This 4th installation in this son0_morph series is not only a solo recording project, but also a reflective journey into my history as a performer. I began my career as a classical guitarist, but remember always being engaged with music technologies via listening to multiple musical genres, simply loving acts like Tangerine Dream to Jean-Michel Jarre whilst growing up.
Later in classical performance studies I ‘discovered’ Glenn Gould. His pianistic style was a revelation to me, the micro-attention to note volumes, and durations in recording drew me in musically. Mauer says that ‘Gould’s work teaches us that listening can be as much an act of creation as composing, performing, or recording. Learning to listen properly, Gould argued, produces an experience of ecstasy and leads to spiritual good.’
In the son0_morph series this approach to the listening, specifically within ensemble work and technological engagements has been central. Whether this is achieved by using the monitoring environment to nourish improvisations in the first trio album with Carlo Mombelli and Jonno Sweetman, or in the second duet album with Kathleen Tagg, or to an ecstasy of sonic immersion with Cameron Harris in the third release – each of these are enabled in different ways through systems (or ecologies) of unique design.
But what of this last, solo record?
Gould said that ‘the moment I began to experience the studio environment, my whole reaction to what I could do with music under the proper circumstances changed totally’, and I have shared this sentiment. I wanted to close this series by returning to the classical guitar as a medium, in studio. Inspired by the work of artists like Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds this last album, titled ‘Prayers and Laments’ uses the classical guitar and technologies, accepting that sometimes it might be okay to make gentle music.
The works on the record include three original compositions, two works by the Baroque lutenist Sylvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750) and one by the great guitarist and composer Ralph Towner. Some works are with electronics, some with multiple guitars and some just simply, as they are.