Unlike a magnetic pickup, which translates the vibrations of the guitar strings into electronic sound, a contact microphone senses audio vibrations through direct contact with an object. The contact mic can be a boon for the modern guitarist, as a way of allowing direct translation of body vibrations, or amplifying the sound of picking behind the bridge or nut in a more direct way.
Tim Brady is at the top of a small cadre of guitarists composing what might be called modern classical or new music for electric guitar. His pieces include ones for solo electric and loopers, 100 and 200 electric guitars, electric guitar and orchestra, electric guitar quartet, electric guitar and voices…you get the idea. Check out out our previous chat here and here. And get the new three album set, Actions Speak Louder, here.
This month our Picks runneth over. Covid has been unable to stifle those who were born to create. Solo projects and remote collaborations abound, but group projects are finding their way into the mix as well. We start off with Sonar’s Stephen Thelen and all-star guests.
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.