The singular voice of David Torn

Every now and then a musician comes along with such an individual take on things that you can’t continue your own path without exploring theirs for a while. For myself, this has occurred more than once with the music of Ren Walters (a Melbourne based improviser), Ralph Towner and J.S. Bach, to name but a few.

I discovered the music of David Torn many years ago on an album called Polytown which features Terry Bozzio and Mick Karn. I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it for a long time. It stuck in my mind and whenever I thought of it my brow would furrow with the realisation that I needed to take a closer listen to what was going on, as I knew there were many layers to this music.

A more recent album Prezens reveals an even more clearly realised improvisational approach. The compositional approach in the band’s improvisations appeal to me. In fact, like any great art, the clarity of how Torn achieves his ideas helps me to clarify my own.

Initially I was going to analyse something off the album in this post but for now I suggest you check out David Torn for yourself. Perhaps I’ll write something more in depth in the future.

You can start here and there is a great short video on Youtube.

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