They formed AMM, soon to be joined by distinguished composer Cornelius Cardew, an improvisation ensemble that has exerted influence internationally across a wide range of kinds of music, from contemporary composition to psychedelic rock, ambient soundscapes and industrial noise. During the late 1960s AMM occasionally played on the same bill as Pink Floyd. In 1968 American composer Christian Wolff spent his year in London as a member of AMM. In the course of AMM’s rigorous scrutiny of music’s internal and external relations and of sound itself, Prévost revised his understanding of the nature and potential of percussion. He bowed cymbals, used drums as resonant amplifying ‘sound boxes’, incorporated ‘found objects’ into a growing battery of percussive elements that now includes gongs and a huge stringed contra-bass drum.
He examined the very grain of the material at hand. At the same time Prévost has remained at home with the jazz drum kit and those conventional techniques associated with it. Jazz has had a distinct referential role within several groups Prévost has been involved with, from The Eddie Prévost Band of the late 1970s with Geoff Hawkins on tenor, bassist Marcio Mattos and trumpeter Gerry Gold; to his trio which began in the 1990s with Tom Chant and John Edwards (double bassist) and to a recent ensemble with saxophonist Alan Wilkinson and bassist Joe Williamson. Prévost still performs regularly with AMM (which currently consists of pianist John Tilbury and himself). The vital dynamic of all Prévost’s work is creative response to a specific context. His varied and ongoing discoveries within AMM, and his refinement of that group’s meta-musical philosophy, extend into his solo playing and into other diverse alignments, such as 9!, Sakada (with the live electronics and computers of Mattin and Rosy Parlane) or the trio with Jim O’Rourke and Takehisa Kosugi that accompanied Merce Cunningham’s dance company in 1998. Prévost’s life as a musician has encompassed encounters with an extraordinary range of instrumentalists including Evan Parker, Barry Guy, Paul Rutherford (trombone player), Tony Moore, Christian Wolff, Marilyn Crispell, Shiku Yanu, Veryan Weston, Howard Riley, Max Eastley, Phillip Wachsman, Akemi Kuniyoshi, John Edwards, Tom Chant, Dave Jackman’s ‘Organum’, Yoshikazu Iwamoto, and Derek Bailey.
As well as improvising and playing free jazz Prévost has performed challenging experimental compositions, especially those of his former associate Cornelius Cardew. Prévost has also subsequently collaborated with other rock-oriented groups, including GOD, Main and Sonic Boom’s ‘Experimental Audio Research.’ He has created music for experimental filmmakers — most notably Malcolm LeGrice, Vlasto Sudar and Gina Tornatore. He has played in most European countries including Russia, Lithuania and Turkey, in the USA, Canada and Japan and has convened workshops in Europe and America as well as in the UK. In addition to making music Prévost lectures, writes, edits and publishes. His writings about the aesthetic priority of improvisation have appeared in numerous arts and music magazines e.g.
Marina d’Art (Spain), Influenza (Denmark), Bad Alchemy (Germany), British Journal of Music Education (UK), Contact (UK), The Wire (UK) and Contemporary Music Review (UK). His keynote address to the 1999 Colloquium (part of the Guelph Jazz Festival) was reprinted in ‘The Other Side of Nowhere — jazz, improvisation, and communities in dialogue’ Ed. Daniel Fischlin and Ajay Heble, Wesleyan UP, 2004. From his home in Essex he runs the estimable imprint Matchless Recordings and its print offshoot Copula, which has published Prévost’s own books, Minute Particulars and No Sound Is Innocent, and recently issued an invaluable collection of essays, articles and statements by Cornelius Cardew.
He has also been an active member of several organizations established to promote improvisation and creative music-making. For nine years, Prévost has convened a weekly workshop on Friday nights in London. This has attracted over 300 musicians representing some 20 or more nationalities. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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