David Shamrock — Thin Pillow
(Pillowtime no#, 2003, CD)
by Jim Chokey, Published 2006-05-01
David Shamrock has drummed for both Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (on their first album) and Thinking Plague (on A History of Madness). This eight track CD is his first solo release. For those who know Shamrock only as a drummer, the disk is an eye-opener, for he proves to be an accomplished keyboardist and guitarist. In fact, three cuts (“Thin Pillow,” “Little Vacations,” and disk closer “The Floating World”) are solo compositions for acoustic guitar. The title piece starts off in a folksy mode, but develops into something more challenging through the gradual injection of dissonance and unusual rhythms. By contrast, “Little Vacations” starts off from the get-go like a modernist classical composition for guitar, with angular and disjunct melodic phrases and jarring syncopation that is still held together by the compositional structure. The closing piece is a slower, piece whose meditative melody is punctuated by somewhat unpredictable spaces of resting and holding. The CD’s other five tracks are instrumental ensemble compositions on which Shamrock is joined by a host of guests (including Carla Kihlstedt from SGM and Mike Johnson from Thinking Plague) on predominantly acoustic instruments: violin, viola, bass, flute, trombone, and guitar. With the exception of the wonderful cover of SGM’s “Ambugaton,” these ensemble tracks show a neo-classical or RIO sensibility (I’m particularly reminded of Univers Zero and Art Zoyd), with layers of dense rhythm and melody held together in tightly composed, yet never-predictable arrangements. Recommended.
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more