Spotlight: Elio Martusciello

I discovered Italian guitarist/electronic musician/composer Elio Martusciello through a tip from Eivind Aarset. He, in turn, was clued in by drummer Michele Rabbia, who has played with both men. Rabbia claimed that Martusciello performed with just Ableton Live and its plugins. Of course I had to find out about this. The truth proved a bit more complex.

Martusciello’s recorded work is a masterclass in combining noise, melody, vocalists, found sounds, synthesizers, and guitar in a way that makes them seem like natural partners. His complex audio collages never seem crowded, making excellent use of dynamics, space, and tension. Each sound has its place, and works perfectly with every other element. The compositions can feel simultaneously abstract and romantic.

Elio doesn’t speak fluent English, so I decided to do the first print interview in a while. Hopefully, between Google translate and some editing, the essence of his answers remains.

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Cool Gear Alert: Deimel LesLee Guitar.

I have been following Deimel Guitarworks on Instagram for a while. With creative wiring, pickups behind the bridge, and Piezos embedded at various points in the guitar, Frank Deimel has been in the forefront of creating instruments for experimental guitarists. His latest, the Firestar LesLee Synchronizer, combines a fascinating, built-in Leslie effect created by automatically switching between pickups, as well as the ability to synch with modular synths, or any device that uses CV.

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The Markus Reuter Interview

Happy New Year. My interview with Markus Reuter is long overdue. He has been a major part of the modern guitar community for decades, from his brilliant work with The Stickmen and versions of King Crimson, to his recordings ranging from ambient to prog, to his terrific podcast featuring a number of modern guitarists. He has worked with Tim Motzer, Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp and Mark Wingfield among others. Our conversation ranges wide and long, covering many things of interest to the modern guitarist.

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The Seth Andrew Davis Interview

While many mainstream guitarists were bemoaning that live gigging was ramping up too slowly, avant-garde picker Seth Andrew Davis was doing 50 gigs in the first six months of 2022. Even more surprising, he is based not in the new music scene of Brooklyn but in Kansas City. How is this possible? Check out our conversation to find out. 

See some of Davis’ performances below.

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New Eivind Live

Unfortunately not a continuous video but any new Eivind in performance is welcome. Especially interesting because the airline lost his pedals and he had to make do with some borrowed effects. Further proof that the sound is in the mind, heart, and fingers of the player. 

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