24 luglio 2021


Glielo avesse chiesto - per la serie 'piccoli segreti confessati dai grandi chitarristi' di Guitar Talk - a Joel Harrison Chadbourne lo avrebbe sicuramente detto: è perché fu lui il primo musicista americano ad entrare in Romania dopo la caduta di Ceaușescu che lo Stato ha dato a un suo popolare biscotto alla crema il nome Eugenia. Original, ovviamente.

23 luglio 2021


Anche Terra Nova Press pubblica un bel volume di interviste, Guitar Talk: Conversations with Visionary Players. Le ha condotte Joel Harrison, chitarrista egli stesso, conversando con alcuni dei più importanti maestri e innovatori della chitarra del nostro tempo - tra questi Nels Cline, Fred Frith, Bill Frisell, Elliott Sharp, Henry Kaiser, Vernon Reid, Mary Halvorson, Ava Mendoza, Wolfgang Muthspiel e Ralph Towner - evidenziandone gli insegnamenti e le tecniche, le esperienze personali e le visioni per il futuro. Gliene rende merito uno degli intervistati più celebri, Pat Metheny: "The work that Joel Harrison has done to showcase the development of the guitar and the expanded role that it has taken in music is a testament to the almost unlimited sonic dimensions the word 'guitar' can invoke in the imagination of musicians and fans alike."

An enormous range of approaches and sounds exist in the modern guitar. The instrument can howl, scrape, scratch, scream, sing, pluck, and soothe. What stands out in this book is not so much the instrument itself, rather the wonderful and idiosyncratic personalities of these bold souls, their sometimes wild, often zigzagging, and ultimately profound journeys toward beauty, meaning, and excellence in their work. We find out that jazz icon Bill Frisell won a high school band contest  playing R&B tunes, beating out future members of Earth Wind and Fire. We learn which of Nels Cline's compositions he wishes to have played at his funeral. Michael Gregory Jackson recounts painful episodes  of racism as he stretched between the chasm of avant jazz, rock, and blues in the 1980s. Many more revelations, amusements, and philosophies abound.

22 luglio 2021


Blank Forms pubblica un'ampia selezione di interviste realizzate da Alan Licht a partire dal 1995 fino allo scorso anno: Common Tones-Selected Interviews with Artists and Musicians 1995–2020. Tra i nomi di spicco ci sono Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, Tony Conrad, Henry Flynt, Milford Graves, Christian Marclay, Phill Niblock, Lou Reed, Michael Snow e Ira Kaplan. 

For the past thirty years, Alan Licht has been a performer, programmer, and chronicler of New York’s art and music scenes. His dry wit, deep erudition, and unique perspective—informed by decades of experience as a touring and recording guitarist in the worlds of experimental music and underground rock—have distinguished him as the go-to writer for profiles of adventurous artists across genres. A precocious scholar and improvisor, by the time he graduated from Vassar College in 1990 Licht had already authored important articles on minimalist composers La Monte Young, Tony Conrad, and Charlemagne Palestine, and recorded with luminaries such as Rashied Ali and Thurston Moore. In 1999 he became a regular contributor to the British experimental music magazine the Wire while continuing to publish in a wide array of periodicals, ranging from the artworld glossies to underground fanzines. Common Tones gathers a selection of never-before-published interviews, many conducted during the writing of Licht’s groundbreaking profiles, alongside extended versions of his celebrated conversations with artists, previously untranscribed public and private exchanges, and new dialogues held on the occasion of this collection. Even Lou Reed, a notoriously difficult interviewee, was impressed.