Nice Noise: Modifications and Preparations for Guitar is a must have book for anyone into experimental guitar. If you enjoyed the post Extended Techniques with Roger Kleier (who is name checked in this book), and want to learn more about extending your techniques, look no further than this slim tome by Bart Hopkin and Yuri Landman.
Listening to the throbbing, minimalist soundcapes on Noël Akchoté’s record, Rien [Winter and Winter] did not prepare me for the bluesy, rooted, jazz guitarist I later saw performing with the Big Four (Max Nagl, Steven Bernstein, Bradley Jones) at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York. That Akchoté straddled the ground between Derek Bailey and Freddy Green with aplomb, throwing in the occasional Muddy Waters raunch and Bill Frisell offbeat elegance where appropriate. Here, the French guitarist explains how he doesn’t hear the distinction among those legendary players that others might.
New York-based Hans Tammen expands on the vocabulary of tabletop guitar using his Max/MSP “Endangered Guitar” software. By designing his own software he is able to produce uniquely personal sounds, remains capable of intense collaboration. He has performed and taught around the world.
Seattle’s Bill Horist has a range of extended techniques that is awe inspiring. In performance at the Stone in New York he turned in a perfect forty minute set that never flagged in inventiveness and musicality. His command of textures and dynamics is rivaled only by Norway’s Stian Westerhus. Here is a full set from July of this year that is a master class in looping, and abusing a guitar with a variety of implements.
Swedish-born Anders Nilsson keeps popping up on Guitar Moderne. He was part of the Derek Bailey tribute as well as the DMG party. He is also part of the Scandinavian theme that seems to be running through recent posts, joining Norwegians Terje Rypdal and Stian Westerhus in the Nordic tradition of “all genres are grist for the mill” guitar playing. His solo release, Night Guitar, ranges through quiet, lyrical meditations (“Meet Me in the Back Alley”), noise inflected atmospheres (“Breakfast Boogie Nightmare Ballad”), and Zappa meets metal fuzz fests (“Nocturne). The bio on his website delineates an interesting progression, with some wise words about the musical arts. Here he discusses some influences and processes.
The ICTUS label has been dedicated to Improvised Music, New Jazz and Contemporary Classic Music since 1976. Founders Andrea Centazzo and Carla Lugli had to close it down in 1984, but the label was rose from the ashes in 2005 featuring new productions and re-releases of the old recordings. The Stone in NYC, in conjunction with Andrea Centazzo, presented a series of concerts in April celebrating ICTUS’s 35th anniversary. April 6th was dedicated to a tribute to Derek Bailey, featuring six of the worlds best known free-improvising guitarists.
Andrea Centazzo introduces the guitarists.
First each player improvised to a recording of a heretofore unreleased improv by Bailey, then they performed together in an evolving duet format, with each replacing another either singly or both at once.
Anders Nilsson brought an eleven-string nylon instrument that was occasionally hard-pressed to compete with the others’ acoustic steel and electric guitars. Nilsson demonstrated taste and technique, though he occasionally seemed a bit deferential to his more experienced cohorts.