THE WALL STREET JOURNAL “…It took a generation of composer-players who grew up comfortable with both classical forms and rock timbres—composers like Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, Tim Brady and Patrick Grant —to usher the electric guitar into the classical fold. Two releases—Mr. Branca’s “The Third Ascension” (Systems Neutralizers), and “Potential Differences” (New Focus) by the young guitar quartet Dither, both out now—offer an intriguing snapshot of new concert works for electric guitars.”
The podcast goes unplugged this week! Our host, Patrick Grant is in the front parlor with James Moore of the Dither Guitar Quartet. We’ll find out how James made it from the San Francisco Bay Area to the new music scene here in New York. He’ll tell us about the strange playing techniques he uses on his recent album of solo guitar music by John Zorn, and we’ll hear an exclusive rendition of a Chet Atkins ballad.
Dither is an electric guitar quartet that includes James, Taylor Levine, Joshua Lopes, and Gyan Riley. They specialize in an experimental mix of “composed music, improvisation, and electronic manipulation.” They’ve performed across the United States and overseas since forming in 2007, and produce a yearly festival of music and art called Extravaganza!.
As a multi-instrumentalist and composer, James juggles a number of musical projects aside from Dither, such as The Hands Free, an acoustic quartet, and a rock band called Forever House. He recently put out another album of violin and steel-string resonator guitar called Gertrudes, with Andie Springer. The pair formed their duo when they were on tour with playwright Richard Maxwell’s “Neutral Hero”.
The CD for James’ version of the guitar etudes by John Zorn called “Book of Heads” includes a film featuring the crazy techniques involved in the making of the album. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see on the DVD: