Mark Browne soprano and sopranino saxophones
Lol Coxhill soprano and sopranino saxophones
"I spoke with Lol for the first time in 1983. I had seen him as a shadowy figure, fully waterproofed outside Weatherhead’s Bookshop in Aylesbury some years earlier. We were both waiting for the rain to ease. I knew who he was, but being a shy schoolboy I wasn’t going to break the silence. In 1983, it was raining again as I walked up from Oval tube station to the White Horse in Brixton. I arrived early, Lol was already sat in the back room running through those familiar flurries of notes. Over the next few years we met at concerts but little was said. I had now progressed to being a shy mathematics student in London.
Early in 1991, I saw Lol in a telephone box in Aylesbury. This was a few yards from the Weatherhead’s Bookshop on Kingsbury. It wasn’t raining. We chatted about saxophones, saxophonists and arranged to exchange tapes. I sent off my tape of some soprano solos the next day and received a cassette of the album of Lol playing with Totsuzen Danball. [ www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/labels/wax/tk30119.html
Some months passed and I received a letter from Lol inviting me to play with him in London and offering to introduce me to the London Musicians Collective. The first time we played together was at an LMC concert at the Red Rose Club in June 1991. This was followed by an invite to play as part of Lol’s Bureau De Chance ensemble, again at the Red Rose and then the graveyard concert with Wake (www.discogs.com/Wake-15-With-Mark-Browne-3-Lol-Coxhill-Graveyard-Coitus/release/7598188
). The Aylesbury concert followed in November 1991 (scatterarchive.bandcamp.com/album/st-marys-aylesbury-1991
). I was pleased to play many concerts with Lol throughout the 1990s as a duo and with others.
Lol had played the 1999 LMC Festival at London’s Southbank and a special microphone had been used that captured not only a stereo horizontal axis, but also the vertical axis. Soon after we booked the LMC’s Sound Studio in Brixton, just down the road from the White Horse, for the evening of 9th July 1999. I had driven back to Aylesbury from Cornwall earlier in the day and travelled up to London by train. The day was very warm and the studio interior was like an oven. The studio engineer wanted us to use the new LMC microphone and we were to sit opposite each other. We talked about Merzbow. Masami Akita had shown an interest in playing with Lol. Lol provided a little rum, and then we prepared to play.
After reviewing the first test piece (1st track presented here) we recorded and left with a DAT copy of the evenings playing to review at our leisure. I transferred the DAT to CD and sent a copy to Lol. We both agreed that the sound wasn’t what we wanted, probably a result of the microphone and the project was consigned, quickly, to the archive.
May 2021 and I promise to send Liam Stefani one of the CD copies I made of the recording, more as a curiosity than a viable release. But I located the original DAT and sent that instead along with the other concert recordings I have. The transfer he achieved from the DAT is excellent and is the source that appears here. Apologies to LMC Sound for 20 years of unjust criticism." [Mark Browne]