A Different Nature playlist for 02/21/2011
FRED FRITH - 2 WORKS (mainly) -- hosted by daniel flessas
Focusing on Frith's early guitar masterpiece, 1974's "Guitar Solos" and 1995's "Pacifica", (though we opened tonight's show with the atmospheric "Kick The Can" from the 1980 album, "Speechless").
GUITAR SOLOS (from about 8:05 pm til around 9:15 pm)
1. Hello Music
2. Glass c/w Steel
4. Out of Their Heads (on locoweed)
5. Not Forgotten
6. Hollow Music
7. Heat c/w Moment
8. PART 5 from "Rivers and Tides" (music for the amazing film about Andy Goldsworthy) this is NOT on Guitar Solos, btw..
9. No Birds (The longest track on the album, "No Birds", Frith played on two prepared guitars simultaneously, creating the timbre and range of an orchestra. He laid the two guitars flat on a table, neck to neck with the bodies of the guitars at opposite ends and the necks parallel to each other. He then tuned the strings on both guitars to one note, and because they were stereo guitars with nut pickups, he had six separate sound sources coming from each guitar. Using volume pedals on some of the sound sources, Frith filtered sounds in and out of the mix without doing anything on the guitars.
10. Only Reflect
11. Water / Struggle / The North
12. Alienated Industrial Seagulls
Guitar Solos was voted one of the best albums of 1974 by NME critics. Allmusic called it a landmark album because of its innovative and experimental approach to guitar playing. It also attracted the attention of Brian Eno, resulting in Frith's playing guitar on two of Eno's albums, and spawned two follow-up albums, Guitar Solos 2 (1976) and Guitar Solos 3 (1979). Guitar Solos was remastered and released on CD on Frith's own record label, Fred Records in 2002.
Frith recorded the album at David Vorhaus's Kaleidophon Studios in London on 11–13 and 15 July 1974, where he played a modified 1936 Gibson K-11. He added an extra pickup over the strings at the nut, enabling him to amplify sound from both sides of the fretted note. He then split the fretboard in two with a capo, effectively giving him two guitars, each amplified separately that he could play independently with each hand. To split the sounds further he attached alligator clips at various positions on the strings. The net result was a guitar with multiple sound sources that could be channelled to a mixer and distributed across the stereo soundscape.
The album was recorded in four days without any overdubbing. All the pieces were improvised, some completely, some to a roughly preconceived idea, and sound as they were played, except for "No Birds", which was recorded in two parts, and "Not Forgotten", from which two notes were removed. The only sounds not produced 'naturally' by guitar are those of a fuzzbox used on "Out of Their Heads (On Locoweed)", "Heat c/w Moment" and "No Birds", an echo delay used on "No Birds", and ambient noise from Frith's breath and feet on "Heat c/w Moment".
PACIFICA (from about 9:15 pm til almost 10:00 pm)
Pacifica was composed by Frith in 1994 as "a meditation for 21 musicians with texts by Pablo Neruda", and was performed, under the direction of Frith, by the Eva Kant ensemble in 1995 in Modena, Italy. Texts taken from the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's works Soneto IX and Cien sonetos de amor, were recorded by Sergio Meza in September 1997 in Santiago, Chile and were added to the music in 1998. The album was released on Tzadik Records' Composer Series in 1998.
Frith does not perform on this album.
Pacifica was composed by Frith at Big Sur, California in a cabin overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is "a slow meditation on life and death" and reflects a series of events that occurred in Frith's life at the time, namely the death of two close friends and the birth of his daughter.
Pacifica was composed for an ensemble that included prepared guitars, wind instruments, percussion, a vocalist and a performer on records, CDs and tapes. The 19 member Eva Kant ensemble (named after a 1960s comic strip heroine, Eva Kant) performed the piece, with fragments of recited text from the Death Song of the Cupeño tribe of California and the tribal names of all the original inhabitants of California.