If anyone has ever advanced the guitar it would Maestro McLaughlin. He has a great new record out, Liberation Time, made all the more amazing by being recorded remotely. While making the Zoom press rounds, he graciously agreed to talk to my humble publication. We talk Miles, Mustangs, and my favorite band of his with Joey De Francesco and Elvin Jones/Dennis Chambers.
Visionary Instruments’ MIDI controller guitar appeared at NAMM in recent years. Rob O’Reilly has apparently also been making instruments with MIDI control functions for at least five years but, it was only thanks to Pete Thorn mentioning the Paul David demo that I discovered this. David’s demo may leave you drooling and there are a bunch of video demos on the company site that make this instrument very appealing. At €2,990 (@$3500) it is not cheap but for the amount of tech seems quite reasonable. Let me know if you would like to see an interview with Mr. O’Reilly.
Click more for Rob himself demoing the features in depth.
Unlike a magnetic pickup, which translates the vibrations of the guitar strings into electronic sound, a contact microphone senses audio vibrations through direct contact with an object. The contact mic can be a boon for the modern guitarist, as a way of allowing direct translation of body vibrations, or amplifying the sound of picking behind the bridge or nut in a more direct way.
Tim Brady is at the top of a small cadre of guitarists composing what might be called modern classical or new music for electric guitar. His pieces include ones for solo electric and loopers, 100 and 200 electric guitars, electric guitar and orchestra, electric guitar quartet, electric guitar and voices…you get the idea. Check out out our previous chat here and here. And get the new three album set, Actions Speak Louder, here.
Having published Guitar Moderne for over a decade, I remember when I had heard of most of the interesting modern guitarists out there. These days, there is a spate of names completely unknown to me coming over the transom (actually through email). Chris Sharkey is one, playing left-handed guitars strung standard, with chops to spare and a keen sense of composition. His new record, Presets on Not Applicable Records eschews flurries of notes for new sounds, moods, and textures. We dive deep into Ableton Live, the joys of noise, the London scene in the 2000s and the Leeds scene of today.