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Trey Gunn - Modulator (cd)



Alongside international drumming icon, and rhythmic illusionist Marco Minnemann, former King Crimson member and Tap Guitar innovator Trey Gunn explores new compositional and rhythmic possibilities with his latest album Modulator.

An astonishingly complex and accomplished technological feat that encompasses the brutal and the ethereal, Gunn regards this as one of the most challenging projects of his long and distinguished career.

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It all began when Minnemann suggested Gunn write music to a fifty-one minute drum solo when they were working together in Eddie Jobson‚??s UKZ project.

Gunn had no idea that accepting this monumental task would lead him into such challenging, uncharted compositional territory and ultimately the creation of the masterful Modulator.

Gunn comments on the birth of Modulator: ‚??My initial response was: No way! That sounds ridiculously hard. Not being a huge fan of drum solos in the first place, made me wary, but the idea of tackling 50 minutes of improvisation sounded insane. Then you add in the fact that Marco has rhythmic complexities that leave most of the human race scratching their heads and, well, I wouldn‚??t even know where to begin.‚?Ě But, Minnemann was persistent. He gave the 8-channel multi-tracks of his live drum performance to Gunn, which were put into Logic Audio and stared at for many moons.

Gunn recalls, ‚??I would open the files and just look at this huge, daunting piece of audio; 50-minutes of nearly non-stop drumming. Wondering, what do I do now?‚?Ě Gunn recounts that another six months went by before the project really took hold. ‚??We were rehearsing with UKZ and Marco nudged me again about this. UKZ guitarist Alex Machacek was there and had also been roped into creating his own version. So, he played me two of his tracks that he had composed with Minneman‚??s drums. I was completely blown away.‚?Ě

Gunn continues, ‚??I knew that I couldn‚??t do what Alex had done ‚?? we have such a different kind of vocabulary and working process ‚?? but I suddenly saw how I could do what I do to create my own Frankenstein and decided that it just might work.‚?Ě

Gunn meticulously dissected Minnemann‚??s monstrosity of rhythmic insanity and cleverly converted this once massive, endless improvisation into a cohesive journey of sonic soundscapes that stretches the imagination across a dynamic spectrum of edgy to ethereal compositions. Gunn‚??s convincing arrangements deter the listener from the fact that it was a ‚??drums first‚?Ě structure by grabbing bits of Minnemann‚??s multi-layered, rhythmic ideas and composing ingenious melodies and textures that would lead one to believe Minnemann was in-fact following Gunn‚??s lead.

‚??One of the many challenges in creating Modulator was how to make all the various pieces hold together,‚?Ě says Gunn. ‚??I felt like, for this to work, it had to flow from piece to piece and make sense in the overall structure of the entire puzzle.‚?Ě

This often meant a very involved re-writing process for Gunn. ‚??Re-writing is not something you come across in the fields of music where I come from,‚?Ě he states. ‚??But with Modulator, I might be working on two adjacent sections and have left a 30-second gap between them. The plan being to sow up that 30-second gap with either transitional material or expanding the two pieces to meet one another. However, sometimes the ‚??transitional material‚?? in that 30-second gap starts to take off and wants to, now, be two minutes long. The only choice is to re-write the previous and following sections to allow for this. This kind of thing happened over and over again. That‚??s why Modulator has taken two years to complete!‚?Ě Gunn concludes, ‚??This project has been one of the most challenging I have ever taken on. But, overcoming the daunting hurdles of Modulator proves the old adage that ‚??with great restrictions come great creative leaps."



Tracks

1. Contact
2. Flood
3. Spray I
4. Fall Time +/-
5. Fall Time -/+
6. Lumen
7. Switch
8. Daughter
9. Pole
10. Scatter
11. Up Spin
12. Down Spin
13. Spectra
14. Superstish-a-tron
15. Californ-a-tron
16. Spray II
17. Mono-Punkte
18. Coupling
19. Incantation
20. Slingcharm
21. Twisted Pair
22. Hymn

 




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