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Neil Haverstick — Spider
(Haverstick 008, 2009, CD)

by Pam Thompson, Published 2010-07-01

Spider Cover artNeil Haverstick continues to prove his guitar virtuosity with Spider. The album opens with the four movements of “Spider,” written for 19-tone guitar and chamber orchestra. Tom Blomster arranged the parts for the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, and the combination of electric guitar and acoustic orchestra is dynamic. The movements range from space to avant to rock, challenging the listener with the unexpected contrast between instruments not usually paired in compositions. Microtonal music has a different sound, and that’s part of the appeal of this album. Haverstick’s an award winning composer in the ever expanding field of microtonal composition, and listening to this disc you can understand why. There’s a lovely solo piece for seven string electric fretless guitar which is melodious and haunting, and six short pieces for 19 and 12 tone acoustic, all with a variety of styles, some tragic, some humorous. The last two tracks also include percussion, drums and bass, working well within the songs to add additional dimensions. Haverstick communicates his musical ideas in as little as 48 seconds, and sometimes takes over 16 minutes, and adds subtle ethnic influences here and there that add intrigue to the songs. It’s always interesting, and with repeated listenings it just gets better.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Neil Haverstick (Stick Man)

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