The podcast goes unplugged this week! Our host, Patrick Grant is in the front parlor with James Moore of the Dither Guitar Quartet.They’ve got National and Ovation acoustic guitars and they intend to use them.We’ll find out how James made it from the San Francisco Bay Area to the new music scene here in New York. He’ll tell us about the strange playing techniques he uses on his recent album of solo guitar music by John Zorn, and we’ll hear an exclusive rendition of a Chet Atkins ballad.
Dither is an electric guitar quartet that includes James, Taylor Levine, Joshua Lopes, and Gyan Riley. They specialize in an experimental mix of “composed music, improvisation, and electronic manipulation.” They’ve performed across the United States and overseas since forming in 2007, and produce a yearly festival of music and art called Extravaganza!.
As a multi-instrumentalist and composer, James juggles a number of musical projects aside from Dither, such as The Hands Free, an acoustic quartet, and a rock band called Forever House. He recently put out another album of violin and steel-string resonator guitar called Gertrudes, with Andie Springer. The pair formed their duo when they were on tour with playwright Richard Maxwell’s “Neutral Hero”.
The CD for James’ version of the guitar etudes by John Zorn called “Book of Heads” includes a film featuring the crazy techniques involved in the making of the album. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see on the DVD:
On the next Strings and Things podcast, a new music guitar maven looks back on how his family helped set him on his career path. James Moore, a co-founder and director of Dither, the electric guitar quartet, will be here with his National steel string while our host Patrick Grant works on an Ovation Balladeer. James tells us what his grandmother taught him about composition, and discusses his recording of John Zorn’s Book of Heads, a set of eclectic etudes for solo guitar.
Thanks to everyone who’s been listening to the Strings and Things podcast! We really appreciate you spending time with us and our talented guests while we do the glamorous work of changing our gummy guitar strings. But, we want to let you know about another project we’ve wrapped up here at Peppergreen Media:
It’s the new Tilted Axes album!
You may remember we’ve met some of the guitarists on the podcast through Patrick’s project, Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars. It’s both a processional event and an ensemble of electric guitarists. They use portable amplifiers strapped to their sides as they criss-cross the urban landscape and play music for unsuspecting audiences. Anywhere from 9 to over 40 guitarists have performed in a Tilted Axes event, playing compositions that Patrick’s written specifically for the group, the project’s host city, or various cultural occasions.
If you haven’t had a chance to see Tilted Axes on the streets of New York, Detroit, Germany or Brazil, here’s YOUR chance to check out the unique and intricate textures of the mobile electric guitar procession. Whether we’re out on the streets or in the studio, Tilted Axes is an eclectic ensemble of musicians, producing potent and polyphonic guitar music.