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Richard Carrick (b.1971): Stone Guitars - music comprised of layered electric guitar tracks

Notes & Reviews:

Composer Richard Carrick is best known for his concert works, described by Allan Kozinn of the New York Times as "charming, with exoticism and sheer infectiousness." While Carrick typically collaborates with other musicians, notably with the New York Philharmonic and his own ensemble Either/Or, Stone Guitars was created in isolation. Returning to the instrument of his teenage years, Stone Guitars was recorded during late nights spent exploring the introspective world of de-tuned, effects heavy electric guitars. Each guitar layer was recorded sequentially without monitoring the previous layers. Using memory, visual cues (visual click track, tracking graphics of the previous recordings), and compositional structures, each line spontaneously evolved with an independent flow. Carrick later layered the spontaneous tracks above each other, marrying the beauty of the ephemeral gesture with a finely considered compositional sense of structure. Composition, performance, and improvisation were completely intertwined with a range of recording and editing techniques to produce this diverse set of pieces. The title, Stone Guitars, refers both to the indestructible mass of sound of the electric guitar and to the venue of the title track's premiere - John Zorn's East Village venue, The Stone. The music on this recording is by turns nostalgic, raw, direct, meditative, bold, evocative, distorted, and micro-tonally dense. Carrick is not unfamiliar to this type of recording process -- he used a similar approach for his solo piano CD Containment(self released) and adapted it to notated music in The Veins of Marble for chamber orchestra, Dark Flow - Double Quartet for two independently performing quartets, and Prisoner's Cinema for chamber orchestra with video projection. Carrick is a composer, conductor, pianist, and co-founder/artistic director of the new music ensemble Either/Or. His compositions are informed by Csíkszentmihályi's flow concept, implications of infinity, the visceral experience of sound, and his personal heritage with roots in France, North Africa and the United Kingdom. His Flow Cycle for Strings on New World Records, described by The Wire UK as "quietly virtuosic and addictive," re-interprets Csíkszentmihályi's intricate flowcharts and principles into newly designed compositional approaches. His music has been commissioned by the New York Philharmonic Biennial Festival, the Fromm Foundation, and presented at the ISCM World Music Days and Vienna's Konzerthaus. He has taught composition at Columbia and New York Universities and currently mentors New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers internationally. His article, "The Music of Flow" was published in The New York Times. His music is available on six commercial CD's and his scores are available through Project Schott New York.

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
Carrick is certainly inventive in his use of electric guitars. I've always. You have to conceive of it as a totally different instrument from the classical guitar, capable of things impossible on the classical instrument - sustained sounds, even a single note crescendo by the use of amplification. Carrick creates a sound world in these mostly brief pieces. He performs in a mixture of composition and improvisation - I'd be interested to see the scores.

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Richard Carrick (electric guitar).


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