Wednesday, September 12, 2007

People Get Ready - Guelph Jazz Festival + Colloquium 2007: Nels Cline and G.E. Stinson

Nels Cline and G.E. Stinson @ Mitchell Hall, St. George's Anglican Church, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, September 8, 2007

Nels Cline: guitar, effects
G.E. Stinson: guitar, effects

Nels Cline and G.E. Stinson offered up a sonic catalogue of the number of ways one might vibrate the strings of an electric guitar without actually strumming it. Though Cline did manage to work in some aggressive strumming into the sounding tapestry as well from time to time. With a vast arsenal of foot pedals and knobs employed to sculpt the evolving drone texture these two players with a long history of playing together worked with intuitive and collaborative ease.

They also have a flare for mature, creative improvisation with taste as they never sustained their forays into loud territory despite having more than enough amplification at their disposal for mad plunges into pain. Their sense of dynamic contrast allowed for rich details to swirl over the long durations of their set.

G.E. Stinson spent a great deal of time crouched spider-like at the floor as he worked the knobs and pedals spread out on the floor before him. And before long a spider of the true arachnid variety came down from the church attic to find a perch upon Nels Cline's head for an enviable perspective upon the sonic action.

The duo concluded the evening with a short improvisation with tantalizing harmonic potential. Stinson affixed metal clips to his guitar strings just over the body of the instrument so that a slight jarring of the guitar caused an intriguing chord to materialize and shimmer as the clips shook the strings from their nodal perches. That's an intriguing extended technique worth revisiting.

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