FutureFret: Episode One is the first event in what Vernon Reid and Chris Buono hope to be an ongoing series. The event is this Saturday, May 14th, 2022 and will include a collective of panel discussions, masterclasses and live performances centered around forward-thinking concepts for the modern guitarist. Here is my interview with Vernon about the idea, its possibilities and many other things. Below that is an introductory video and the details.
The 2022 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition started with 26 semifinalists from 16 different countries. After an online showcase of the semifinalists, a committee of Georgia Tech faculty and public voting decided which creators would compete at the final stage. Nine advanced to the competition’s final round. They met on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 11 and 12, 2022, to compete for $10,000 in prizes. While none of these won, they do indicate some possible future directions for making music with guitar skills.
A few years ago, I was contacted by Andy Summers’ publicist regarding interviewing him about his then new record, Metal Dog, a masterpiece of modern guitar mayhem. Now he has a new book of hilarious short stories, Fretted and Moaning, and a new record, Harmonics of the Night, so it seemed like a perfect time to chat again. We spoke in general terms about gear but he was kind enough to also send me a more specific list, available below.
Hands down, the best part of Summer NAMM was running into Benn Jordan. A candidate for The World’s Most Interesting Man, He plays guitar upside down, has a great YouTube channel, performs in front of thousands as Flashbulb, and is a Mixed Marshal Artist. He recently posted this video describing his laptop-free setup for performing his music, a mixture of jazz, metal, electronica, and beats.
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.