Accidental (album)

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Studio album by Fred Frith
Released 2002 (2002)
Recorded December 1995 – January 1996
Genre Experimental rock
Length 39:25
Label Fred (UK)
Producer Fred Frith
Fred Frith chronology
Freedom in Fragments
Music for Dance series chronology
The Previous Evening
The Happy End Problem
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
BBC favorable[1]

Accidental (Music for Dance Volume 3) is a studio album by English guitarist, composer and improvisor Fred Frith. It is the third of a series of Music for Dance albums Frith made,[2] and was recorded between December 1995 and January 1996 at Studio Jankowski in Stuttgart, Germany. The album was released on CD in March 2002 on Fred Records and was the first release in Frith's archival release program on the record label.


Accidental was commissioned in 1995 by the British choreographer Paul Selwyn Norton for the dance piece "Rogue Tool", with funding provided by the British Council through the British/Israeli cultural initiative, BI Arts. "Rogue Tool" was premiered by the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel in February 1996.

Frith constructed the music on Accidental using a principle he called "block-melodies" [3] and he incorporated random events, or "accidents", into the compositions, including "found sounds" and field recordings, to trigger new patterns. Frith explained the background to the making of the album:[4]

I'm fascinated by accidents. When I do solo improvisations I think of myself as being in continuous dialogue with the unexpected, and its always dynamic. Do I ignore this, do I embrace it, do I integrate it, do I keep my distance? When making this music I was constantly using random elements like radio tuning and trying to frame them in metric or harmonic structures.

Bill Tilland of the BBC wrote in a review of this album:[1]

It's fairly standard practice for dance companies to commission "new music" composers to write (and sometimes perform) material for dance performances, and nearly all such work has moments of purely musical interest. But none that I can remember leaves such a strong overall impression as this one. Accidental is a real tribute to Frith's imaginative faculties.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Tangled Bank" (Frith) – 3:40
  2. "Hit and Run" (Frith) – 2:57
  3. "Gatto Nero" (Frith) – 1:33
  4. "Old Geometry" (Frith) – 2:24
  5. "Their Blood is Black and Yellow" (Frith) – 4:33
  6. "In a Heartbeat" (Frith) – 1:15
  7. "Fooled Again" (Frith) – 5:04
  8. "Accidental" (Frith) – 3:27
  9. "Absinthe Memories (for Phil Minton)" (Frith) – 3:00
  10. "Incoming" (Frith) – 6:20
  11. "Almighty Home at Last" (Frith) – 5:12


  • Fred Frith – guitars, violin, keyboards, percussion, samplers, voice



  1. ^ a b Tilland, Bill. "Accidental review". BBC Music. Retrieved 2007-02-07. 
  2. ^ The Previous Evening (1997), released before Accidental, was designated "Music for Dance Volume 4" after Accidental was released.
  3. ^ Frith, Fred. "Fred Frith interview, June 2003". Fred Frith's homepage. Archived from the original on 20 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-08. 
  4. ^ Cutler, Chris. "Fred Frith/Accidental". Chris Cutler's ReR/Recommended. Retrieved 2007-02-08. 

External links[edit]