My new record is called Arc.
It’s a blend of everything I’m about, musically speaking. It pulls together threads from my previous releases (Modular, Spirits Drifted, and Death Under Rainbows) and takes several big steps forward.
Guitar is the instrument I make music with most often, but at the core I am really a sound designer and texturalist. I like to improvise and discover. I gain more satisfaction from being pleasantly surprised by something I didn’t see coming than in the perfect execution of a detailed plan.
Arc started with improvisation at it’s core. The original sessions were with drummers Jim Keltner and James McAlister. I played guitar and baritone guitar, live processing and looping. This raw material was the basis for the 8 pieces that make up the record.
The music ended up being earthier, more expansive, and quirkier than I could have anticipated. It has ambience, space, texture, density, lop-sided grooves, and sonic fidelity. Some of it sounds like an alternate-reality Booker T and the MG’s. Some of it sounds like Elvin Jones playing in a 70’s prog band. Some of it is challenging. Some of it is really beautiful. Tracks like Stump are very much a fabricated construction made from pillaging the raw materials. Others, like Float, are largely untouched and remain close to their improvised state.
Musically and texturally I got to some new levels in my playing and producing, putting into practice some techniques and concepts I’ve been stewing on for a few years. I’ve been developing an approach to generating rich ambient textures and sounds from my guitar while I’m improvising. More than just adding more effects to the guitar, it’s about making more music happen on the fly. I used these techniques throughout the album.
It’s also awash in the talents of Jon Evans on bass, Steve Moore on keys and trombone, and Michael Iveson on drums. Roger Joseph Manning Jr. wrote the wonderfully textural arrangements for a string octet.
The original tracking session was at Husky Hoskulds’ studio in downtown LA. Large bits of the overdubbing and editing were done at my studio. Bass (and some drums) were recorded at Jon Evan’s studio on Cape Cod. The string Octet was recorded by Nathaniel Kunkel at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. It was mercilessly and profoundly mixed by Joel Hamilton in Brooklyn, NY.
Arc will be released by Oceanographic Records on May 17, 2016.
Thanks for reading.