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Journey to Nutville BY KAREN PARKO Way back in 1986, friends Mat Britain and Dan Moore decided to embark on an artistic adventure together, despite being separated by about six pretty big states. Still on that musical journey nearly thirty years later, the Britain Moore Duo is releasing their third CD in April 2014. Nutville features thirteen groovy tracks that range from classic duo tunes to large-scale productions-music from Argentina, Brazil, Trinidad, and the USA-all filtered through the BMD's unique musical style. The two met at Wichita State University in Kansas. Britain was working on an undergraduate degree and studying steel pan. Moore was working on his master's and focusing on marimba. They played together in an extracurricular percussion group formed with fellow students-a group that infamously advised it's unconventional drummer, Matt Wilson, to play more "normal." When a WSU Steel Band recording came up one tune short, Britain and Moore spent a lunch break putting together a pan/marimba duet to fill out the set list. After graduation, they went their separate ways. "We ended up in different regions of the country," Moore says. "I was surrounded by the gorgeous mountains of Montana, but felt musically isolated. Out of the blue I phoned Mat, who was living in Ohio. We found that we both were searching for an artistic endeavor." They decided to get their pan/marimba duo back together and book a tour in the Northwest. Britain laughs, "I flew to Bozeman to play this tour, and after I got there we started working out what we would play. We loaded Dan's Mazda with equipment and drove around the frozen Northwest for two weeks. It surprised both of us that the tour turned out to be so successful." Moore and Britain began spending summers working out new material in Britain's Cincinnati crash pad and playing local venues. They went on to book tours in various parts of the country. In 1993 they released a CD titled Cricket City. Events in their lives-cross-country moves, marriage, jobs, kids, a doctoral dissertation-created a few gaps in their schedule as a duo, yet they have stayed together, and in 2001 recorded a second CD, Little World of Rhythm. Not a year has passed since 1986 without at least one BMD performance! Moore offers an explanation for the duo's longevity: "The main reason the BMD is still here is that we made an artistic commitment. We're friends, but the duo isn't based entirely on friendship. If it were, it would be too easy to walk away when things get a little rough around the edges." Britain agrees, "The BMD is something we've chosen to focus our creative energy on - Something that we believe in. Something that makes up musically for some of the gigs you have to take to pay the bills." Comprising steel pans, marimba, and percussion, the duo originated as a strictly acoustic enterprise, evolved into a mix of acoustic and electronic sounds throughout much of the 90s, and is now back to it's original acoustic roots. Moore developed a rhythmic and easily identifiable performing style on the marimba that elegantly combines bass lines and comping patterns with harmonic and melodic material. "There is really nothing new here," he points out. "This is what marimba artists have been doing for years. The difference is that I'm using these same techniques to play music based in improvisation. The improvised nature of our music makes it possible, even necessary, for me to be able to change what I play from performance to performance. Recycling the same patterns throughout an entire tune or playing a piece the same way night after night would be simply too boring both for the listener and for me." Britain remembers playing along with those grooves in the early days. "Watching Dan do that night after night and knowing that he was creating this stuff out of thin air used to scare me to death." Those fears have long since subsided, and the duo exudes a relaxed confidence and obvious enjoyment in the music they play - and in each other. Moore has fine-tuned his approach to the marimba and vibes with hundreds of solo performances throughout the world over the last twenty years, also helping enhance the BMD's global perspective on music. Mat has traveled to Trinidad to participate several times in the Panorama competition, and both have traveled to China to perform and learn traditional Chinese drumming which they perform in some of their live shows. Over the years The BMD has enjoyed the opportunity to perform with many top drummers including the late Ed Shaughnessy of the tonight show band, Danny Gottlieb, Peter Erskine and Nexus, and the ubiquitous jazz drummer, Matt Wilson, who fortunately didn't take their advice back at WSU. With Nutville, their third CD together, they continue the trend of inviting guests onto their projects with drumming wizard Johnny Rabb taking a turn on Jaco Pastorius's Teen Town, and Brazilian percussion master Fernando Hashimoto crafting a unique three-four groove on Cravo e Canela. Maybe you'll be able to catch the BMD out on the road somewhere, but until then, Nutville is a good way to enjoy the great sounds of these two long-time friends having fun creating their art together.


Artist: Britain Moore Duo
Title: Nutville
Genre: International
Release Date: 01/04/2014
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 888295072137


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