Posts Tagged ‘Robert Fripp’

Matt Borghi & Michael Teager on Echoes Podcast

January 17, 2014
Matt Borghi & Michael Teager on Echoes

Matt Borghi & Michael Teager on Echoes

Hear Two Musicians Who Begin at Zero

These days in contemporary music, most musicians don’t leave much to chance when they play live. They either adhere to note-for-note recreations of their recorded work or they just have it all in a computer, hit play and have a perfect, if frozen performance.  Ambient guitarist Matt Borghi and saxophonist Michael Teager don’t work that way.  They create their music in the moment, improvising on mood and texture.  Borghi has been at the ambient thing for years with several recordings of barely-there ambient guitar out.  Teager comes from more of a jazz tradition. The two musicians talk about the genesis of their music from a lounge act and jam band into their free form excursions tonight on Echoesborghi-convocation

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Oblivion-cvrJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Hammock’s Oblivion Hymns is our January   CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

LRC19-250pxPick Up  TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

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Start at Zero: Matt Borghi & Michael Teager on Echoes

January 8, 2014
Matt Borghi & Michael Teager on Echoes

Matt Borghi & Michael Teager on Echoes

These days in contemporary music, most musicians don’t leave much to chance when they play live. They either adhere to note-for-note recreations of their recorded work or they just have it all in a computer, hit play and have a perfect, if frozen performance.  Ambient guitarist Matt Borghi and saxophonist Michael Teager don’t work that way.  They create their music in the moment, improvising on mood and texture.  Borghi has been at the ambient thing for years with several recordings of barely-there ambient guitar out.  Teager comes from more of a jazz tradition. The two musicians talk about the genesis of their music from a lounge act and jam band into their free form excursions tonight on Echoesborghi-convocation

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Oblivion-cvrJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Hammock’s Oblivion Hymns is our January   CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

LRC19-250pxPick Up  TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Robert Fripp & Toyah Krimsonize Nancy Sinatra

September 19, 2009

Did you ever wonder what King Crimson would sound like fronted by Nancy Sinatra?  Probably not, but Crimson founder, Robert Fripp and his wife, singer Toyah Willcox, collaborate as The Humans and cover Sinatra’s deathless 60s classic, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.”
Visually, the video’s a bit on the 1980s cheesy MTV side, think Journey. Musically, like a lot of proggers approaching pop, they’ve got a heavy and strident hand and it actually makes me appreciate even more the understated mood and reverb soaked atmosphere Nancy Sinatra and producer/composer Lee Hazelwood established for the original in 1966, which I actually owned on a 45. But Toyah looks and sounds good at 51 (albeit post cosmetic surgery) and that’s more visual personality than I’ve seen Fripp display in about 20 years. Dig the “Starless”-style double-picked screaming guitar solo he lays on it.  This is Fripp having fun, I think.  It’s hard to tell with Robert these days.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Harold Budd & Clive Wright: A Song For Lost Blossoms

August 15, 2008

For a guy who supposedly retired 4 years ago, Harold Budd is sure putting out a lot of records. He’s just offered up a new slice of gauzy atmosphere, hazy keyboards and unguitar-like electric guitar with Clive Wright. It’s called A Song for Lost Blossoms .
Song for Lost Blossoms
This works out to be the Robert Fripp and Harold Budd collaboration that I don’t believe ever happened. Wright is very much in the Fripp school of guitar playing using loops, delays, an e-bow and lots of volume pedal swells. You can hear that on “Forever Hold My Breath” with the guitarist playing over some slowly undulating keyboard waves, laying down those sinewy glissando leads. It’s one of two live performances on the disc and you can see the video of it on YouTube. There’s no sign of Budd in the video, just Wright spotlighted alone on the stage.

YouTube Vid:

Lost Blossoms is an album that stretches out over time, and in the case of “Pensive Aphrodite” that stretch goes 32 minutes. It sounds like several vignettes strung together and it does sound rudderless at times. But the rest of the album is more concise with tracks like “At This Moment,” attaining a quiet heroism through swirling string pads and Fender Rhodes modulations that Wright uses like electric towers to drape his elongated solos.

There’s another video up there as well with an album track over desert scenery that I assume is shot near Wright’s home in Joshua Tree.

You should know Harold Budd, the avatar of ambient chamber music.  Clive Wright is a lesser known, journeyman musician.  He played with the band Cock Robin in the 1980s, whose debut was produced by Steve Hillage.  (Hear Steve Hillage audio profile). He’s worked in sundry bands like Broken Edge and with R&B artists like Montel Jordan. Now he works as a session musician, cuts commercial and video soundtracks and also contributes to the newly reformed Cock Robin.  None of that prepares you for the liquid mercury guitar sound he drizzles slowly across Lost Blossoms.

You can tell these were built out of free-form jam sessions, perhaps a mood or a key agreed upon and then a meandering walk through a fog shrouded landscape. Harold Budd is one of the few musicians who can get away with that and not have it dismissed as aimless twaddle.  Like many of Budd’s albums, this one insinuates itself over time, rising up out of the background noise to sculpt a personal interior world.  A Song of Lost Blossoms, which takes its title from a poem by Cock Robin singer Anna LaCazio that’s recited on the title piece, is like the lost soundtrack for a Sergio Leone western, full of brooding atmospheres and ominous portent and occasional acts of triumph.

The street date for A Song of Lost Blossoms is October 7

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Arrested Musical Development: The 60s are over, the 70s too.

August 11, 2008

The midsummer of 2008 has been a trip down Memory Lane for live concerts. In the last two weeks, I’ve seen, or will be seeing, Alex De Grassi, Return to Forever, King Crimson and Manuel Göttsching/Ashra , all acts who came to their greatest renown in the 1970s.  It got me wondering about our penchant for both over-glorifying the past while also about acknowledging music that withstands the capriciousness of popular tastes.

In the midst of an Echoes Chamber session with Return to Forever guitarist, Al Di Meola, the 54-year-old musician went into a subdued rant about the music we heard as kids.  “We grew up in the greatest era ever, the 60s,” he proclaimed. “We still love the music we listened to when we were kids.  Our kids aren’t going to be able to say that. They’re going to be listening to the music we listened to when they get older.”

There is some truth to what he said, at least in regards to pop music. Certainly the music of the 60s and early 70s continues to hang on, powered by classic rock stations and turned into dogma by places like The School of Rock. But there’s also Rock of the 70s and Rock of the 80s format radio stations and I’m sure that 30 years from now, there will be a Rock of the 2000s format. I think every generation holds on to the music they heard in their teens and college years: 60s acid rock, 70s progressive rock, 80s punk, 90’s grunge.

Di Meola is mostly referring to pop music, because otherwise, he’s continued to explore new sounds and technology throughout his career as a listener and creator. But a nostalgic aroma was ever-present at the Return to Forever show I saw at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia. I was wondering why RTF en mass felt it was necessary to wave the flag for “live” music and rail against iPods and YouTube to a full house of some 4,000 people. The Anthology And Chick, baby, despite your claims that RTF got no radio airplay in the 70s, I know they got boatloads of spins from commercial jazz stations that were still around then, including WRVR in New York and WWDB in Philadelphia. College stations, like WXPN in Philadelphia, played this music to death and got RTF many of their fans, as evidenced by the 50-something demographic dominating the reunion audiences.  RTF’s performance thrilled those fans.  They didn’t play any new compositions other than the opening tune-up piece, and except for a mangled version of “Romantic Warrior,” they stuck to the recorded versions of most of them pretty faithfully, including the same somewhat dated synthesizer sounds that Corea used.

.De Man IaAlex de Grassi’s audience was substantionally smaller, but they to, were thrilled to hear this veteran of the finger-style guitar renaissance at Sellersville Theater.   Like RTF, much of his set was drawn from older material made during his glory years at Windham Hill Records. It was good seeing Alex playing solo, although nothing new was being revealed, something I wouldn’t say for his world fusion DeMania trio.

I’m hopeful, but not expectant for Manuel Göttsching who performs in Philadelphia and New York over the weekend of August 15th. New Age of EarthI know that he plans on playing classic music from Inventions for Electric Guitar  and New Age of Earth up through E2-E4. The most recent piece he’s reported to play, Die Mulde, dates back to 1997 and that’s very much in the 1970s sequencer style.  However, I’m still looking forward to that show, since Göttsching, like Klaus Schulze, has never played in the US.   It’s music I’ve never heard performed live, but I’m not expecting any revelations. It will probably be like seeing RTF, who I also didn’t get to see in the 70s. (BTW, can somebody update Ashra’s Wikipedia entry? It is woefully skimpy and inaccurate).

Of them all, King Crimson has continued exploring new dimensions in their heavy metal future shock sound. I’ve seen them twice in this millennium and both were exhilarating, ear-shredding performances full of precision, spontaneity and new music.  While their audience will certainly be from the same demographic that will attend De Grassi, RTF and Ashra shows, Krimson’s music continues to be exploratory, without pandering .

I too, love the artists of my formative years, and Echoes also maintains a loyalty to the pioneers we played early on like Will Ackerman, Tangerine Dream, Andreas Vollenweider, George Winston and Klaus Schulze. That music, along with Hendrix and the Beatles, Coltrane and Miles, Ultravox and Siouxsie & the Banshees, Philip Glass and Steve Reich  is all in my musical DNA.

But I don’t want to exist in a musical past like some artists and audiences who are in an arrested state of musical development, living a terminal adolescence with the music that informed their youths. I don’t want to think that the best music I’ll experience for the rest of my life came out 30 or so years ago.  When I see teenagers who are enthralled by the sound and imagery of the sixties, I don’t sometimes feel validated in my youthful tastes. but just as often, I feel like telling them to listen to your own music.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))


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