Hello and welcome.
I've been dreaming of putting together an Electric Guitar Orchestra ever since I was a kid and through my days as guitar player with Midnight Oil. The word 'celestial' is never far from my mind when say "Electric Guitar Orchestra', because that's how I hear it.
This project is very close to my heart. The idea came to fruition when I took on the Artist in Residence position at Campbelltown Art Centre in 2014. I hit the ground running on January 2 of that year and put together 5 pieces in the first week. I thought I would call the work 'The Colour Wheel'. There were a few ideas in my head already so I recorded these simply on a laptop with a newish Nash Strat and an oldish Ibanez 'Lee Ritenour' 335 copy.
I heard it like a traditional orchestra, where certain sounds dovetailed into each other, bass, baritone, tenor, alto, treble. This meant the arrangements became for six guitars: bass guitar, baritone guitar, twin distorted guitars, twangy reverbed surf guitar, and a high pitched ethereal floating guitar. I called some of my dear guitar friends who I thought would be perfect for each role in an ideal world, and luckily they all were keen to get onboard.
There were further bursts of activity in the next couple of months, when inspiration took hold until I had ten pieces ready to go. Whilst camping out in April 2014 for a few days at Shallow Crossing on the Clyde River NSW, artists Stephen Coburn, Chantal Mahoney and myself came up with the concept of a performance that involved live painting alongside music. To create an emotional effect, wherein music and colour coalesce to form that third synaesthesia experience. We put together a gig at the Centre on May 2, and created a 1.8 x 1.8m panel for the painters (now including visual artist and musician Alan Healy) to create a Colour Wheel on. After a few rehearsals with the guys we jumped in and despite a few butterflies, the gig went flawlessly.
The vide shown above was shot at this point at the process.
Then 4 more pieces were written, and then we performed at the Sydney Opera House Studio on October 25. It was a special night as befits The House, and luckily we recorded the gig. Brent Clark and myself mixed it at my studio a few week later and the results were great.
Since then we've done gigs at Anita's Thirroul, Mona Foma Festival Hobart, the College of Fine Art NSW, MOMO exhibition Newcastle, Festival of Writing and Ideas Co. Carlow Ireland (where Pink Floyd's David Gilmour attended) and Longitude Festival, Dublin.
I have decided to not release these recordings via a traditional record company, but on my own homespun label Reverberama Records, with good quality local CD production by Summit Technology. The record also falls neatly into the double vinyl album format. Talking to various mastering engineers, the best place in the world to cut vinyl lacquers is Abbey Road, London so this is what we have committed to, as well as pressing by Disc Solutions, London.
To meet the slightly higher production costs we're asking you to help out in order to get it made. The pledges have concrete rewards so essentially they amount to ordering in advance. Just like the old days!
Thank you so much for your support, and thanks for supporting original Australian music.
Risks and challenges
We have no other projects apart from this one in production.
This project has been costed thoroughly.
There are no obstacles in the way of funding and live receipts will fill the gap if any should arise.
- (30 days)