New York Guitars
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR698     Release Date: 1995-01-01

John King; Carolyn Master; Mark Howell; Nick Didkovsky; David First; Brandon Ross; Judy Dunaway; Loren Mazzacane Connors; Ken Valitsky; Phil Kline, electric guitar

The electric guitar was born into a hostile climate...

When the first amplified guitars were put on the market in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the first significant public campaigns against ever-increasing city noise were also taking place. Among the anti-cacophony mottos: “The silence of each assures rest for us all.” Thus, from its inception, the electric guitar was a symbol of noise, imprecision and rebellion. Its weapon: amplification, the enemy of restful sleep. Though the New York composers and improvisers on this record coax everything from dissonance and drones to blues and jazz out of their guitars, they all have one thing in common: they are by nature defiant, undermining so-called serious music by making it on an electric guitar.

Playing avant-garde music on an electric guitar is nothing new. The tradition in New York goes back at least to minimalist composer La Monte Young writing For Guitar in 1958 (which was later transposed to electric guitar) and Sonny Sharrock making a name for himself as a Free-Jazz guitarist in the 1960s. What sets the composers here apart is that they grew up in an era of rock and roll. Some of them were even playing in rock bands before finding other outlets for their musical experimentation. With all the baggage of rock history now attached to the electric guitar, separating it from the tradition of rock (or blues or jazz) has become not an act of appropriation but subversion. So when Mark Howell flips through sixty-five years of guitar styles and techniques in nine minutes and Judy Dunaway composes with the noise inherent in the technology of amplification, they are not celebrating the history of guitar music and technology but exploring its limits.

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available as a burn-on-demand CD (CD-R) or download in MP3/320, FLAC or WAV formats. CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included. Liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Various Artists

New York Guitars

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD-R $9.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print material or jewel case included.
A *.pdf of the notes may be accessed here free of charge.
   Liner Notes

Track Listing

White Buffalo Calf Woman Blues
John King
En Masse
Carolyn Master
Mark Howell
Nick Didkovsky
Jade Perches for Silvia
David First
O. People
Brandon Ross
Fifty 210
Judy Dunaway
Loren Mazzacane Connors
Meaning - Less
Ken Valitsky
Fantasy on One Note
Phil Kline