Jonathan Badger - Unsung Stories From Lilly's Days As A Solar Astronaut (cd)
Baltimore-based guitarist/composer Jonathan Badger's second album is an inventive amalgam of ambient, progressive, avant-rock, chamber and electronica styles.
Flitting between extremes of darkness and light, Jonathan uses his guitar to trigger real string and voice sounds and mellotron tape banks to often breathtaking effect.
Jonathan brought in violinists, cellists, pianists, and singers to record every note on their instrument, inviting them to play each note in multiple ways. From these recordings he culled a massive collection of samples, which his laptop-hosted software selected and triggered based not only on what notes Jonathan played on his guitar, but also on how he played them.
The system also incorporates samples of Mellotron tape banks, mapping each note on the guitar to individual Mellotron tape loops.
This interplay of musician and software makes for a dynamic and expressive performance. In addition to the guitar-triggered samples, the software system enables Jonathan to record and arrange chunks of music on the fly, building up complex and shapely structures in real time. This set of processes has become his way of bringing true compositional structure to what has traditionally been a more free-form style of art. Still, with plenty of room for improvisation -- and with the inherent indeterminacy in this process -- no two performances are exactly alike.
Despite being essentially guitar music, Lilly's Days is not a typical 'loopy' ambient guitar album. While the tracks faithfully reflect the energy of Jonathan's live shows, this CD is a true studio effort; the tracks are polished and fully formed compositions, mixing the delicacy of chamber music, hypnotic pulses, and the sonic adventurousness of electronic music.
"Badger's work is too pleasing to be ignored." - e/i Magazine
1. The Vessel Megalo 6:08
2. His Face Like Glass to the Touch 4:37
3. Beat 1 5:06
4. The First Time I Dreamt of the Surface There Was No One to Hold 1:42
5. Neurosmith 5:14
6. Aria7 3:20
7. The Insight That Comes From Repeated Time Dilations 5:36
8. Her Eyes in Sunflare 5:04
9. They searched for each other In the Shelter of Mercury (free) 3:36
10. Surface 6:50
11. Lucius 4:23