The Splatter Trio
Dave Barrett: saxophones, saxcello, ocarina, DX-7
Myles Boisen: doubleneck guitar/bass, Casio
Gino Robair:: percussion, sampler, theremin
Guitarist Myles Boisen likens a Splatter Trio show to watching an artist paint:
"...you get to see us creating our art in front of you rather than offering prepackaged musical experiences."
The name of the band reflects the messy act of creation:
"We chose the name 'Splatter' because that's what we wanted
the music to be like. Painterly, but also kind of bloody...
half-Pollock and half-Peckinpah."
Splatter formed after saxophonist Dave Barrett
(then a member of Club Foot Orchestra) saw a 1987
performance of John Zorn's Cobra Ensemble that included
Myles and Gino. Years of collective
experience with the likes of Anthony Braxton, ROVA
Saxophone Quartet, Snakefinger, Fred Frith, and Dead
Kennedys gave the three exceptional skill with
experimentation and improvisation. Rather than being
slaves to song structure, they play with it. Gino calls
structure "our main material, like sonic playdough...
as if the playdough just sort of appears as we play."
Myles says, "We don't get lost, but we also don't know
where we're going." A Cambodian quotation on their
Splatter Trio puts it well: "When musicians play
together each goes his own way but they meet from time
When these musicians play together, they seem intent on
surprising and delighting each other. They typically have
no set list; instead, one of them starts playing something
and the others play whatever makes sense at the time,
sometimes complementing the other musicians, sometimes
going off in a completely different direction. The result
gives the audience a constantly changing stream of squawks,
beats, swirls, jokes, splashes, and noise, an improv
soundtrack for the listener's own private contribution.
Later Splatter performances often included an
improvisitory use of custom-made compact discs containing
solo material from each of the Splatter members. In this
way, they were able to create a virtual double-trio, or
any combination derived from it. The custom discs were
unmarked so that the players were unable to plan anything
in advance - which is exactly how they like it! The 1996
limited edition CD (25 copies) called Recombinance
(Live) documents a "performance" by the trio using
only Splatter Trio-related compact discs.
The Splatter Trio is currently working on their 9th release.
A selected discography:
2008: Clear The Club (BRD 053)
1998: Splatterarities (LS006) Out of Print
1996: Recombinance (Live) Out of Print
1995: Hi-Fi Junk Note (BRD 021)
Jump or Die (MACD-843)
Fistful of Dewey (RACER 1003)
1992: Anagrams (BRD 007)
1990: Splatter Trio (BRD 003)