The Mythological Subtext:
Saur is a spirit, whom we invoke through our music. Saur is a presence, an intensity which permeates the music to varying degrees. Sometimes it is gentle - just a subtle fragrance, and other times it is rich, dark and sauring. It's darkness is akin to the dark light of Christ, Shiva or Kwan Yin - a deep fathomless mystery of unasked-for truth, that haunts the casual, the friendly, the static poise of the little figurine upon your shelf.
We as humans have been raised by our type to believe in niceness. The safety of the blinkered vision, a blanched world dressed up as spice - like a tourist's trinket portrayed as the genuine. But behind the veil of this charming frippery, in which most spend their entire lives, lies the reality of the Great Adventure - where uncertainty rules. Where we can fly along the shores of the unknowable, by very different skills to those so highly valued within our human societies.
Beneath everything lies mystery, and opening to this is release into endless wealth. Saur rises from the shadows to turn light into dark, and dark into light - the world of the gods and the reality to which we all must eventually revert on death. Saur is our messenger of eternity, to remind us that our castles are sand, and only the ocean remains. Let us transform into fish, and live forever!
Saur is also a special genre of music. Most musicians play music that has been previously composed. A rendition. Some musicians also improvise. This word is sometimes used to describe a 'variation', or an unofficial form of composition, which is also learnt, then played. Again a rendition.
However improvisation is most commonly applied to the jazz style of playing, where the person instantaneously 'makes up' a bit of music, whilst the remaining members maintain a pre-learnt base. In this style of music it is common protocol to leave alone the improvising musician to complete his or her allotted section. So it is limited in structure, in that a specific space is provided to 'freelance' within an overall pre-composed piece. And it is 'soloed' in that one person does his or her thing until their time is up. There is a considerable amount of convention applied to this, which is expected everyone observe.
When the conventions are removed, musicians call this a 'jam'. The jam is popular in the rock music arena. It generally means that each musician is free to let off steam, with very little sensitivity to what others in the group are doing. This is experienced as a free for all race until you just get tired and stop. It is great fun to play for awhile, but only occasionally produces good listening music.
Saur is a very different type of improvised music. There are no overt rules or structures, people are not allotted their own space, without interference, to develop and complete their own expression. Anyone can play anything at any time. Also it is not a jam, specifically because each person is externally sensitive to each of the other musicians.
But there is something more important - it is a spontaneous composition in which all participate. The significance of this is that over and above the mutual sensitivity of the players, the salient characteristic of sauring is a sensitivity to the evolving spirit in the music. We are all watching and waiting for this spirit to appear, then we all become intimately transported through this spirit on a journey that none of the players can anticipate.
Thus you will notice in many of our pieces, a preliminary stage - the platform - in which we invoke the spirit of Saur. Then as it appears in whatever mood, you will hear the music distinctly shift intensity, and the inner structure being articulated - this is from the spirit, not pre-prepared by us in any way. Sometimes this inner structure is melodic, rhythmic, phrasing or clear lines of intensity and shadow. Other times it is simple - a unique feeling, a gentle permeating presence.
The Name, Saur:
Where did the name Saur come from? Good question. It's origins are shrouded in mystery. Different people are claiming intimacy with it's manifestation. Michael believes he 'saw' it first, only to discover that it had saurntered previously in the minds of Dominic and Lindy separately. Marco was seen beside himself in agonic laughter upon the floor with the word in his teeth, but all agree it was Dominic who courageously wrote it on the board... and we all knew. It is my belief that Saur itself planted the word in the minds of each individual, and thereby 'claimed' its spokespeople, its voices. Saur claimed its band, and struggle as they may, its mark is vibrantly visible.
(right-click and select 'Save target as...' to download, and bypass Microsoft's player)
Windowsill [MP3, 10.6MB]
Featuring Dominic's 'on the fly' song and lyrics creation.
Turn Your Shoulder [MP3, 11.4MB]
Shadow [MP3, 9.23MB]
Front Tears [MP3, 5.71MB]
Jack-in-the-box [MP3, 4.45MB]
Hands [MP3, 7.65MB]
Where Am I [MP3, 4.72MB]
A dark and mysterious rendition of the mind of Arne Saknussemm
Dreaming [MP3, 31.8MB]
Luna Frogs [MP3, 27.1MB]
Everyone You Know [MP3, 17.2MB]
Hu-Ah-Yu [MP3, 97MB]
Anna Frank [166MB]
Memories [139MB] Adults Only
Subterranean Tanks [180MB] Adults Only
Top of the Tower [93.5MB]
Dominic provides the structural integrity of Saur's music. His style is influenced by blues and folk rock. His great talent, which never ceases to astonish all the other members of the band, is his ability to construct a complete song, verses chorus bridges and all, on the spot, while playing it. He has a dusky, mysterious but warm and romantic vocal, and a very rhythmic guitar style, even when playing lead.
Michael plays lead guitar, congas, vocals, flute, didgeridoo, shakers, clarinet, mouth organ and boing-boing. His style is influenced by African rhythms and Indian classical. Michael is responsible for the weird vocal sounds, occasional odd instruments and a fluid lead guitar style.
Jeff plays rhythm guitar and bass, and played the beautiful ebo-guitar lead on the Mountain Hermitage track. He has also produced numerous outrageous video clips of the band.
Michael is an accomplished jazz musician, so whenever you hear anything normal he is probably responsible. He plays bass and lead guitar.
Lindy plays synthesizer and sings beautiful vocal support. She is also a composer of excellent songs, which may feature on future Saur CDs. Lindy was also complicit in the mystery of the manifestation of the name Saur, so she can't escape.
Marco has not played with the band for some years, but warrants inclusion particularly because he was present when the band name was uncovered. He plays bass and a lot of weird sounding effects, and has moved into the techno scene. He also may feature on future Saur CDs.
The Living Proof CD
The CD is currently only on limited release. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Saur's YouTube Page
Michael's Music for more music and videos by Michael Maher.
Marco's Band site: Y
Restless Soma discussion forum.
BandSaur - The Living Proof that SAUR exists -