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The group Common Objects was formed in 2005 by the British harpist/composer Rhodri Davies. The group has had a fluid membership, but in recent years its core members have been the six musicians performing on this album: John Butcher, Angharad Davies, Lina Lapelyte, Lee Patterson, Pat Thomas, and Rhodri Davies. Common Objects performs a wide range of music, from composed works to improvisation. Skullmarks documents the group’s first project in which objects are used as scores.
In 2016 Common Objects selected three museums as performance venues and carried out a mini-tour called “Sonorous Matter.” Each of the six musicians had chosen items from among the museums’ collections as the basis of a score to be performed by the group. “Skullmarks,” the work recorded on this album, was based on four historical objects that John Butcher selected from the huge ethnographic collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. These objects were displayed to the musicians and audience during the performance held at the museum on March 22, 2016. The concert, which had a strange and mysterious mood due to the shamanic objects and the atmosphere of the museum at night, resulted in a superb performance with a rare aura and energy.
“Skullmarks” was performed by John Butcher (soprano and tenor saxes), Angharad Davies (violin), Rhodri Davies (electric harp), Lina Lapelyte (violin), Lee Patterson (amplified devices and processes), and Pat Thomas (electronics).