Happy New Year. My interview with Markus Reuter is long overdue. He has been a major part of the modern guitar community for decades, from his brilliant work with The Stickmen and versions of King Crimson, to his recordings ranging from ambient to prog, to his terrific podcast featuring a number of modern guitarists. He has worked with Tim Motzer, Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp and Mark Wingfield among others. Our conversation ranges wide and long, covering many things of interest to the modern guitarist.
While perusing the latest edition of Electronic Musician, I chanced upon the Enos Looper by Audio Damage.Much as I love doing loops on my iPad with Simpler, Borderlands, and iDensity, I have been looking for a more basic looper to add to the iOS arsenal. I was intrigued enough to plop down $5.99 USD and check it out, only to learn that , while it can be used for basic looping and Frippertronics, ala the Ableton Live Looper, it is capable of much more. I recommend checking out the video. (It demos the plugin, but they are very close).
I occasionally play a party game with friends. I posit, “Everybody laments musicians who die young, like Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, et al, saying, ‘What might they have accomplished if they had lived.’” I then say, “Name as many musical artists as you can, who lived and have continued to grow and be creative.” My list tends to be short: Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jeff Beck, Jim Hall (while he was alive), Pat Metheny, maybe one or two more. It occurred to me today, as I learned of David Bowie’s death, that I never included him. On reflection, I realized it was because the fact that he would continue to grow and change as an artist as he aged was so obvious it didn’t bear mentioning.
The premier outlet for adventurous music, Downtown Music Gallery, has a limited number of CDs by Slow Music, a supergroup comprising Bill Rieflin (REM) keyboards & percussion; Robert Fripp guitar, guitar-like things, soundscapes; Peter Buck (REM) guitar and things; Matt Chamberlain drums and drum-like things; Fred Chalenor (Curlew) upright bass; and [the late] Hector Zazou keyboards and electronics. According to the DMG site, Slow Music was formed in 2005 as a way to create live ambient/textural/environmental music in a live context. Rieflin describes how, “openness and stillness become a part of the musical vocabulary, as well as density and activity. It can be both beautiful and surprisingly intense. And, being improvisational in nature, you never know what will happen next, which makes it all the more exciting.”
West Coast denizens take heed: they are touring right now in your area so don’t miss them.
Robert Jürjendal studied classical guitar and composition at Georg Ots Tallinn Music School. In1992 he took part in Guitar Craft, a series of guitar and personal development classes founded by Robert Fripp of King Crimson. One result of these classes was the formation of Weekend Guitar Trio with fellow students Tõnis Leemets and Mart Soo.
Jürjendal’s approach to modern guitar couches his classic technique in tones generated by his Roland VG-8, and loops, often adding Eastern European elements including vocal soloists and choirs. His most recent release is Source of Joy [Unsung Records], a compendium of compositions that range from melodic respites to epic washes with an unfaltering sense of lyricism even during the most atonal moments.