5 November 2010

Penguin Cafe Orchestra - live in Adelaide 1992

Here is a radio broadcast of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra from Adelaide in Australia in 1992. The Orchestra dates back to the 1970s and made their record debut for Brian Eno's Obscure label. It's an orchestra incredibly hard to classify in any coherent way, so instead of trying in vain, maybe just a few quotes from Simon Jeffes will do, taken from the official PCO web site:

The music can be broadly regarded as " a very big yes to the survival of the heart in a time when the heart is under attack from the forces of coldness, darkness and repression." More precisely, as "imaginary folklore" and "modern semi-acoustic chamber music."

"What sort of music is it? Ideally I suppose it's the sort of music you want to hear, music that will lift your spirit. It's the sort of music played by imagined wild, free, mountain people creating sounds of a subtle dreamlike quality. It is cafe music, but café in the sense of a place where people's spirits communicate and mingle, a place where music is played that often touches the heart of the listener."

Jeffes himself died in 1997, but the PCO lives on and gives concerts up to the present date. On this particular concert, they were joined by Annie Whitehead, whom we have posted before as a member of the Brotherhood of Breath, strongly involved in the preparation for the Banlieues Bleues concert with Archie Shepp. Here she adds a touch of brass to the proceedings and I believe she may still be with the Orchestra.


Date: March 1992
City: Adelaide, Australia
Venue: Adelaide Town Hall

Simon Jeffes - conductor, piano
Helen Liebmann - cello
Peter McGowan - violin
Barbara Bolte - ukulele
Julio Segovia - percussion
Geoffrey Richardson - bass
Steven Fletcher - keyboards
Annie Whitehead - trombone

01 Numbers 1-4
02 Perpetuum Mobile
03 Telephone And Rubber Band
04 Bean Fields
05 White Mischief
06 Surface Tension > Oscar Tango > Music For A Found Harmonium
07 Isle Of View (Music For Helicopter Pilots)
08 Pythagoras’s Trousers
09 Scherzo and Trio
10 (orchestra introduction by Simon Jeffes)
11 Salty Bean Fumble
12 Giles Farnaby’s Dream

Joyful music with a meditative core, so enjoy in repose!


kinabalu said...



Anonymous said...

Thank you kindly for this PCO concert recording. Take care,


Wallofsound said...

I have a soft spot for the PCO. Thanks for this live show.

Ben.H said...

I was at this gig. It was actually in March 1992, as part of the Adelaide Arts Festival (held in even-numbered years). The venue was the Adelaide Town Hall.

Never expected this one to pop up! Thanks.

kinabalu said...

Thanks for the additional info and corrections, Ben. I have revised the main post accordingly.

Thalamus said...

I like Penguin Cafe Orchestra and I haven't known about this recording until now.

Thank you very much for the post!



Anonymous said...

What a treasure! Many Thanks for this.

klakadak said...

Never listen to them before, but this is sooo beautiful! Thank you very much for the share!