Jim Denley and Cor Fuhler first met at the Taklos Festival in Switzerland in the early 1990s and Cor's frequent visits to Australia over the years gave them the opportunity to occasionally play. In 2012 Cor moved from Melbourne to Sydney, allowing them to ramp up the duo — this is their first release together. Over 7 weeks at the end of 2013 they recorded weekly in Cor's backyard studio in Wahroonga, eventually choosing take 9 and 12, titling them Skive and Wag.
Their imaginative preparations and inventions mean that listeners will find it hard to believe they are playing saxophone and piano, and at times, be unable to distinguish between the two players. They don't accept clichés about instrumental notions and fashionable schools (new and old).But Truancy isn't just about opting out, rather, time away from institutions has been devoted to generating new sounds and structures.
Jim Denley - alto sax and preparations
Cor Fuhler - piano and preparations
Truancy cover, (click for the Splitrec website)
...these two improvised duets represent the art of spatial relationships, atmospherics and suspense. Nonetheless part of that suspense is derived from the sheer surprise factor of the sounds that unfold, sometimes even stretching to the delight of wondering on which instrument they were made! The cover contains lists of wildly diverse artists, and the one that caught my eye was Poe: this music could function admirably as a score for his 'The Tell-tale Heart'.
John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
"Never rushed, yet sustaining a feeling of confidence and comfort in their materials, Denley and Fuhler produce two sides of music here that at once cradle listeners in its comforting beauty while keeping them moving through ever changing scenery."
Richard Pinnell, the Wire
"...Fuhler and Denley molding an elastic, tensile space where something is almost always occurring, usually three or four things, where "placement" or necessity seems less of a concern than maintaining a certain thrust and textural variation. Denley's alto, always a problematic notion given my personal prejudices, doesn't shy away from its fundamental properties even as its palette is greatly enhanced via his preparations. Hard to quantify, except to acknowledge the instrumentalist's inherent musicality, why it works so well here and is, again for me, rare elsewhere. Fuhler, not surprisingly, spends more time inside the piano (though standard notes percolate through every so often) and, one presumes, is also responsible for some radio work and other electronics, all of which handled with his customary deftness and depth (I miss hearing more of his work since his transference to Australia). The music never gets frenetic, more going from medium to a nice, grainy, rough-edged, slow flow, the latter always full and grimy, with that wonderful sense of air circulating around the sounds. An excellent recording, don't miss it."
Brian Olewnick, Just Outside
...my own positiveness for Truancy is a fact: deceivingly intelligible, it hides small doses of venom – of the sort that we at Touching Extremes love to savor."
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
"Five minutes into the first track Skive we hear a moment of radio, perhaps a song by the pop band Coldplay. Later we hear an advertisement. These sound bites lend a kind of mobility to the soundscape that, working in combination with the spectral range evoked by both players, gives the impression of satillites picking up transmissions from technologies as prosaic and domestic as radios, right through to the sound-waves broadcast by the earth-as-sound-machine. I can imagine more than just human ears appreciating the wide spectrum of sound on Truancy."
Joseph Cummings, Music Trust
Truancy was made with support of the Australia Council for the Arts.