A few months ago, I met Ricky Graham at an Ableton Live event in Nashville. His melding of an 8-string Electric guitar with designing hardware modules, using and instructing about Ableton and Max/MSP seemed a perfect match for Guitar Moderne. We did a long Skype interview that revealed Graham’s history as a guitarist and how he got into the modular synth world. It was way too long for my arthritic wrists to transcribe and my transcription service decided they couldn’t deal with our rapid speech and technical terms, so I am posting the original interview in full. I suggest watching Graham’s videos first to help understand what it is he does. Be sure to download his plug-in Stream . You can hear his music, as Signals Under Tests, here .
Guitar is but a small part of Paul Steven Ray’s creative palette. Percussion, composing for various aggregations including operas, and video also provide outlets for his restless inventiveness. His latest recording MAPS, by Paul Steve Ray’s BlueBlack Dream (one of his many projects), includes guitar, both played and attacked, samples, Theremin, sung and spoken vocals. It is a work of texture and mystery inspired by a wide range of musical influences thoroughly absorbed.
I confess this was a big one for me. Over nearly a 20-year career, Christian Fennesz’s marriage of guitar and computer has taken the combination to places that are distinct from any that came before or have come since. There are some good interviews with the Viennese maestro on the Internet here, here, and here. Guitar Moderne caught up with him on the occasion of his third collaboration with the duo of Ian Bellamy and Thomas Strønen, A/K/A Food for This Is Not A Miracle [ECM]
You may have noticed Stephan Meidell playing in the video of Thomas Dahl at Danmarksplass. Yes, Meidell is another Norwegian, this time based out of the beautiful city of Bergen. Whether it is the long nights, or the state financed schooling and music, Norway seems to turn out adventurous musicians like America turns out reality TV stars. In his wide variety of projects—Cakewalk, Velkro, The Sweetest Thrill, Krachmacher, et al—Meidell exhibits a personal approach to the instrument and a musicality that cuts through even his noisiest excursions. He is also a kindred spirit as, like me, he is a music critic and curator for new and experimental music.
Seattle based guitarist Bill Horist and Jakob Riis embarked together on a short tour of the Northwest US in the summer of 2009. We interviewed Bill in 2012. Composer, laptop musician, improviser Jakob Riis is active in the fields of electronic music, sound art, sonic web art, improvisation and contemporary composition.
They convened after the tour to capture on record some of the musical magic they felt playing together. The Cessation Elegy is the culmination of this brief encounter. A limited edition of 100 copies is available on CD; the packaging is handmade, with gold ink screen printed onto black card. Digital versions will continue to be available. They agreed to answer some questions about the process of recording this serendipitous meeting.