Monthly Archives: May 2008

Wooten Bros

Darryl Landry sent me the link to this, in response to yesterday’s excess:

…and I’ll bookend it with

I don’t find these as incomprehensible or inaccessible as the Die Like A Dog example, perhaps because I dimly grasp what the musicians are doing.

The outer limits

or maybe outré… Peter Brotzmann (alto & tenor saxophones, tarogato), Toshinori Kondo (trumpet, electronics), William Parker (double bass), and Hamid Drake (drums, percussion) are the Die Like a Dog Quartet. Their performance at the Berlin Jazz Festival 1995 is available, 9:31 of it. I know precisely ONE person who is equipped and inclined to appreciate this sort of thing. All I can do is shake my head in wonder. Can’t say I like it, let alone understand it, but I guess I’m willing to accept that there’s something to understand. From WFMU’s Beware of the Blog.


About 5 years ago I happened upon a Glissentar

in a music store where I ummmm just happened to be (happens a lot…) and didn’t resist. For those unfamiliar with the instrument, it’s sort of a baritone oud (in terms of its string setup, with 5 unison pairs and a single bass string), fretless, with piezo pickup. I haven’t really tamed it to my purposes, for reasons that I don’t quite understand, and a couple of days ago I came close to deciding to sell it (not something I am in the habit of doing with instruments –I buy them, and have them). I’ve reconsidered that rash decision, and now I’m thinking about new departures I might assay instead. Since my chequered musical career has been almost entirely acoustic, I’m pretty clueless about what happens and could happen when an instrument is plugged in, but I guess it’s not too late to learn. I’ve found several YouTubish bits that suggest possible directions starting with Robert Godin himself talking about the glissentar:

But how can a player actually use the instrument? It’s interesting to see Michael Vick’s guitaristic approach, but it’s not what I want to do myself:

I’m more attracted to Fatih Ahiskali’s approach to the instrument as a variety of oud, and his chops are pretty impressive (he uses both the traditional oud plectrum and an idiosyncratic finger style):

and this, where he ventures into classical guitar repertoire:

and THIS one is really spectacular:

I also found some worthwhile bits on setup and string alternatives (n.b. Savarez Alliance).