Feb 5, 2010

How minimal can you get? #15

Rhys Chatham – Guitar Trio
“One night in 1977, when Chatham was strumming his guitar's low E string, Nina Canal told him, "Rhys, it really sounds like YOU!” This inspired Chatham to compose a piece, “Tone Death”, based on that single note. To perform it, he formed a group of the same name with Canal and Robert Appleton.”

“Chatham soon reworked the piece, renaming it “Guitar Trio” and adding two former Theoretical Girls: Branca on guitar, and Wharton Tiers on drums in place of Appleton (Chatham had played with Theoretical Girls at gigs he booked at the Kitchen while serving as music director).”

Rhys Chatham

“Chatham would continually vary “Guitar Trio”, adding and substracting instruments and modifying its duration from eight minutes to nearly a half-hour. The piece became a ferocious mix of minimalist ideals and rock fury, as one-note guitars built an ascendant riff whose smallest timbres became full chords of their own.” Marc Masters

“The audiences thought, 'Jesus, most Punk bands can play at least two chords, this band only plays one!' – but they liked it.” Rhys Chatham


Rhys Chatham – Guitar Trio
Recorded live in the Grand Theatre, Groningen Holland (2008)

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