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Random Touch

Random Touch release A Way From the Heard

Random Touch’s Scott Hamill (guitars), James Day (keyboards) and Christopher Brown (drums/vocals) first collaborated in the 1970’s. Pure improvisation was one among many sound experiments. Over time it became the preferred mode for music making.

With the music of A Way From the Heard (Token Boy Records, 2009) Random Touch has arrived at a new level of expression. Rock and symphonic music are more fully merged on much of the album, and their long developed technique of abandon is exercised with deft maturity. The result is an unbridled expression of sound as emotion. The colors are more vivid, the gestures wider; very little remains in the shadows. The music seems to sense that it’s time has ripened.

The trio came of age musically when Mozart’s legendary improvisations were all but forgotten and when only jazz musicians and a handful of rock bands played with improvisation. Those that did so operated within the strict confines of a song. The trio’s bliss, however, lay in the direction of pure improvisation. Over time they have come to rely on the tools of abandon and serendipity to activate their vision. The ripened fruit of their creative energies is the CD A Way From the Heard, their twelfth release.

“Think of how string theory has posited as many as 11 dimensions; I have no doubt that one or more of these “extra” dimensions comes into play with the music of Random Touch. We experience abundance and freedom precisely because of our access to these extra dimensions.” Christopher Brown, drums

"Autonomous music-making...Freeform by definition...Yet our performances seek just one goal: That of producing music that reaches in to your most internal thoughts and stimulates your sense of wonder. As a group our music is individualistic, self-supporting, uncontrolled and detached. It is music delivered with a peculiar and distinct sound, as if assembled with the power of a strong nuclear force." James Day, keyboards

A Way From the Heard will be available beginning July 31, 2009 at and

Christopher Brown began formal percussion study in 1963. His initial focus was orchestra and band percussion. In 1965 he began drum-set study with jazz drummer and early drum-set pioneer Dick Dickson. By 1967, contemporaneous with his jazz studies, Brown began playing with a series of rock bands. Influences over the next seven years included rock artists such as The Jimi Hendrix Experience and King Crimson, 20th century composers such as Elliot Carter and Morton Subotnick, and jazz luminaries such as Miles Davis and Weather Report. A growing interest in multiple artistic mediums led to the creation in 1975 of the Trusty Wourins Performance Ensemble with a number of fellow musicians. This group utilized projected film and slides, actors, improvised and structured music, as well as traditional, invented and “ready-made” instruments in performances reminiscent of the late 1960’s happenings. Subsequent to Trusty Wourins Brown played with the rock band The Benders and the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Film at Columbia College in 1980.

James Day began his formal music education in 1962. He began playing in his first rock band in 1970 as a guitarist. A dramatic and early influence on Day was his introduction to the compositions of Gyorgy Ligeti in Stanley Kurbrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. In addition to Ligeti, he counts among his early influences Luciano Berio, Igor Stravinsky and Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi group. By 1972 his interest in 20th century composers led him to begin study of the piano and organ. From 1975 to 1978 he performed with the Trusty Wourins Performance Ensemble on keyboards and synthesizer, and collaborated with Christopher Brown on the group’s films and photographs. In 1976 he began formal composition study with Paul Cochran of the Chicago Conservatory College, followed by study with Robert Hanson, principal conductor of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Day’s formal composition and piano study continued through 1981. He returned to rock music in 1978 with The Benders and from 1982 to 1983 played with the rock band Sniper, Sniper.

Scott Hamill taught himself acoustic and electric guitar in the mid-seventies and became guitarist for The Benders in 1978. He counts among his early influences Bill Frisell, Phil Manzanera and Charles Ives. Subsequent to The Benders he played with a number of bands including The Browns.

Matthew Ebbin began videotaping Random Touch performances in 1998. Shortly thereafter he began joining the group for improvised video outings as well as more formal shoots.

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