Here is a section of a gig I done at Torfaen Jazz club on 25/3/11. The band is a Scratch Band (playing together for the first time), but I think music aside, it displays how easy it is to capture content on USTream, broadcast it live, then watch it later. This is a technique I intend to use in education in the future.
Posts Tagged ‘guitar’
It seems to me that King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp has to be considered one of the pioneers of using loops as a creative compositional tool. Aside from his work with King Crimson, I am interesting in his use of technology – so I will be looking into trying to catagorize how he uses loops over the next few weeks.
Anyway – what follows is a video of Frippertronics, followed by a Grooveshark playlist of loads of his loop based music – well worth a listen.
No one had ever heard a guitar played like that before: The redefinition of the jazz aesthetic in the work of post 1970’s electric guitarist composers
Posted in Academic, tagged analysis, Bill Frisell, composers, composition, electric guitarists, forms, fusion, guitar, guitarists, jazz, jazz guitar, Jim Hall, John Mclaughlin, Larry Coryell, musicology, other music, Pat Martino, pat metheny, rock, rock guitar on December 22, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
I wrote a book chapter a while ago as part of an edited collection entitled ‘De Canonizing Music History’. The chaper looks at the position of the electric guitarist as a jazz composer. Anyway, I have noticed that the book does not appear to be turning up in any searches on the electric guitar – so this is an attempt to put this right. I have copied the abstract below to give any interested parties a feel for what it is about. If you want the book however – be warned – it is nearly £40!
This article addresses the often underrated role jazz guitarist composers have
played in redefining the jazz aesthetic, specifically through fusing jazz with other music forms. Most publications and broadcasts on jazz history have a tendency to overlook this issue, Ken Burns’ most recent TV series being an indicative example, omitting arguably four of the most influential and experimental jazz musicians of the last 40 years – Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Larry Coryell and John McLaughlin. Additionally, although there have been numerous ‘non academic’ texts written about the technical
proficiencies of many electric jazz guitarists, there is no academic material examining their compositional impact on the jazz canon. During the late 1960s – early 1970’s, it will be suggested that the guitarists’ assimilation of jazz with the emerging rock genre was more an expression of cultural and social paradigms than an overt attempt to fuse the two styles. In direct contrast to the pervasively quoted pioneer of fusion, Miles Davis, who incorporated the rock aesthetic into his music to ‘reach the people’, or
‘Third Steam’ musicians such as George Russell and John Lewis who fused classical and jazz musics for intellectual reasons, the post 1970’s guitarist/composers were often natural embodiments of both styles, simply being products of their generation. A good example of this paradigm can be seen in the work of Jazz-Rock pioneers John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell, who could both be considered authentic practitioners of both Jazz and Rock traditions during their work prior to the fusion movement. Echard (2005) describes two aspects of tradition that can have a profound impact on the
perceived originality of an artist He describes clichés as “strongly and exclusively correlated to their tradition in the sense that, even if the feature appears elsewhere, surrounded by elements coded as belonging to other traditions, it will still function as a reference to it’s own tradition” (p.46)1. Typical Features on the other hand “are an integral part of a tradition but are not unique to that tradition” (p.46)2. He goes on to elaborate the effect of these paradigms on the originality of an artist, commenting that “clichés make it more difficult to elaborate a singular and unique persona since they
come with so many specific prior associations” (p.46). This argument is important when outlining the contribution and originality of artists such as Coryell and McLaughlin. When closely examining the inaugural Mahavishnu Orchestra album, The Inner Mountain Flame (1971), or many of Larry Coryell’s early recordings such as Coryell (1969), it is noticeable how few clichés or typical features one would readily associate with Jazz at the time. It is also apparent how the stylistic paradigms of both albums became more pervasive in jazz in the years that followed. Gestures on the recordings such as distorted guitar, rock based grooves, modern production techniques,
in addition to visual factors such as specific dress codes and stage behaviours could indeed have been regarded as clichés of Rock, but today can be conceptualised as typical features of the jazz canon. It is recognised that musicological factors alone are not enough to classify the qualities of any musical work, and when discussing the stylistic ambiguity of Frank Zappa’s portfolio, Gracyk comments
For more info – speak to me or buy the book!
Here are the details of a paper on Phenomonology I presented at Cardiff University in September. It is a paper in development – so be gentle with me!! I have also attached the associated powerpoint slide – to make it easier to understand.
I have been too busy to write any blog posts for the last few weeks, but thought I would share some of the music i have been listening to lately. I am discovering most of this via Spotify, and am finding that linking it with facebook is a great way to share what you listen to with other people. Anyway, here is a synopsis of some of the music I would highly recommend. I have linked them as Spotify files for those of you who have it. If you are interested in linking in to other playlists I have, send me a facebook friend request.
Here are some more Eivind Aarset live recordings that emphasise the dislocation of his body from what we hear. His solo towards the end of this piece has so many layers it is difficult to ascertain what he is actually ‘playing’. It is a true mixture of ‘man and machine’. This is extended by the band (and himself) improvising around his loops – very interesting.
This is extended in the following video, which not only includes repeated guitar loops, but drums also. This is in addition to sounds not normally associated with the guitar.
This final one is included again as it is from his ‘Sonic Codex’ album, which I am beginning to appreciate very much. As stated in my earlier Blog, he is taking what Terge Rypdal achieved and moving it forward in a more ambient modern direction.
I am interested in finding out any info regarding how these pieces are constructed. There is obviously a lot of freedom – almost similar to the way Miles D compiled his more recent works toward the end of his life. I know there is a PhD written in Norwegian on Eivind – would love a translated copy if it becomes available.
Just discovered this amazing guitarist – Eivind Aarset – what an xmas present. He seems to encapsulate what a guitarist of the 21st Century can be – using available technology to create a soundscape that is very difficult to comprehend in terms of the sound in relation to his ‘performing body’ . I am fascinated by the way this music is constructed, in particular how he uses loops in creativity. If anyone knows of any other ‘obscure’ players who compose like this – I would be very interested.
An Autocratic Approach to Music Copyright?: The potential negative impacts of restrictive rights on a composers legacy – The case of the Zappa Family Trust.
Posted in Frank Zappa, tagged Academic, adaptation, copyright, dweezil zappa, Frank Zappa, gail zappa, guitar, Music, paul carr, translation, tribute bands, zappa, zappa family trust, zappanale, zft on August 5, 2009 | 1 Comment »
Here is the abstract of a paper I am preparing for a conference (somewhere). Let me know if you require any details about it.
Since the death of Frank Zappa in 1993, there has been an ongoing legal battle between the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT) and the so called ‘tribute bands’ that are determined to continue translating his music through live and recorded mediums. It could be argued that these ensembles effectively not only pay direct homage to Zappa’s legacy by interpreting his music in numerous innovative ways, but also keep his memory alive by interfacing with both his long standing audience, and with a younger generation who may not be aware of his music. The most famous of the rock based ensembles is entitled Zappa Plays Zappa and has the unusual credit of being ‘legally’ sanctified to perform his music live. This legality is no coincidence, as the band is headed by Zappa’s eldest son Dweezil and features the ‘Vault Master’ responsible for compiling the legal recordings heralding from the ZFT – Joe Travers on drums. After outlining the means through which Zappa consistently translated and adapted his own and other composers’ work over his 27 years in the public eye, this paper will explore how and why such a diverse range of bands and ensembles are so intent on continuing to experiment with his music, despite the legal challenges outlined above. This paper will subsequently examine the various philosophical, legal and industrial factors behind why the ZFT, an organization who have contributed so much to Zappa’s legacy over the last 15 years, seem intent on selectively prohibiting recorded and in particular live performance of his music, followed by a conclusory discussion of the cultural impact of this stance in the light of the supreme irony that Zappa was himself someone who ‘borrowed heavily’ from his diverse influences such as Surf Music, Do Wop and Chicago Blues, in addition to ‘serious’ composers such as Stravinsky, Stockhausen and his childhood hero – Edgard Varèse.
I came across this rare JTQ track on You Tube this week which was recorded as part of a BBC session in either 1988 or 1989 (I can’t remember). Four of the tracks from those sessions were released as part of the’ BBC Sessions’ album, but this one and several others disappeared. I originally did not recognise my own guitar playing, but am assured it was recorded during that time period – so it must be me. If anyone has access to those recordings from those sessions I would appreciate it. They both went out live on Radio 1.