Guitarist Jon Durant brings a unique sense of texture and melody to his instrument. His distinctive “cloud guitar” soundscapes and lead work have appeared on numerous recordings and film soundtracks. As executive producer of Alchemy Records, he has released recordings by other modern guitarists, such as Robbie Aceto, Wayne Krantz, and Leni Stern. His own latest release is Etymology by Burnt Belief, a project with Durant and Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin.
The new Nashville Music City Center hosted Summer NAMM for the second year in a row. Though the summer version has become a very guitar-centric show, it normally skews pretty traditional. This year offered a surprise, though. In amongst the usual din of metal, blues, bluegrass, jazz, and country licks, a duo took the stage at the sizable Earthquaker Devices booth to perform a set of ultra-modern musical noise. Guitarist Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos) and bassist Jonathan Hischke demonstrated the unusual, cutting-edge tones that can be extracted from this company’s product line. Look for an upcoming interview with Reinhart. In the meantime, here are some things from the show that might be of interest to modern guitarists.
Every now and then I will discover a guitarist in a certain context and then find out I have already heard his or her work in another band. I found Trapist’s minimalist masterpiece, Ballroom many years ago, but when I discovered Martin Siewert’s Radian video’s more recently was unaware that he was the guitarist from Trapist. Part of the thriving Viennese experimental scene that gave us Christian Fennesz and Burkhard Stangl, his solid grounding in American roots music almost makes him a candidate for Roots Moderne. Siewert’s actual output though retains only hints of that inspiration—enough to lend it an emotional weight not found often enough in deeply experimental music.
The NAMM show offered a multitude of effects in a showroom-style vacuum. My compadres at Premier Guitar go out in the field to show you how they are actually employed. In this Premier Guitar Rig Rundown Vernon Reid and Doug Wimbish demo the gear they are currently using in Living Color, providing a compendium of effects available to the modern guitarist and bassist. Reid is running parallel signals through VG-99, Guitar Rig, iPad and Ableton Live effects, as well as a host of other processors, while Wimbish combines distortion, filtering, and looping in creative ways. These guys are on the gear cutting edge—check it out!