After touring for Metasonic in 2007 using the same basic hardware he had used for that record, Jonathan re-engineered his performance rig. He brought in violinists, cellists, pianists, and singers to record every note on their instrument, inviting them to play each note in multiple ways. From these recordings he culled a massive collection of samples, which his laptop-hosted software selects and triggers based not only on what notes Jonathan plays on his guitar, but also on how he plays them. The system also incorporates samples of Mellotron tape banks, mapping each note on the guitar to individual Mellotron tape loops.
This interplay of musician and software makes for a dynamic and expressive performance. In addition to the guitar-triggered samples, the software system enables Jonathan to record and arrange chunks of music on the fly, building up complex and shapely structures in real time. This set of processes has become his way of bringing true compositional structure to what has traditionally been a more free-form style of art. Still, with plenty of room for improvisation -- and with the inherent indeterminacy in this process -- no two performances are exactly alike. Once the capabilities of this re-envisioned rig and software environment became clear, entirely new performance strategies became possible, and Jonathan found himself composing music that exploited those possibilities.
This music began to assemble itself into a coherent set of compositions during a series of performances in the spring of 2009. After a short tour in August, Jonathan took the whole kit into the studio and produced the new record. Despite being essentially guitar music, Lilly’s Days is not a typical “loopy” ambient guitar album. While the tracks faithfully reflect the energy of Jonathan’s live shows, this CD is atrue studio effort; the tracks are polished and fully formed compositions, mixing the delicacy of chamber music, hypnotic pulses, and the sonic adventurousness of electronic music.
Conceptualizing the mechanisms and underlying intricacies that gave rise to this music definitely makes for a contemplative listen. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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