Zen Bicycle Band
Contemporary / Con-Fusion / Fusion
There is a Japanese visual art in which the artist must be spontaneous called Shodo or Shoji, which translates into English as “direct deed”.
The artist must paint on a thin stretched parchment with a special brush using only black water paint, in such a way that any unnatural or interrupted stroke will destroy the line or break the parchment. No modification, rethinking or changes are to be made.
What is The Zen Bicycle Band music?
It’s a freeform flowing stream of connectivity between three individual players created entirely spontaneous in a similar manner to the Japanese art of calligraphy Shodo - ‘Direct Deed’ where after much meditation and with one stroke of the brush ideograms are formed. In the case of the Zen Bicycle Band the ego nature of the performers is made quiet. They connect with the audience, in harmony and also directly to the source of imagination and inspiration. Every performance is unique to that moment of creation.
Whatever we might try to describe the music as being, then it is probably what it isn’t… you are the ones to decide!
These artists practice a particular discipline, that of allowing the idea or inspiration to express itself in direct communication with the hand in such a way that deliberation or consideration does not interfere. It is said that the resulting pictures lack the complex composition and textures of considered painting, but for those who can see, they will find something very special captured which defies explanation.
We’ve created spontaneous intuitive music from a ‘direct deed’ perspective, but to know it consciously can be likened to going through a doorway. Whether it happened by accident or design is still open to question; it’s the most fulfilling way of playing together.
In order to successfully combine the elements of spontaneous performance and composition it’s essential to be completely still and empty.
Creating a space of stillness within requires much preparation. It should not be hurried; it’s necessary to rise above or disassociate your-self from the day-to-day hustle, bustle and turmoil to reach the stillness. Having reached that place of stillness and silence (which can be almost deafening) the ego, the ‘Me, Me, and Me!’ must stand aside.
Quieten the part of you that inhibits the flow of music, become so empty that the music enters your being like water being poured into a cup.
The music that flows from this space is surprisingly organised and profound. It is not mindless unstructured noodling. It is effortless music without the mind interfering.
Who is 'Zen Bicycle Band'?
Dave Robinson –
Mallet-Kat, Eigenharp, percussion, vocals & composer: He’s recorded 4 CDs and is one of the first Mallet-Kat, vibes/synthesizer players in the UK. His blending of traditional and electronic music; creating the pulse and ambient foundation is the hallmark of the Zen Bicycle Band sound.
Paul Cheneour –
Flutes, boul/scat vocals & composer: trained at the Guildhall School of Music (London) under Professor Rainer Schuelein. He’s recorded 47 CDs and has wide experience exploring different musical forms from western art music & jazz to world music. In 2005 Paul was voted No.72 in the ‘100 world’s best jazz flute player’s poll’ by readers of: www.digitaldreamdoor.com .
Clive Fletcher –
Double bass, electric double bass, bass-guitar, composer. Holds post graduate degrees in music and is an experienced classical, jazz, and rock bassist, free-improviser and respected music teacher. He studied double bass under Professor B.A. Van Kampen (ex-BBC Symphony Orchestra and The Hanover Band) at Reading University, the viols with Francis Baines, composition with Donald Cashmore, and jazz double bass with Peter Ind. Clive, a bass virtuoso, creates and holds a solid foundation that enables the others to react too.