Covid-19 is dangerously impacting the social-economic category of musicians. No concerts, poor political and social consideration, uncertain earnings. As a consequence, an ever-growing number of musicians, especially those from the experimental area, are trying to promote their music on BandCamp in digital format only. It is increasingly difficult for me to follow and review this incredible flow of music. I therefore decided to open this section on my blog Neuguitars where I propose music in digital format that I consider particularly interesting and worthy of attention. I hope you like it. Let’s support musicians. They need it.
Walk My Way – Volume Two Curated by Nick Vander, Orbit577 , 2021 on #neuguitars #blog
Walk My Way is a fervently collective project in a time of individuation, testament to both the incredible musical range of the guitar, as well as the imaginative possibility of guitarists around the world. The pandemic upended the way that musicians create and perform, turning a previously collective artistic practice into an unavoidably solitary one as artists were forced into their homes for lockdowns. This compilation is born directly from the conditions of our current historical moment, emphasizing music’s potential for connectivity, arranged through remote recordings, without a prescribed structure, and capturing their most current work.
The project was defined by collectivity and connectivity, bringing together artists from different backgrounds, taking advantage of a remote gathering that may not have been possible without these circumstances. The series features 49 guitar players, with 32 different nationalities, from 6 continents, and representing every musical background, offering an impressive display of the guitar’s possibilities and the artists’ deeply imaginative instincts. They represent diverse regional styles and creative preferences, playing both traditional compositions and hugely experimental work. Tracks feature careening guitar solos and classically structured bridges, on harmonious major chord structures and textural, discordant riffs, exploring the full possibility of the guitar’s range.
Focusing the series around a single instrument was a natural way to bring together guitarists, tying together diverse sounds with a thematically uniform concept, bridging geographical and musical distances. Produced by 577 Records, the five-volume compilation series will be available online and in a limited-edition CD, bringing the guitar home. Nick Vander, the lead organizer for the project, dedicates the album to “the people lost in this crisis” as well as “the people, aware of global injustice, imagining new futures and working for a better world.”
“This compilation of experimental guitar players was inspired by the curiosity to know what active musicians were creating in the present moment. Recorded in the midst of a pandemic and a global lockdown, and in contrast to an overwhelming amount of bad news, this project posed the possibility of a uniquely collective gathering, that might not have been possible otherwise. This project brings together musicians across generational, geographic and musical distances, united around a single instrument: guitar.
It took three months, and some patience, to organize all of the musicians featured here, but it was deeply and personally fulfilling to find these artists from every corner of the world, bringing their own cultural backgrounds and unique artistic visions. Over the course of this project, many of the participants have connected and have begun working together on their own collaborations, and some have already released new music.
Each one of these tracks is a unique journey into the deeply personal experiences of its creator. The series features 49 guitarists, of 32 different nationalities, from 6 continents, representing rich and diverse musical backgrounds, both traditional and experimental. Developed as a purely artistic, non-commercialized project, I hope that this will fulfill a fundamental human need for art and creative expression.
Walk My Way is an aspirational project, joining personal expression with a collective experience of human nature and imagination. The musicians’ search for a personal sound reflects the search for personal meaning. I hope this work will not rest on the shelves of connoisseurs, but reach a wider audience of musicians, especially young artists, to affirm that their personal search for experimentation and meaning, is shared by many.
This project is dedicated to the tremendous loss of human life from this crisis—and to all the people, around the world who, aware of injustice, work for a better world.” – Nick Vander
releases February 6, 2021
1- Electric guitar, electronics and recording by David Stackenäs on August 23, 2020
2- Guitar (no fxs) and recording by Jessica Ackerley on October 14, 2020
3- Guitar, metal sheet across the strings and recording by Jorge Espinal on August 14, 2020
4- Electric guitar, digital fxs and recording by Usui Yasuhiro on June 25, 2020
5- Quarter tone tuned steel string acoustic guitar and recording by Scott Fields on July 13, 2020
6- Electric guitar, electronics and recording by Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson on July 9, 2020
7- Prepared electric guitar and recording by Marco Oppedisano on August 31, 2020
8- Guitar, organ, drum machine, electronics and recording by Sam Shalabi on July 30, 2020
9- Electric guitar and analogue recording by Shinobu Nemoto on June 7, 2020
10- Bass, guitar, electronics and recording by Nyctalllz on August 7, 2020
Orbit577 is part of 577 Records
Brooklyn, New York