While My Guitar

Picasso GuitarIt’s amazing what you can do with a guitar or guitar-like instrument, and some pedals and effects! Today’s program takes us on a tour of what some artists have done, and it’s stunning.

“Inner Monologue” – Audio Gourmet
“Steppe Strings” – Brian Grover and Don Hill – Webbed Hand Records Netlabel Presents String Ambient (2008)

Here is a great compilation from Webbed Hand Records, which brings together string artists from all over the world, playing all sorts of string instruments. This is just a minuscule sample of what’s on the release, which comprises enough music to fill two disks.

“Inner Monologue” is guitar only, performed by Audio Gourmet (http://audiogourmet.blogspot.com), also known as Harry Towell, a UK-based multi-instrumentalist, and can also be found on the 2008 release Defying Science.

“Blue Searchlight” – Har – Obscura (2010)

Another early childhood recollection: “searchlight chasing”, which consisted of my sister, myself, and sometimes my parents all piling into the car and driving throughout our surrounding neighborhoods in search of the source of searchlight beams flashing high over the rooftops. Back in that day they were very often used as methods to advertise local events such as new store openings, etc. Eventually we’d find it, and I was fascinated by these huge, powerfully bright machines that were usually found perched on the back of flatbed trucks, slowly turning as it blasted its cone of light up into the twilit sky.

Instrumentation Notes: One of the early tracks recorded for the album, performed in a single long looping take on a Schecter Stilletto Studio 8 eight-string bass.

“Wider Margin” – Cousin Silas and Lpf12 – (unreleased, 2013)

This track is a collaboration…sort of… between LPF12 and Cousin Silas. Cousin was listening to LPF12’s album, and the track called “Margin” had Cousin humming guitar lines. So, that night he stuck said guitar and a bit of piano direct onto the track. So, strictly speaking, it’s not a collaboration so much as a … remix? Or, as Cousin says, “What it is, I have no idea, but boy did I enjoy doing it.”

“Wider Margin” is going to be on the Silas & Friends Volume 2, which is not released yet.

“Early Hours” – Cousin Silas – East (2013)

Cousin Silas also recently released a new album, East, on the We Are All Ghosts netlabel, their 21st release — which is pretty cool, considering the label just launched a little more than a year ago! Thomas Mathie, the brains behind We Are All Ghosts, considers this one of Cousin Silas’ best releases, asserting that he’s at the top of his game. And you know what? I agree.

“Calming” – Stephen Briggs – (unreleased, 2013)

Recorded in February 2012, “Calming” is a live ambient recording using (Stephen’s words) “a hamster driven stereo mic, an ancient recording device found under a nice decorative shrubbery, playing a Fender Stratocaster with a selection of wonderful effects pedals upon which one stomps merrily!”

Stephen Briggs is an ambient guitarist hailing from New Zealand.

“Dreamswept” – Disturbed Earth – Dreamswept (2007)

Disturbed Earth is Dean Richards, an Australian artist who also makes guitar with effects his specialty. This album, consisting of nothing more than guitar, pedal harmonium, percussion and reel-to-reel tape delays, was largely recorded in Florida before he returned to Australia.

Dean spent a good bit of his life in the U.S., most of it making music; while still in high school in the mid 1970’s, he experimented with tape manipulation, that included looping, splicing, field recordings,and processing them through effects that were available at the time…a crude form of what is now called sound design.This was also the time of his first review in “Rolling Stone” as a guitarist in 1976. He has worked in the music industry his whole life, the lucky SOB.

“Nostalgia for Infinity” – Jeff DukeThe Sundering (2012)

“Nostalgia For Infinity” was suggested by Jeff’s son for the name. It is the starship’s name in a book they both love by Alastair Reynolds, Revelation Space, a dark space opera they had been reading around the time that Jeff was recording this album. He generated a sonic bed in real time using “ScapesWizard”, a self-generational sound VST. As that played, he improvised over the top with guitar and, as he puts it, “…way too many fx/loopers!”

“absentatthealtarofBEYOND” – Jason. SloanHymns for the After.Life (2006)

“there are many types of afterlives. the one most familiar, at least in concept, is what we may experience when we leave this world. but to others an afterlife is moving beyond a particular situation or circumstance. a shedding of skin and a hope to move forward. this album captures the sonic ecology of the many types of afterlives and is dedicated to all who stayed behind.”

4:12am baltimore, md.

Jason Sloan is an electronic musician, composer, sound and new media artist working from Baltimore, Md. His work explores immateriality and its connection in memory, systems and the virtual world. Through his performances, sound installations, videos, transmission art works and sound recordings, he examines the need for transcendence beyond the body through a vehicle of visual and aural stimulation. With this dialog, Sloan feels an urgency to evoke a collective experience between the viewer, listener and artist that can bridge the gap between physical and non-physical worlds.

In 2001 Sloan co-founded SLO.BOR Media with sound artist & web designer Matt Borghias a vehicle for their individual releases and a platform for other artists. SLO.BOR Media is primarily a record label, but focuses on a variety of media and forms of distribution. SLO.BOR Media is also quite concerned with packaging, design, new media, sound and conceptual art.

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