to digital. Edit and mix by Alan Freeman 18 May 2009.

Chris Conway: theremin, synths, flutes, whistles, kalimba, voice, effects
Alan Freeman: springs, acoustic CD, guitar, synthesizers, effects
Steve Freeman: acoustic CD, prepared tapes, voice, effects
Simon Styring: guitar/guitar-synth, effects (on 5-8 only)

special guest
Simon Ferraby: acoustic guitar (on 2 & 4 only)

A third Escape Route...

Pretty much a collection of oddments from gigs in 2008, "Columns Of Herakles" was titled before any of it was recorded, and is apt for what may be the final Escape Route release to feature Simon Styring. But, who knows what the future will hold when one has ventured towards "the lost realm of Atlantis" and created music like nothing else on earth?

"The Columns Of Herakles" or "The Pillars of Hercules" (Latin, Columnae Herculis) was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the rocks that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar.

According to Greek mythology adopted by the Etruscans and Romans, when Hercules had to perform twelve labours, one of them was to fetch the Cattle of Geryon of the far West and bring them to Eurystheus, and this marked the westward extent of his travels. A lost passage of Pindar quoted by Strabo was the earliest reference in this context: "the pillars which Pindar calls the 'gates of Gades' when he asserts that they are the farthermost limits reached by Heracles." According to Plato's account, the lost realm of Atlantis was situated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, in effect placing it in the realm of the Unknown.

Born out of the Impromptu Electronic gigs, Chris declared that this quartet was now starting to feel like a proper band, and that we really needed a better name. So, I scoured dictionaries and Word's thesaurus, coming up with the name Escape Route, which no-one else seems to have used. A name that combines elements of Endgame, Planet Scanners, and is symbolic of the way we play on stage!

Escape Route has basically become the vehicle of Alan Freeman and Steve Freeman in collaboration with Chris Conway, all free improvised material recorded live with a varied set of instruments and absolutely no planning - we just go for it!

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