Sounding Vessels


AXCI is Agent Xavier Cello Incognito is Allen Cline


Coming from a long line of musicians AXCI began his musical musings by napping behind his big brother’s bass drum. His grandfather Durward  "Gotch" Cline (noted for introducing sayings (“Gotchisms”) into the big band era of the 1920’s and 30’s such as “Here and Gone, Today and Tomorrow”) had many greats playing  in his touring bands like Harry James and AXCI's father Jack Cline to name but a few. He owned and ran a music store in Dallas,Texas (Cline Music Co.) where AXCI would spend every summer working and playing. During that time he sometimes traveled with one of the road salesmen named Jed Tarver who composed a piece of music based on the resonant pitches he heard in his car as he drove down different patches of old Texas highways. The composition became very big in Japan. AXCI himself left his classical music training of the clarinet at the age of 10 when a fellow female clarinet player at a multi-school orchestra practice asked AXCI "Are you playing the same piece we are?" Inspired by his next door neighbor John Graves who was a local electronic music guru AXCI became interested in electronic music composition. Observing Mr. Graves electrify and "prepare" his wife's double pedal full concert harp and work on light interactions with home built organs, AXCI became interested in sound and light as a medium. Further inspiration came from a then Denton, Texas  based band B L Lacerta. Their percussionist and electronics front man David Anderson lead to his introduction to Bruce Ballentine. His electronic music studies with Bruce Ballantine in his private studio  culminated in the composition Oahu, a concrète piece combined of handmade pottery drum and electronics finished at 13.  Playing improv percussion in local bands like “Birds Overhead” in his teens, AXCI began recording free improv on tape with various friends including current members of SV. His life long interest in bells and gongs stemming from his grandmother’s dinner gong flowered when he began studying sand casting and tuning bronze bells with the bell master Aguadas. Specializing in singing bells, he also became addicted to the musics of Gamelan at this time. After more electronic composition studio studies with Dr. Barton McLean at the University of Texas at Austin, he moved to more free improv performance in the Northwest with the Kotozute Choir. While living in the People's Republic of China he studied Gu Zheng with Feng Guo in Beijing in 1987. He also studied Shakuhachi flute with Christopher Blasdale in Tokyo, Japan in 1988. He has spent many years acquiring field recordings in China, Japan and Bali and spent much time in the study of temple bells and musics in China. Further improvisational undertakings back in the states saw the official beginning of the Sounding Vessels Collective. Since then AXCI has performed movie soundtracks with Kamram Hooshman and his orchestra as well as poduced an ambient soundtrack for glassworks of his sister Mary Van Cline. Now AXCI continues to record and is releasing and re-releasing Sounding Vessels and Solo releases and preparing for the now!.