Nepenthe Gatherings Graphic

The Fulton/Reaves Project

plus Orbital Decay

Live at

The Gatherings Concert Series

21 April 2007 8:00pm

St. Mary's Hamilton Village
Philadelphia, PA
Dave Fulton & Giles Reaves live at The Gatherings Concert Series on 21 April 2007 is funded in part by the independent record label Nepenthe Music


Orbital Decay

Orbital Decay

Terry Furber

Orbital Decay (Terry Furber)

Scott Watkins

Orbital Decay (Scott Watkins)

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Giles Reaves

The Fulton/Reaves Project (Giles Reaves)

Jess Fry

The Fulton/Reaves Project (Jess Fry)

Dave Fulton

The Fulton/Reaves Project (Dave Fulton)

Fulton/Reaves

The Fulton/Reaves Project

Fulton/Reaves

The Fulton/Reaves Project

Review: The Fulton/Reaves Project w/Orbital Decay

What a difference a difference can make. After what seemed like an eternity in winter weather, spring finally decided to show up just in time for the latest entry in The Gatherings Concert Series. The Schuykill Expressway parted like the Red Sea and I made it to the venue in record time. The campus bustled with activity in the quad adjacent to the church as opposed to the winter emptiness. Then I walked into the church sanctuary and saw a drum kit. All proof that tonight was different.

"Psychedelic Jesus"
The Fulton/Reaves Project would make their east-coast debut at The Gatherings Concert Series later in the evening. In the opening slot was Quakertown, PA based Orbital Decay. Having seen Orbital Decay before, I figured I would be in for another of their trademark blasts through the outer reaches of the cosmos. Instead, Terry Furber fired up the video display and he and Scott Watkins began an inward journey. The music struck a more contemplative and terrestrial tone - synths lurking and purring. Usually Scott Watkins performs on the guitar and the occasional synth. But after the first ten minutes, he put down the ax and seated himself in front of a largish modular for pretty much the remainder of their set. Terry Furber would later remark that this was Scott's first go at a modular, nicely done to boot. While the duo marched on through their set, my mind got to wandering along with the music and video. There was no screen for the visuals so the projector cast it's light on the back wall above the altar. Fractal creations and other colorful images danced along with the music. It had the effect of putting the Christ-figure above the altar at the focal-point of the psychedelic visuals. A quick glance at Art Cohen's recording rig showed that forty minutes had passed. Thoughts about time flying and fun and before you know it Orbital Decay returned us back to the place where we started. Time for the interval and a mass exodus of equipment from the stage to clear the way for the main act.

"Careful with that trap, Jess"
So as Orbital Decay gingerly moved their gear to the wings of the church, I got to wondering about that drumkit. Only a small number of The Gatherings shows have had live percussion, much less full drum kits. Their debut CD "The Range" was released at the show and a quick glance through the liner notes showed that Reaves handled drums on the CD. Reaves and Fulton brought along Jess Fry to tend drumming duties rather than rely on automation to provide the beat. A wise choice, the whole set had a very fluid and organic feel to it with three musicians interacting. The technology was subservient to the performer and not the other way around as sometimes happens in the genre. Their set would consist of material that started off as tracks from "The Range" but evolved into something else. The show was more akin to a jam band than anything; progressive without being pretentious. The mood during the set was active and energetic. Even a sampled Hammond B3 organ coupled to a rotating Leslie speaker could be heard during the latter portions of their set. Whereas more ambient artists allow your mind to drift and wander, the Fulton/Reaves Project was best experienced in the active mode of listening. So it was a different experience but lots of fun. As Chuck van Zyl commented to me later on after the performance, "We don't want to put on the same show each time." A memorable segment of the concert was watching Giles Reaves playing a busy "sequence". Sure he could have handed it off to one of the sequencers available but it was almost as if he was making a case for the live musician. Yet another space-time continuum shift must have occurred during their set as they winded down the evening, a quick glance at the clock revealed that it was almost 11:00 pm. Much hustle was needed to break down the stage and get Reaves, Fulton, and Fry to the radio studio. But sublimate the equipment from church to studio CIMA did. And a fine, more sedate set ensued on Star's End at the appointed hour. Next up, Steve Roach in May; Jeffrey Koepper opening. Get there early kids, it's going to be a big night.

by Chuck Nixon - 30 April 2007


Review: Fulton-Reaves Project

Dave Fulton was in every version of Dweller at the Threshold and also did some side collaborations and solo work. Giles Reaves started at the top by defining a musical genre with his solo LP "Wunjo". Many years later, he landed a place as the newbie member in Spacecraft. Fast forward to 2003 and the first Different Skies. This week-long electronic musician's workshop/working vacation is where these two gents met for the very first time. Something must have happened in the desert north of Phoenix and Philadelphia reaped the benefit last night with a double dose of Fulton-Reaves.

First they played at The Gatherings Concert Series. Opening act Orbital Decay (Quakertown, PA) provided their "EM Jam Band" approach to Berlin-School-music-on-steroids as a fabulous kick off to the evening's festivities. After an interval to tear down a pile of gear that almost completely hid the Fulton-Reaves setup from view, the main public event began. With Jess Fry in tow to handle drumming and ambient flourishes, Dave and Giles were able to bring a realization of their CD "The Range" to a public forum. Jess plays in a Progressive Rock band with Dave so there was a good musical connection already in place, making the threesome a natural unit. Despite some technical difficulties at the beginning of their set, the ensemble quickly settled into an awe inspiring concert. Grabbing influences from Progressive Rock, New Age, Ambient, Electronica, and Spacemusic, just to name just a few, Fulton's and Reaves' conglomeration of styles is something that most likely grew out of their time at Different Skies, only without 14+ other people on the stage. The Philadelphia audience loved it.

Second, as is usually the case after a Gathering, the main act has Chuck van Zyl tenderly cracking the whip to get them over to WXPN in time to play a live set on his Star's End program. The well oiled CIMA of PA team of van Zyl, Jeff Towne, and Art Cohen must be cat herders in order to, with the help of a small band of volunteers, tear down a concert, load up vehicles, get to WXPN, unload the vehicles, and set up the musicians' gear. The first hour of the program goes by with the listening audience blissfully unaware of the chaos that gives way to musical restart. Pizza helps! Coffee, too. But restart they did with a nice ambient bed over which Chuck back announced the tracks played in the first hour of his radio show and announced the Fulton-Reaves Project; earthlings convinced to play for an Earth Day themed program. This time, only a little bit of music from "The Range" formed the basis of what seemed to be mostly improvised music. Improvisation that late at night (early in the morning?) after a full day and an exhaustive concert is a dangerous thing. Dave, Giles, and Jess handled the task with a plum... er, aplomb.

by Bill Fox as posted to the Spacemusic List (#11489) 22 April 2007


Review: Fulton/Reaves and Orbital Decay in Philly...

My brother in-law and I made the ywo hour drive from northern NJ down to Philly last night to see the Fulton/Reaves and Orbital Decay show at The Gatherings Concert series in Philly last night.

The show was in an old 18th century Church in the middle of Philly, which is a great venue for this kind of music. I saw Robert Rich there last year (excellent show, by the way!). Orbital Decay kicked off the show, starting at about 8:10 or so, and played a solid 45-50 minutes, doing an excellent continuously evolving piece. The gear was very cool, Arp Odyssey, MS-20, NED Synclavier(!), Moog Voyager, and another that I didn't recognize was on the left side of the stage with Terry [Virus]. The MOTM racks and sequencer were on the right with Scott's Strat. Both had PC's, but I did not get close enough to see what was running. The Orbital Decay set was excellent - ambient space music at its best. Tons of MS-20 and Arp filter sweeps, and the MOTM sequence was very cool! I really enjoyed their set. The only odd thing, probably due to stage space, was that the guys had their backs to us for most of the show.

The Fulton/Reaves Project came on at about 9:30, and played for easily over an hour and 15 minutes if not longer. The did three long pieces, each one distinctly different and engaging. Dave on the left side of the stage had a pair of Voyagers, another keyboard that I couldn't get close enough to identify [Nord Lead 3], and a bunch of pedals and footswitches on the floor that seemed to kick off phrases and individual musical "events" that frequently added some really cool dramatic accents to the music. Giles was on the left, and had a Les Paul guitar that he played for one piece, a Roland [JP8000], and I think a Voyager as well. Giles did a lot of melodic leads on the Roland synth that were just excellent, and really provided a lot of sonic character to the music. Some of the bass tones and big pads that Dave was playing were also just HUGE. They had a drummer with them (I forget his name) [Jess Fry], playing a Roland electronic set. In the first piece, the drums were way down in the mix, and it caused a bit of a balance problem for that part of the set, but they quickly resolved it when they started the second piece.

All in all, it was a really good show! If they come to your area, go to see them!

by Phil Peery as posted to the MOTM (#29505) 22 April 2007

Gatherings:Fulton-Reaves

The Fulton/Reaves Project

Gatherings:Fulton-Reaves

The Fulton/Reaves Project

Gatherings:Fulton-Reaves

The Fulton/Reaves Project

Gatherings:Fulton-Reaves

The Fulton/Reaves Project

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Concert Photos by Jeff Towne


Nepenthe Music Nepenthe - 21st Century Neo-Expressionism

The Fulton/Reaves project live at The Gatherings Concert Series on 21 April 2007 is funded in part by Nepenthe Music. An independent record label based in Toledo, OH, Nepenthe Music is dedicated to the music releases of Dwight Ashley and selected projects by Tim Story and Hans-Joachim Roedelius.

For more about Nepenthe Music, please access: http://www.nepenthemusic.com

For more about the Fulton/Reaves project, please access the: For more about Orbital Decay, please access the:

The Gatherings Concert Series is presented by the all-volunteer staff of The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania

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