It looks like things are opening up. But if you are like me—not quite ready to hang out around hundreds or thousands of people who may or may not have been vaccinated—you might prefer to stick with the Guitar Moderne virtual festival. Watch some newly available videos by legends Terje Rypdal and Bill Frisell, as well as great performances by A-team modern guitarists Mike Baggetta, Marc Ribot, and Eliot Sharp in the comfort of your disease-free home.
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.
One of the best and most interesting guitarists on the New York scene (which means anywhere), Brandon Seabrook combines elements of metal, jazz, punk, noise, and free improv into a guitar style uniquely his own. He also plays banjo in a way that might put all those jokes to rest. He has an amazing new record out with Mike Watt and percussionist, Mike Pride, Stove Top [Rare Noise], under the band name Three Layer Cake. Recorded remotely, it nevertheless sounds interactive and cohesive enough to be mistaken for live, save for the terrific textures and additional instruments they overdubbed. We talk about all of the above, the joys of the ZT amps, and more.
Mark Wingfield has found the key to seamlessly integrating traditional and modern electronic guitar sounds through his use of the Roland VG-88 and a Sustainiac pickup. We talk about that and more. Speaking of more, click on the more button for videos of Wingfield in action and more discussion of his gear and process.
Summer festival season will be here before you know it. Hopefully we will be virus-free by then and you can enjoy the outdoors in the company of like-minded music fans. Either way, you can count on Guitar Moderne to supply virtual festivals like this to enjoy in the air-conditioned, Portapotty and germ-free comfort of your home.
We start the proceedings with this amazing Terje Rypdal trio concert from a decade ago that I seem to have missed, with Miroslav Vitous triggering orchestral samples.