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The hearing continues. The playing continues. The listening continues. The music continues. The London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO) continues to play the first Sunday of every month (except December & January) at the Red Rose. Every concert is different - has its own flavour - largely due to who is performing that night, and whose pieces are performed. Some musicians have other commitments on the night. Some musicians drop out completely, others join afresh. Some are just in London for an extended stay. The composition of the Orchestra over the months is as determinable as the music performed.
The most important trend over the last couple of years has been how the music gets more and more together. In spite of all the comings and goings, the orchestra gets tighter, so that it has become an even more coherent improvising unit. One can hear the additional developments by comparing this album with the Orchestra's previous publication (PROCEEDINGS) from the previous year.
The recording session was set up to capture a cross-section of the Orchestra's music that had been occurring at the Red Rose concerts. The 37 musicians present made it the largest version of the LIO to date. Even so, there were some regular members who were unable to make the session. Lol Coxhill and Orphy Robinson were unable to be there, as were several brass players: Gail Brand, Borre Molstad, Roland Ramanan and Paul Rutherford. (Since Robinson also missed the previous recording session, Evan Parker decided to create a piece which Robinson could overdub at a later date - Orphy:Us.)
The sights at the record session were quite amazing: Four drummers with full kits; three grand pianos (played by three grand pianists); three bass clarinets; three double basses; and so on. The feelings were very positive throughout the session, just as they had been the previous year, and a considerable variety of pieces were recorded. They included free improvisations, conductions and rule-based schemes, and in one case (Fire - in the Air) the musicians reacted to a film. (MARTIN DAVIDSON ,2001)