Frank Aveni, Eric Dahlman and Adam Franks were doing a free-improv thing and I went to see them one night at TT the Bear’s Place, Fall of 2002. It was ludicrous and I loved it. Around that same time I began playing with The Arrangement and Frank invited me to jam with Blood Cells sometime. I hadn’t done any real group improvisation since high school and was psyched at the prospect of exploring some new horizons.
I started out playing Arp Odyssey, an incredibly powerful analog synthesizer, and a few effects pedals, then eventually brought in my Rhodes, an old tape-echo, and would occasionally play drums. We rehearsed often (at our Watertown practice space shared with The Arrangement and later at the Berwick), made one official studio recording, and only played a handful of shows.
I’ve come across three nice descriptions of this project.
1) Blood Cells travel in free improv, surreal groove and ambient domains via tonal and microtonal strategies.
2) Blood Cells combine random and predetermined improvisational strategies to create organic sound structures. Drones, ambient grooves and free improvs coagulate and disperse, forming cell-surface molecular vibrations.
3) Blood Cells combine random and predetermined improvisational strategies to create organic sound structures. Ambient drones, surreal grooves and free improvs coagulate and disperse, emitting tonal and microtonal molecular vibrations.
Dahlman would occasionally bring in short-hand song structures for us to follow:
Sometime in 2005 Frank bowed out as our practices became less frequent and the sonic pathways veered towards extreme minimalism rather than something with a discernible pulse. Adam, Eric and I would get together occasionally, but demands from other musical and personal commitments eventually put this project on indefinite hiatus. Here are a couple of songs recorded live at the Berwick with this trio, June 8, 2005:Adam Franks, Eric Dahlman, Frank Aveni