If you follow this site regularly, you know that I frequently work with my good friend Patrick Joseph on both music and videos to accompany that music. Patrick is an immensely talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, and is a great collaborator. We have been working together for a little over a year now, and it has been an incredibly rewarding creative outlet for me as a guitarist. Working with a singer/songwriter can sometimes be a challenge. Artists typically have a very clear, concise idea of how they would like their songs to sound. Oftentimes this results in quite a limited and narrow creative space to occupy as a guitarist. Of course, there is good reason for these limitations as many artists spend hours and hours obsessing over how to make a song the best it can possibly be, and the last thing they want is for some crazy guitarist to come in and try to re-invent their wheel.
Patrick works the same way: spending hours and hours writing and recording, perfecting each and every note and lyric before a song can be deemed “complete.” The big difference is Patrick is willing to work as a collaborator as well. He allows me a lot of creative freedom. I am not held down by a predetermined notion of what a guitar player should or should not bring to his music. I create my own guitar parts, but more importantly, I can stretch and explore sonic territory atypical of the guitar. I can occupy space that might normally be occupied by a keyboard or synthesizer, or create atmospheric/ambient electronic sounds that make people (I hope) listen twice when they see acoustic guitars.
This is territory I am very fond of exploring as a guitarist, and it is also what makes working with Patrick such a rewarding experience. My creative goals of exploring new and/or different sounds are fully satisfied, and I benefit/learn from working and performing with a talented singer/songwriter.
This video is a departure from our typical do-it-yourself approach, and was shot by our friend, and amazing photographer/videographer, JP Agustin.
Arsonist Blues is from Relics, our upcoming EP of re-imagined versions of songs from Patrick’s debut album Antiques. Our covers EP is also in the works as well as many other projects that will be unveiled very soon!
This piece is a deconstruction of a chord progression/solo guitar idea I had. So in that sense I suppose it is a composition, but I’m also improvising all the ideas except the pulse at the very beginning and the chord progression. Everything you hear is played on a steel string acoustic guitar. There are no multi-track overdubs, each layer is added in real-time using an echoplex digital pro plus.
This piece happened for two reasons…
1. I was feeling like some moody modal improvisation.
2. I wanted to try recording my Hans Pukke (luthier) classical guitar to see what sounds I could get with my limited recording setup.
I have always known this guitar to have amazing balance and incredible treble tones. One of my favorite things about it is the way notes just sing on and seem to ring forever after they have been played. The overtones and harmonics this guitar generates are out of this world. It just has such a rich sound, and I feel very lucky to own this instrument. Unfortunately, I don’t think the microphone I have really does it justice, but I think this recording came out alright nonetheless.
So this is not the piece I have been working on that I mentioned in the previous post. I had to take a break from that one before attempting to record it again. Hopefully that one will be posted soon. But in the meantime…
I sat down earlier today and came up with the main melodic idea in this piece and decided to turn it into something. Steel-string acoustic guitar tuned down a whole step from standard tuning. I’m not really sure if I should call this an improvisation or not. I came up with the idea very quickly, and recorded it very quickly…it felt much more like a composition than an improvisation, but it happened very spontaneously. In any case…here it is…