The concert began at midday and finished after 4pm. Without breaks. In any musical idiom this requires physical and mental resilience, but in free improvisation it demands remarkable creative stamina. Jim Denley (wind instruments), Kim Myhr (12-string guitar, zither) and Ingar Zach (percussion) conserve energy by making silence the pivotal fourth member of their trio. Sometimes they emblazon bold colours on it and create moments of high contrast and drama. More often, however, they merely engrave this silence – that is somehow amplified by being in Houston’s octagonal Rothko Chapel – with wisps of sound and intricate designs.
The instruments themselves are cloaked in disguise. Zach’s bass drum is more likely to squeak or vibrate than thud, for instance, and Denley’s reeds and flutes make improbable sounds that seem to flit between shadows in the music’s fabric. Although Myhr’s guitar and zither are played marginally more conventionally they have their own magical auras around them. Three of the four hours are presented on this triple album, and no, the creativity never flags – but some listeners might.