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A Handful Of Dust


One of Bruce Russell’s (Dead C) and Alastair Galbraith‘s darkest outfits, often dealing with distinct imagery and motif’s in their music and especially pronounced in their liner notes (most of which are distributed through Russell’s Corpus Hermeticum label).

i) Being beyond “music,” it is noise.
ii) Being beyond “rules,” it is free.

Bruce Russell’s ‘Free Noise Manifesto’
A Handful of List, Live at Lines of Flight Festival, 2019

Formed by the duo in Dunedin in 1984, and primarily a free noise group. Though primarily a duo, Peter Stapleton had been a regular contributor from 1993 until his passing in March 2020.

The exclusively improvising group A Handful Of Dust was the flagship act of Russell’s new-coined “Free Noise” movement, and a natural fit to Galbraith’s developing methodology. In a 1988 article on Plagal Grind in Alley Oop, Galbraith said, “We don’t aim to get better and better. We want to keep it new and fresh each time … I mean, imagine a painter who knew exactly what he wanted to paint. The joy of the actual painting wouldn’t be the same as discovering what you wanted as you did it.” And in a 1988 article on Plagal Grind in the Dunedin Star Midweek, Galbraith said, “I almost think jazz musicians have got the right idea. It’s different each time.”

AudioCulture profile of Alastair Galbraith




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