The Squid's Ear Magazine

Frith, Fred

Guitar Solos/Fifty [VINYL 2 LPs]

Frith, Fred: Guitar Solos/Fifty [VINYL 2 LPs] (Week-End Records)

While still a member of Henry Cow, guitarist Fred Frith released his first solo album simply titled Guitar Solos in 1974, a remarkable album of expression through preparations, treatments and effects; 50 years later Frith expands on that album with new compositions using a similar setup as the original, paired in this 2-LP release with the remastered original album.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Fred Frith-guitar, prepared guitar, composer


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UPC: 4250101463655

Label: Week-End Records
Catalog ID: WE 005LP
Squidco Product Code: 34318

Format: 2 LPs
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: Germany
Packaging: Double LP in single Sleeve
Sides A and B recorded in 1974, sides C and D recorded in 2024.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Guitar Solos is the debut solo album of British guitarist, composer, and improviser Fred Frith. It was recorded while Frith was still a member of the English experimental rock group Henry Cow and was released originally in October 1974. Voted one of the best albums of 1974 by NME critics it also attracted the attention of Brian Eno, resulting in Frith playing guitar on two of Eno's albums.

Frith's never tiring spirit in creating and performing music has made him one of the most notable and creative guitar players and musicians in the scene of improvised and composed music. For the anniversary of this release, Week-End Records have encouraged Frith to arrange a set up similar to what he used 50 years ago to record an album of new compositions which will accompany the original record."-Week-End Records



"There was a record called Guitar Solos, which I made in 1974. At that point, Henry Cow had recently signed to Virgin Records, and as is typical of a major record company, they had decided that they wanted to have the guitarist make a solo record. They thought that rock guitar players should make solo records, because it's "cool." But they had no idea what they were getting into in my case. I gave this to myself as a kind of challenge. I gave myself two weeks in which I would try to completely redefine for myself what I thought a guitar could do, and then I would go into a studio and record it.

One of the things that came out of that period is that I started to experiment with laying guitars on the floor. What I started to discover, when I no longer had the guitar in the "playing" position, is that there were things you could do which no longer were concerned with gesture. Gesture, to me, seemed to be very important. Your playing gesture, the way in which you produce sound is tied to a whole bunch of assumptions about technique, and once you lose those assumptions, interesting things start to happen.

One of the things I did for that record, was I laid two guitars flat on the ground, with their necks coming from opposite directions. So I had these two necks, which were basically like keyboards, and I started preparing them. I'd seen David Toop, who opened for Henry Cow at a concert in 1971, using alligator clips on his guitar. That led me into a whole thing about, if the alligator clip could produce a sound out of an electric guitar which sounds like a gong, then there must be all kinds of things you can do to a guitar, which are going to do comparably interesting things. So I started to try out everything. I used sticks, bits of glass, metal, springs, chains, and all the things which have become a part of my vocabulary ever since. Dropping things on the guitars came later.

I don't think anymore, when I'm playing a guitar with a paintbrush, or pouring rice on it, that there's anything unusual about it. It's just like using a pick for me. For somebody who's not used to this, seeing someone play a guitar with a paintbrush is kind of funny. And I have no desire for them not to find it funny. I mean, I don't want to impose any restrictions on how people react to what they perceive. But something I observed when I started performing solo concerts is the palpable relief that people feel when they understand that this is not going to be difficult. That they don't have to be genius to understand it.

Because there is a lot of preconception about "new music" being cerebral, but once you come into a room and find that it's ok to laugh, that can be a very big relief, and I like that. The only problem is that once people start laughing, it's very difficult to get them to stop. You have to learn to project a certain kind of intensity, which creates a tension between the thing which they are finding funny, and make it also perhaps feel a little bit dangerous."-from Interview Freedom In Fragments: Steve Elkins Interviews Fred Oakland, California December 2004


Artist Biographies

"Though the point of reference for many remains the iconic band Henry Cow, which he co-founded in 1968 and which broke up more than 30 years ago, Fred Frith has never really stood still for an instant.

In bands such as Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, Tense Serenity, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Eye to Ear, and most recently Cosa Brava, he has always held true to his roots in rock and folk music, while exploring influences that range from the literary works of Eduardo Galeano to the art installations of Cornelia Parker.

The release of the seminal Guitar Solos in 1974 enabled him to simultaneously carve out a place for himself in the international improvised music scene, not only as an acclaimed solo performer but in the company of artists as diverse as Han Bennink, Chris Cutler, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Evelyn Glennie, Ikue Mori, Louis Sclavis, Stevie Wishart, Wu Fei, Camel Zekri, John Zorn, and scores of others.

He has also developed a personal compositional language in works written for Arditti Quartet, Asko Ensemble, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ensemble Modern, Concerto Köln, and ROVA Sax Quartet, for example. Fred has been active as a composer for dance since the early 1980s, working with choreographers Bebe Miller, François Verret, and especially long-time collaborator and friend Amanda Miller, with whom he has created a compelling body of work over the last twenty years.

His film soundtracks (for award-winning films like Thomas Riedelsheimer's Rivers and Tides and Touch the Sound, Peter Mettler's Gambling, Gods, and LSD, and Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow's Thirst, to name a few) won him a lifetime achievement award from Prague's "Music on Film, Film on Music" Festival (MOFFOM) in 2007. The following year he received Italy's Demetrio Stratos Prize (previously given to Diamanda Galas and Meredith Monk) for his life's work in experimental music, and in 2010 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in his home county of Yorkshire.

Fred currently teaches in the Music Department at Mills College in Oakland, California (renowned for over fifty years as the epicenter of the American experimental tradition), and in the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland."

-Fred Frith Website (http://www.fredfrith.com/biography.html)
4/22/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



SIDE A



1. Hello Music 1:31

2. Glass C/W Steel 5:36

3. Ghosts 3:11

4. Out Of Their Heads (On Locoweed) 8:31

SIDE B



1. Not Forgotten 1:55

2. Hollow Music 2:44

3. Heat C/W Moment 1:42

4. No Birds 12:42

SIDE C



1. Dawns 3:30

2. Outer Order 4:28

3. Tempus Fugit 2:41

4. Quicksilver (For Simone) 2:04

5. Unterwegs (For Roman) 3:52

6. Phalaropes 1:33

SIDE D



1. Jack's Neap Tide 2:08

2. Schlechte Gewissen 2:24

3. Move Indigo 3:54

4. To Do 1:39

5. The Map Of Dreams 3:28

5. Locomoting 4:07

7. Dusks 1:51

Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Guitarists, &c.
Instruments with Preparations
Frith, Fred
RIO (Rock in Opposition)
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Search for other titles on the label:
Week-End Records.


Recommended & Related Releases:
Normal (Fred Frith / Sudhu Tewari)
Moving Parts
(fo'c'sle)
A perfectly complementary pair of improvisers from the ever-inventive guitarist Fred Frith and instrument inventor Sudhu Tewari, Frith performing on home-made instruments as well-- string instruments he's developed since the 80s described as "planks of wood with strings"--as the two draw unexpected sonic environments and propulsive rhythmic passages through eight compelling dialogs.
Frith, Fred / Nuria Andorra
Dancing Like Dust
(Klanggalerie )
Interdisciplinary Spanish percussionist Núria Andorrà whose background includes contemporary music and improvisation with performers including Agustín Fernández, Joëlle Léandre, Mats Gustafsson, Nate Wooley, and Joe Morris joins Fred Frith in Santa Maria de Palautordera for studio and concert recordings of eleven far-ranging dialogs of unusual and imaginative technique and concept.
Henry Cow
Glastonbury, Chaumont, Bilbao And The Lions Of Desire
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Expanding on the history of Henry Cow in new recordings discovered after the 19-CD Cow Redux box, including: a well-recorded concert at the the first Glastonbury Fayre in 1972, the earliest recordings of the quartet of Martin Ditcham, Fred Frith, John Greaves and Tim Hodgkinson; a 1978 grouping with Phil Minton; unrecorded compositions from 1977 in Bilbao; and a 1976 Chaumont Concert.
Frith, Fred / Susana Santos Silva
Laying Demons To Rest
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An evocative album of sublime improvisation between guitarist Fred Frith and trumpeter Susana Santo Silva, recorded live for France Musique/Radio France at Motoco, Mulhouse as part of Festival Météo in 2021, the two inspiring remarkable force and assertive direction in a darkly spirited conversation of deep introspection and cathartic exorcism; magnificent!
Frith, Fred / Annie Lewandowski
Long As In Short, Walk As In Run
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Extended and captivating improvisations using complex and extended techniques from the duo of prepared pianist Annie Lewandowski (London Improvisers Orchestra, Powerdove, Xiu Xiu) and guitarist Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Skeleton Crew, &c &c) in a thoroughly modern improvised conversation, here reissued with 11 minutes of previously unreleased material.
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Free Dirt (Live) [2 CDs]
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One of the most intense and unusual of the 80s Downtown NY groups merging rock and improvisation with strong attitudes and incredible musical concepts, these live recordings, including songs never before released, are taken from American and European concerts by the trio of guitarist Fred Frith, cellist Tom Cora, and either electric harpist Zeena Parkins or reedist Dave Newhouse.
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Originally released in 2001, Elliott Sharp's production of this 3-CD set collects 171 1-minute pieces from international artists over a vast field of musical approaches, with contributors including Christian Marclay, Eric Mingus, Fred Frith, Harry Smith, Henry Kaiser, Ikue Mori, Jack Womack, Jad Fair, Joey Baron, Marc Ribot, Merzbow, Phill Niblock, Zeena Parkins, &c. &c.
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Unexpected Twins
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Born out of Eugene Chadbourne's Twins band concepts from the 70s, which included over time saxophonist Bruce Ackley, and guitarists Henry Kaiser, and Fred Frith; fast forward to 2018 as Ackley & Frith return to the concept with Henry Kaiser and saxophonist Aram Shelton to revisit the original approach through pieces by those artists plus Steve Lacy, Eugene Chadbourne, and John Zorn.
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Two masters who rarely play together--guitarist Fred Frith and saxophonist Evan Parker--performing together as a duo at the 30th Musique Actuelle Festival in Victoriaville, Canada for an amazing exchange of ideas and intensely subtle dialog.
Anker, Lotte / Fred Frith
Edge Of The Light
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An intimate dialog between frequent collaborators, UK guitarist Fred Frith and Copenhagen saxophonist Lotte Anker, both players listening carefully as they interact in a fragile dialog of profound technique and inventive approach, using texture and nuance to create unusual and captivating interchanges that demonstrate how compatible these two very different instruments can be.
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RESTOCKED: Fred Frith's 1999 box set, presenting a large, flexible ensemble project using marked photographs and rules as scores while Frith directs and conducts as well as performing; permanent members are Ikue Mori and Zeena Parkins, otherwise the balance of the 44 strong ensemble changes; recordings here are taken from 5 concerts, including the first in 1992 at AngelicA.
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Other Recommended Releases:
Surplus 1980
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Composed using an "exquisite corpse" method during the pandemic, where each player provided a partially complete track with instructions to expand their concept, enlisting an incredible set of musicians across the US & Europe, directed by Moe! Staiano, including Jesse Quattro, Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, GW Sok, Amy X Neuburg, Darren Johnston, &c &c.
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Lock Me Up, Lock Me Down
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Recorded thirteen years before this release and rediscovered during pandemic lockdowns, the improvising and extremely open-minded trio of Fred Frith on electric guitar, Sudhu Tewari on percussion (or as credited, "recuperated junk") and Cenk Ergun on electronics recorded these seven superb improvisations in the studio at Expression College for Digital Arts, in Emeryville, CA.
Cutler, Chris
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An amazing collection and reflection on the work of percussionist, composer and connector Chris Cutler of Henry Cow fame and founder of the highly influential Recommended Records label and distribution service, through 10 CDs, 1 DVD and two books of documentation, artwork, photographs, published and unpublished texts in a sturdy box, with over five hours of unreleased materials.
Lantskap Logic (Frith / Davis / Greenlief)
Hidden Danger Lets Me In
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Mixed, edited and re-organized by Fred Frith and mastered by Thomas Dimuzio, this album find the trio of Frith on electric guitar, Evelyn Davis on the Mills Chapel pipe organ and Phillip Greenlief on clarinet & alto saxophone, performing in the Mills College Chapel in Oakland, CA, the sophomore release on Clean Feed for this versatile trio of masterful improvisers.
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Something About This Landscape For Ensemble [VINYL]
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Commissioned by and recorded during the 2018 Ars Musical Festival, Fred Frith composed this work while under the inspiration of his residency at Lou Harrison's straw-bale house in the desert at Joshua Tree, CA, then performed with the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, along with two very unique improvisations, one recorded during the dress rehearsal and then again in concert.
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Something About This Landscape For Ensemble
(Sub Rosa)
Commissioned by and recorded during the 2018 Ars Musical Festival, Fred Frith composed this work while under the inspiration of his residency at Lou Harrison's straw-bale house in the desert at Joshua Tree, CA, then performed with the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, along with two very unique improvisations, one recorded during the dress rehearsal and then again in concert.
Vergara, Benjamin / Fred Frith
Fanfarrisimo [VINYL]
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Recording in Chile at the University Austral in 2018, trumpeter Benjamin Vergara and guitarist Fred Frith take us on two extended journeys through free electroacoustic improvisation, Frith's providing diverse and intense sonic environments over which Vergara's virtuosic and intuitive approach to the trumpet soars; impressive, creative, cathartic.
Frith, Fred
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Guitarist Fred Frith performed 80 concerts at NY's The Stone between 2006-2016, in diverse configurations of duos, trios, quartets and large ensembles with some of the planet's finest improvisers, of which 23 recordings, titled from NY Times headlines of each concert's day, are presented in this essential 3-CD package, which includes a 24 page booklet detailing the collection.
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Lantskap Logic
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Recording in the Bay Area at the Mills College Chapel in Oakland, the Drone Trio of Fred Frith on electric guitar, Phillip Greenlief using extended techniques on alto & tenor saxophones, and Evelyn Davis on the Chapel's pipe organ, use the natural resonance of the chapel and their masterful skills as improvisers to evolve fervid and powerfully sonorous environments.
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A thorough overview of bassist and vocalist Joelle Leandre's recent work in a boxed set of 8 CDs and a 16 page booklet of essays, photos and credits, each CD bringing a unique grouping from Les Diaboliques to duos with Mat Maneri, Fred Frith, Lauren Newton, & Jean-Luc Cappozzo, plus one solo disc and a quartet with Zlatko Kaucic, Evan Parker and Augusti Fernandez; magnificent.



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