"Clearing Customs" is based on an approximately 75 minute long, graphic structural model by which the most diverse types of musical events are linked together along a time line. A notated instrumental loop which can be heard in different versions in the course of the piece, serves as a thematic filler between these heterogeneous passages.
Fred Frith's choice of instruments was in accordance with the classic jazz criteria: strings, skins, breath and, additionally, circuitry, meaning electronics. The line-up of the group, however, veered away from the conventional selection of jazz instruments – not least through the integration of Asian instruments and electronics.
Fred Frith follows the lead taken by the concept of the British theatre maker Peter Brook, who tries to integrate artists with completely different cultural experiences into an ensemble. Also Brook's vision of a 'poor theatre', which can do almost without stage design and only gains its intense theatricality by means of the interaction of its actors, has influenced this septet's way of playing. It is not the grand, flaunting gestures that define the quality of his music but the interaction, the listening to each other, the fine tuning of sounds.