John Encarnacao – Giraffe Solos LP Launch
with Luke Bozzetto | John Encarnacao | Jon Hunter | Steffan Ianigro | Jo Williams
To launch his new album Giraffe Solos, John Encarnacao has gathered a bunch of performers interested in finding out what *else* one might do with the guitar. There'll be short sets from Jo Williams, Steffan Ianigro, Jon Hunter and Luke Bozzetto, as well as John E., who will bring his chopsticks.
"Giraffe Solos was recorded over a period of 45 minutes at a kitchen table in Marrickville, to a mobile phone. It was not intended to be an album. In the tradition of lo-fi, there is a private moment captured here, and it’s likely the album would be very different if it had been recorded in professional surroundings. So, you will hear the occasional plane flying overhead, me laughing at one point and assuring my dog not to worry at another.
The music is all played on my old Yamaha acoustic six-string. Old strings. Whenever I do free improv on the guitar I tune it in a once-only, almost random tuning. All I can do is respond to the notes I hear and make guesses about how to combine notes as I learn what’s available through trial-and-error. Although I gravitate towards chords I recognise the sound of, I can’t always find them. I would never claim any of his prodigious technique or knowledge of folk music, but at times the result is not unlike some of the harmonically adventurous stuff John Fahey got up to in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
A pair of chopsticks is an essential part of this record. They allow for all sorts of timbres impossible with fingers or picks alone. I’m working here in the shadow of both the prepared guitar music of Fred Frith (his Guitar Solos record from 1974 is still amazing) and the prepared piano music of John Cage (particularly the Three Dances and The Perilous Night, both from 1944-1945). I can’t help thinking also of the experimentation of Sonic Youth - both their improvised records and the way Thurston and Lee sometimes shove broken drumsticks through the strings on the fretboard, one of the things I do here."