• 1. ORDERS FOR THE PALS (04:44)
  • 2. "I FOUGHT" (01:56)
  • 3. WREATH (00:51)
  • 4. CENOTAPH (00:51)
  • 5. THE TWO LIES (02:11)
  • 6. NOTES ON AVARICE (05:41)
  • 7. BURNT MEMORIES (02:32)
  • 8. WOOD SONG ONE (02:36)
  • 9. WOOD SONG TWO (02:59)
  • 10. WOOD SONG THREE (02:43)
  • 11. WOOD SONG FOUR (02:14)
  • 13. TRUE STORY (04:06)
  • 14. WOOD SONG FIVE (01:57)
  • 15. TO EMMA GOLDMAN (00:50)
  • 16. EXTRA (01:25)
  • 17. BLASPHEMY (03:25)
  • 18. WELL (01:55)
  • 19. A GOOD SONG (02:06)
  • 20. PSALM OF EVOLUTION 1 (04:56)
  • 21. PSALM OF EVOLUTION 2 (04:17)

A Doughnut in Both Hands


Vocals – Phil Minton

Solo singing. The variety of sounds that this man can make with his voice and mouth is totally unbelievable. Reissue of Rift 3 with extra material from the same and slightly later sessions. 56 minutes.

Excerpts from sleeve notes:
In the first full flowering of the free improvisation era, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, several musicians radically extended their ranges, to make sounds not envisaged by the designers of their instruments. This was usually achieved by finding new techniques or by adding amplification or by devising new instruments. Perhaps the most remarkable of these extensions was that of Phil Minton (b. 1940). In most other cases, one could work out how the new range was achieved, even if one did not have the originality to invent it. In Minton's case, any investigation as to how he managed to extend his voice in so many directions, merely left the investigator with a sore throat.

For much of the 1970s and 1980s, Minton's main activity was a mixture of interpreting songs and improvising in the Mike Westbrook Band. A freer mix was heard in a vocal group called Voice with Brian Eley, Maggie Nicols & Julie Tippett. More recently he has continued the mixture of songs and freedom in his duo with Veryan Weston and in his quartet. He has also been involved in free improvisation without words, as can be heard on most of this collection. Perhaps the freest examples of his improvising can be found in his recent duos with John Butcher, John Russell and Roger Turner.

The first fifteen tracks on this CD comprised his first solo album, which came out on Fred Frith's Rift label in the USA. Most are free improvisations exploring one or more aspects of his remarkable chops. One or two are based on his tunes that he has used elsewhere. The titles of the 1980 pieces (1-7, 18, 20, 21) reflect that he was then reading books and articles about the First World War.

To expand the collection to CD length, some additional tracks were added, mostly from the same sessions that produced the LP. Amongst these are two very free interpretations of Lou Glanfield's poem PSALM OF EVOLUTION .

Some of the tapes were not in pristine condition, alas. I have done as much as possible to clean them up, with additional work done on some items by Peter Cusack and/or Dave Hunt. However, there are still a few sounds left that not even Phil Minton made, but not enough to seriously detract from these examples of the glory of the human voice at its most creative, extended and varied.


Album label: 
Release date: 
01.01 / 1998
Recording date: 
15.08 / 1975
Recording location: 
London, Bracknell, Bresse sur Gromes 1975-1982
Artwork design : Bob Humm, Martin Davidson
Mastering engineer : Martin Davidson
Recording engineer : D Gleave, D Vorhaus, P Crawford, Jacky

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