"Rasp" is the new project of violinist and vocalist Matt Howden, and cellist Jo Quail.
This album was created in a two-hour live writing session in front of an audience; performed that evening at a local theatre; and recorded with an audience in the studio, the very next evening.
Two days from conception to ready-to-release!
Listen with headphones, if you can, close your eyes and imagine you’re in a vault that is nearly that dark.
The ceiling is low, but the space stretches out to the sides.
The air carries a kind of vibrant warmth.
Providing this are a man and a woman, loop pedals at their feet.
She cradles the outline of a cello–electric, a beautiful skeleton.
From this embrace emerge bass-lines, riffs, deep wells of harmony.
He sings or recites a kind of beat poetry, conjuring up hooks and melodies from his violin, or kneeling to trigger a sample or beat from a laptop on the floor.
In perfect sync, they dovetail in and out of each other’s music.
The loops swirling around them and us, she steps back momentarily from the cello, lifts her head and smiles, while he whirls his bow on his fingertip before snapping it still to play on.
For about an hour, these two writer-performers made this riot of sound coalesce into the immersive live experience you’re hearing now.
Two days earlier, Rasp didn’t exist.
Rasp could only happen because Matt and Jo are on the creative form of their lives.
Outside it, they were both working on extraordinary solo records.
Rasp sounds like neither.
A punk ethos replaces painstaking precision, and with as much improvisation as composition, they career through electronica, noise, free jazz, folk, classical and even spoken word.
Their mutual energy must have been truly kinetic, propelling them to another destination entirely.
A shared adventure, an uncharted landing.
3 Rain Falls
4 Dark Blue
5 Song Of Strings
6 Inside & Beyond
7 Sing For All You're Worth
8 Green Map
9 Psychic Experience
10 Lost In Red Light
Old Europa Cafe AVS