His work at the intersection of guitar and technology makes Jonathan Crossley an ideal interview for Guitar Moderne. If you are interested in looping, processing, guitar synthesizers, and other guitar-related modalities, don’t miss this one.
I have wanted to talk to Blake Mills, well forever, but especially since he recorded Look, a collection of instrumental pieces recorded almost entirely with old Roland guitar synthesizers. Since then he has used the synths on Mutable Set, a group of dark, intimate, minimalist songs that create a unique world. More recently, he busted out the guitar synth for a few moments in Notes With Attachments (see videos below), yet another unique-sounding record created in conjunction with world-class bassist, Pino Palladino. This time I contacted him through Instagram and we connected. Our conversation ranges far and wide, as Mills proves as thoughtful as he is musical.
For over two decades of world touring, nine solo soundscape albums, and collaborations including over 100 albums of credits, Tim Motzer has been known for his distinctive textural acoustic-electro guitar voice utilizing looping, bowing, electronics, and prepared techniques. He has collaborated with numerous musical luminaries including David Sylvian, Burnt Friedman, poet Ursula Rucker, King Britt, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Vernon Reid, David Torn, Markus Reuter, J.A. Dino Deane, and Pat Mastelotto, among others. Since 2016, Tim has toured the world playing prestigious venues and jazz festivals with Bandit65, an improvising trio he co-leads with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and drummer Gintas Janusonis.
Tim has brought his projects together under his own 1k Recordings imprint. We talk about that and much of the above as well.
Today is the birthday of Adrian Belew who, for years, has managed to make complex music (Zappa, King Crimson, his own) seem easy and fun. Here are some great sounding, relatively recent, beautifully shot videos of his latest band. The man keeps growing and evolving, while magically making digital guitar sounds that are warm and human.
I have often extolled Downtown Music Gallery in New York as a great place to order records by many of the artists I cover. I have also found it to be a terrific resource for discovering new modern guitarists.
Their periodic email blast often lists records featuring players that have escaped my attention and sends me scurrying to YouTube to check them out. Patrick Higgins is one such guitarist. He is also a composer of note on the modern classical scene. How he has remained unknown to me over a decade of touring and recording, I have no idea, but I hopefully have rectified that for you here.
Patrick was on his iPhone and on the move when we did the interview, so if you suffer from motion sickness, you might want to just listen. Either way, you will find our conversation rewarding.