Reviews review by Lindsay Bryden

Improvisation is a very personal thing. It is an accumulation of your musical tastes, comprehension of technique and harmonies, and many other factors. It can delight and amaze listeners, and can indicate the development of the performer over time. This is what Paul Cheneour aims to demonstrate in this series of albums.

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More than ever I can see that performing a concert or making a recording is like what I do as a woodworker doing a new build or repair. First, organise all the tools
you will need for the job.
Paul plays a custom-made Ed Almeida concert flute with a mid-period Albert Cooper head joint, Germeinhardt piccolo, Altus Alto flute, and Jupiter bass flute all plated. With a far damper climate due to global warming- this is a good idea…. Every year I clean the heritage tools I still use and oiling and waxing them as protection against rust.
I wish I could plate my steel tools, but even chrome plating would be expensive, but Paul you have given me an idea and I’ll can discuss this with other woodworkers.
Paul also plays a Chinese flute, which was a gift from a student visiting Beijing.
And then there are your influences – as with my woodworking, my old teachers Mr Cannons, Roy Brendersohn home editor of the Popular Mechanics and my late Grandfather.
On the album “Way of Waiting” track “Freezing Sunrise” Paul uses a Chinese flute, but the influence feels very Celtic -touching Celtic China -to the Irish Scottish Celtic fringe.
In China, recently graves of people who were Celtic looking and matched to Celts by DNA were found in the west of China.
My Chinese workmates play a lot of traditional flute music and some does have a Celtic feel to it. The track “Quietness” has the feel of traditional China, mist filling valleys on a fog filled morning.
Paul seamlessly blends so many influences on these two albums. To be a great musician you should listen to great musicians who have gone before, which he has clearly done, for example, John Coltrane, meeting traditional music from Central Asia, with Classical Music and Ornette Coleman.
On the album “Way of Being” the track” Inscription” Paul draws threads from all over Asia together, and “Forgiveness” draws inspiration from India - Snow covered mountains rising up from hot plains.
On the track “In the early hours” there is clear Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, and Classical influences all blended together.
Whatever you are doing you must decide what methods you will use to bring the results you want- Shall I use a trench joint, or half laps, or just ordinary butt joints. Do I use nails, screws, or wood dowels?
I heard Paul use the overblowing technique like Carlo Actis Dato, and a huge range of techniques including under-blowing, ghosting voices, multi-phonics, voice and sliding voice, (almost like overtone singing) split notes, forming chords, overtones, whistle tones, double triple and flutter tonguing, as well as variations and combinations of these techniques. “I also use different air pockets in the mouth and throat to change the colour of the sounds”.
What is the result of this?
I feel like a bird soaring high and free, like a Don Binney painting (now you can
Google it and know what I'm talking about). My writing has also been influenced by
modern art. Floating free reaching for something higher, the pureness of art beyond commerce, like flowers growing in a desert, watered by underground springs from distant snow-mountains from high mountain peaks.
This music is a deep majesty, something very different here there is a hint of a Latin feel on the track” Forever faithful” And a strong Yuseef Lateff influence on “Paradiso” - like I said before, pure art beyond Commerce/Entertainment.
The piano feels like tiny pieces of crystal filling the air, like falling snow with pure gold flute light filling the spaces like an Arabic dance in marble palaces
“In the desert” has unusual tone colours beautifully outside this world.
Paul is also a powerful writer, each tune also has word pictures, for example:” Forever Faithful” ‘Each time I arrive here a new body, a new life, a new learning
Being separated from the ocean is pain, trying always to be true this is all I can do
Over and over and over’.

I really recommend these albums individually or as a complete set!
Geoffrey Totton (IMF)

Second CD REVIEW: Way of Waiting: Way of Being & Green
Thank you for that awesome music - slow, restful, gentle, clever, and I'm floating off to other worlds. Great to have some new music to listen to and explore. It's the sort of music that adds another dimension, opens doors as we listen. I could definitely hear those Celtic notes too from time to time. I don't know how he creates so much variation in "voice" and tone and colour with a single instrument. I do love wind and reed instruments.
by Rosemary Totton for IMF