An uncommon solo guitar album from Andrew Smiley, a member of Little Women and the Chris Pitsiokos Quartet, creating textures on the guitar by applying unconventional techniques with his pick and fingers instead of using effects or guitar preparations, and accompanying himself on voice in Haino-esque ways, creating an album of sharp contrast and color.
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Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS047
Squidco Product Code: 24736
Recorded by Ryan Power.
Andrew Smiley-composer, performer
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• Show Bio for Andrew Smiley
1. Dispersal 27:08
sample the album:
"I would describe my album as intense, stark, and full of contrast. It is a single, 27 minute piece that is fluid and deliberate in its development. Texture, rhythmic propulsion, and counterpoint are crucial elements. I create different textures by using my pick and fingers in unconventional ways rather than using effects or prepared guitar techniques. The sounds are wide ranging, dynamic, sharp, percussive, and at times very dense. There are specific melodies and harmonies embedded within the noisier material, as well as existing on their own in the form of chords and lines. My singing is less prominent than the guitar, but equally important.
When writing this piece, I wanted to come up with a language for the guitar that was new and complicated, and had emotional depth that could be instantly felt. I was also interested in building connections between disparate textures to create a more expansive overall sound. I have long been a fan of My Bloody Valentine, and the relationships between the different colors in their music was an inspiration in exploring this approach.
Another thing I had to think about with this piece, was the role of improvisation. I knew that there needed to be improvisation, but it had to stay within the formal structure of the piece, which was entirely composed. I viewed the vocals along similar lines. Their purpose was to add a unique layer of counterpoint that I couldn't achieve on guitar. My vocal ability is very basic and limited, but I always felt empowered singing within this piece, because I knew I was contributing to the overall mood.
During the years in which I was developing this music, I spent a lot of time thinking about wolves, and feeling empathy for their struggle to live alongside humans. I would like this release to bring awareness to the intelligence of wolves, and their right to exist within ecosystems."-Andrew Smiley
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