I performed live with two guitars and electronics at the Honey Hive Gallery, San Francisco (opening for Shipwreck Detective, Joseph Shoemaker, and James Cigler). This post describes the process and instruments, because sadly the second camera that was meant to capture the show didn’t work, and only a small portion of the setup was show. (An audio only version is available on Soundcloud.)
I had felt the pull back to a guitar late last year as a result of wanting to play new material while my modular synths were tied up with patches from other projects and live shows. The performance was a live improvisation in G Major (or E Minor, depending on your point of view). It evolved out of rehearsals and another project that I can’t quite talk about yet.
Of course, the two main instruments were guitars; one 1994 Epiphone Les Paul and a 2017 Gibson Les Paul Studio. The Epiphone was laid flat and prepared with a steel skewer weaved through the strings, and played with (in order of appearance) a wireless mouse, a Guitar Triller, a bamboo skewer, and an eBow. It was sent into a Ciat Lonbarde Cooquantus (complex dual 8-bit stereo delay/looper with analog LFO control).
The Gibson was worn and run through an effects pedal board, played with fingers, plectrums, violin bow, and a finger cymbal. The signal flow was as follows: Mission Engineering volume pedal, Boss TU-3 tuner, EHX Pitch Fork, Earthquaker Afterneath, Chase Bliss Brothers, Chase Bliss Warped Vinyl, Red Panda Particle, Industrialectric Echo Degrader, Industrialectric RM-1N, Strymon Big Sky, and Pigtronix Infinity Looper with accessory switch, with the loop volume controlled with a Moog EP-3 expression pedal. Every pedal was used in the performance.
There was also a very small Eurorack modular synthesizer comprised of only three modules: Mutable Instrument Rings, 4MS Dual Looping Delay, and Monome Walk. The Walk allowed me to trigger Rings with one footswitch, and tap tempo into the Dual Looping Delay with another footswitch. You hear its classic plucked-string modal synthesis sound in the first third to half of the performance, acting as a bass.
All signals went into a Mackie VLZ-1202 mixer with an Eventide Space on an aux send, which then went to the house mixer and PA.
Thanks to Dev, Joe, James, Dan at Honey Hive, and everyone who came out to watch!