21051-2 CD, $14.00
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Tom Hamilton/Bruce Eisenbeil
nord modular synthesizer/guitar
SHADOW MACHINE is the first CD by Tom Hamilton and Bruce Eisenbeil, who began
playing music together in 2007. Coherence without predictability, speed without
tempo, direction without a roadmap - an unlikely foray into the world of out-jazz
and free improvisation.
It's a duo that thwarts expectations of its specific instrumentation. The
artists hybridize the language of electronic sound through Eisenbeil's guitar
and Hamilton's virtual analog synthesizer, and the live-in-the-studio tracks
insure that the performances impart maximum physicality and spontaneity.
Their aim is to generate new forms, new ways of listening, new definitions
of music. Equal rights for all sounds is one goal, and since each musician is
a maximalist, a dizzying array of sounds and techniques are employed to sustain
a visceral experience. Contrasting sonic elements are played one against another,
simultaneously and successively. Modern jazz and improvised music have just
now begun to really embrace the language and sounds of electronics; these two
artists are positioned on the forefront of a trend that aims to subvert orthodoxy
and challenge old assumptions.
Tom Hamilton has been composing and performing for over 40 years, and his
work with electronic music originated in the late-60s era of analog synthesis.
He often explores the interaction of many simultaneous layers of activity, prompting
the use of "present-time listening" on the part of both performer
and listener. Hamilton appears on synthesizer in his own ensembles, and has
participated in groups led by Peter Zummo, David Soldier, and Michael Schumacher.
He has recently performed with Thomas Buckner, Lisle Ellis, Chris Mann, Al Margolis,
and Jacqueline Martelle. Hamilton was a 2005 Fellow of the Civitella Ranieri
Center in Umbria, Italy. His CD London Fix received an award in the 2004 Prix
Ars Electronica. He is a longtime member of composer Robert Ashley's touring
opera ensemble, and his work can be found in over 60 CD releases of new and
The Wire has described Hamilton's music as "colourful and seductive,"
and Gramophone has noted that "the results bubble with energy, a veritable
counterpoint of indeterminacy." And Hamilton is cited in Kyle Gann's American
Music in the 20th Century as "New York's leading improvisor on analog synthesizers.
Composer/guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil was born in Chicago in 1963 and grew up
in Plainfield, NJ. He began playing the guitar when he was four and performing
professionally since he was 15. Throughout the 1980¹s he played jazz and
R&B. Since then he has performed and/or recorded with: Cecil Taylor, David
Murray, Evan Parker, Ellery Eskelin, Karl Berger, Perry Robinson, Milford Graves,
Badal Roy, Andrew Cyrille, Edgar Bateman, Nasheet Waits, Lukas Ligeti and many
others. He has twelve CD's released on a variety of labels, including: ESP,
Nemu, Konnex, Cadence, C.I.M.P., and Nine Winds. Recent recordings include TOTEM,
Inner Constellation, and Home Again. Guitar Player magazine has published a
detailed article on Eisenbeil¹s history and musical inventiveness in the
May 2009 issue.
About his work, Harvey Pekar in JazzTimes has said, "Eisenbeil is one
of the most unique jazz guitarists to emerge in decades." Downbeat called
his work "Strikingly original." And The Wire wrote that he has, "A
distinctive voice. About as revolutionary as music can actually get."