AXE

In retrospect, I shouldn't have made this look like a heavy metal/shredding album, as that's not at all what it is. Instead, it's a mostly quite low-key collection of solo guitar pieces, recorded live in my home studio.

All the tracks are exactly that - recorded live directly into my MacBook, no overdubs, no post-processing, no editing, just as they sounded when played - except for the final track, which has live guitar, but an unlive backing track. I decided the live recording approach would give the tracks a feeling of immediacy, and this accounts for the occasional infelicity in execution which you may hear.

Multiple guitars are heard in places, thanks to the wonderful looping program, SooperLooper by Jesse Chappell; a couple of tracks have software synths operated by the amazing Footar MIDI foot controller; in one case a pre-recorded drone is played live by my iMac.

1. In A Silent Way (Zawinul) [4:48]. I started with this because it was John McLaughlin's rendition of Joe Zawinul's theme on the Miles Davis album of the same name that inspired me to take this direction. Although on the other tracks on the album I use a Gibson SG, on this one I'm using an unusual twin-neck Fender Strat copy of possibly oriental origin.

2. Across the Universe (Lennon/McCartney) [5:30]. My interpretation of the track from Let It Be, in which I mostly omit to play the tune. But you'll recognise it.

3. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Lennon/McCartney) [6:22] from Sgt Pepper.

4. Lotus Feet (McLaughlin) [9:44]. One of my favourite John McLaughlin tunes.

5. Dear Prudence (Lennon/McCartney)[6:42] from The White Album.

6. Tomorrow Never Knows (Lennon/McCartney) [5:38] from Revolver. The catchy bass line which I thought I'd cleverly made up turned out to have been written before, for a song called Under Pressure, by members of Queen and David Bowie (Mercury, Taylor, Deacon, May, Bowie), so I must credit them, too. This knowledge may add to your enjoyment of this interpretation, or it may not . . .

7. Earthdrone (Murkin) [10:48] . An improvisation inspired by Earth from the album Yelling Elements (FORG 11). All pitch and speed effects are achieved in real time by SooperLooper.

8. Strawberry Fields (Lennon/McCartney) [13:51]. The first part is live guitar, with bass and drums added after recording; the second part is the opposite way round: live guitar over a pre-written backing track.


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