After the encouragingly enormous but exhausting winter NAMM, the relative Southern sleepiness of the summer edition was welcome. As usual, it was largely guitar oriented, tending towards traditional, with variations on of vintage guitars, amps, and effects in abundance. There were, however, a few examples of forward thinking.
The award for coolest gear at the show has to go to the Coppersound Telegraph Stutter. Perhaps modern only in a steampunk sense, it is still such a great idea sonically and aesthetically that it wins hands down. See the rest of the report for some of their other offbeat pedal concepts.
One of the joys of producing Guitar Moderne is discovering guitarists who embody the elements of music I find personally attractive: great tones, a sense of melody, and an adventurous spirit. Samuel Hällkvist covers these bases and more. Through a daunting number of solo and band projects he explores new sounds and King Crimson-like interlocking time signatures in music that ranges from aggressive, staggered rhythms to ethereal soundtracks and combinations of the two.
The GM spotlight was focused on sampling pioneer/lap steel dulcimer player, J.A. “Dino” Deane in the Instant Takemitsu post a few years ago. It seemed appropriate to spend more time with him on the eve of his new release Zen Noir, on which he directs theOut of Context ElectricGuitar Choir, made up of six guitarists and two percussionists, using a method called Conduction.
Conduction, developed by the late cornetist/composer Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, is a vocabulary of signs and gestures transmitted by a conductor to an orchestra, providing instantaneous possibilities for altering or initiating harmony, melody, rhythm, articulation, phrasing or form—a kind of middle path between notation and improvisation. Given that Conduction is all about gesture, it made sense to post my Skype interview with Deane, so he could demonstrate some of the signs employed. I urge you to check out this video where he explains how this new method of music performance works and expounds brilliantly on a variety of musical subjects. He was also kind enough to revisit the GM questionnaire and provide an update on his live performance gear.
They tell me those kinds of headlines attract web traffic, but I believe this actually may be the ultimate Reeves Gabrels interview. An occasional resident of Nashville, the former Bowie, current The Cure guitarist was able to sit down with me for two extensive sessions, during which he was courageously candid about his life, exquisitely detailed about his gear, and immensely interesting in his ideas about music and the art of making it. His new record, Reeves Gabrels & His Imaginary Friends, is a brilliant example of building on the classic blues roots of rock’s yesteryear to create music as modern as tomorrow. So, without further ado: The Ultimate Reeves Gabrels Interview.