In July 2003 12k released E•A•D•G•B•E a CD that brought together artists who used the guitar as their main sound source in the then burgeoning "microsound" music scene. For 12k it was a bold move. As a label previously known for pure, synthetic tones, shying away anything that sounded like an "instrument" in its early years, a new sound had firmly taken root and unknowingly planted the seeds for what 12k listeners today take for granted: the subtle organic tones of acoustic instrumentation and human sound that now so naturally defines 12k.
We are very pleased, finally, to be able to bring this long out-of-print music back and make it available again. Listening to it now, 10 years on, the music still sounds fresh, adventurous and beautiful and remains a vital turning point in the sonic history of 12k.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:
Instrument relatives of the guitar can be traced back as far as the 3rd century. Many adaptations were made to the interface over hundreds of years: 3, 5 strings, coupled strings, no coupled strings, 6 strings, always changing with technological advances in instrument craft, new materials from overseas locations, and selection pressures brought upon by musical fashions of the day. The 20th century mixture of guitar + electricity (pickups, amplifiers, processing circuits) changed music as we know it. The 21st century guitar, still cousin to the third century Arabian ‘ud, can now be seduced by personal computers and software tools. The old stringed melody-maker, re-sonified and exploded though do-it-yourself digital signal processing, has assumed yet a new form of assemblage and mixture with modern technology. Suddenly the 6 strings seem refreshed, and open to a new notion of guitar music; a music generated from vibrating strings meshed with software processes.
12k embraces this idea by presenting four artists who create contemporary sonic hybrids of guitar and digital processing. E•A•D•G•B•E
is by no means trying to be a definitive voice of these practices, but rather a sound focused through the 12k filter of minimalism and subtle textures.
The title, E•A•D•G•B•E
E, comes from the root tunings of each string on a 6-stringed guitar.
Fonica are duo Keiichi Sugimoto and Cheason from Tokyo, Japan. Keiichi is also a member of Minamo and runs the Cubic Music label. Cheason designs all the artwork for the Plop label.
KEITH FULLERTON WHITMAN (US)
Keith Fullerton Whitman has produced full length recordings for the Kranky, Locust, Planet-Mu, and Reckankreuzungs Klankewerkzeuge labels under his own name as well as under the guise of Hrvatski. He has collaborated with Matmos, Oren Ambarchi, David Grubbs, Michael Karoli, and Joseph Suchy.
SÉBASTIEN ROUX (FR)
Sébastien Roux is in charge of development in the room acoustics team at IRCAM (Paris) where he builds spatialisation and room effect synthesis tools. He first explored music as a guitarist in various experimental-post rock-ambient bands. His current solo work can be defined as melodic, electronic and organic ambient compositions based on digitally processed guitar drones. He also plays with Eddie Ladoire in a duet called Heller in which he combines his electronics drones with Eddie’s hyper digital manipulations.
CHRISTOPHER WILLITS (US)
Christopher Willits is a musician, multimedia artist and sound engineer located in San Francisco. His musical focus is characterized by guitar + computer software processing and improvisation that generates a unique folded and woven surface of melody and rhythm. In late 2002 12k released Folding, and the Tea
, the first widely distributed release of Willits’ folded guitar recordings. Willits studied Electronic Music and Recording Media at Mills College, and he instructs Sound Design and Electronic Music courses at the San Francisco Art Institute, Vista College, and The Bay Area Video Coalition.
Folding, And The Tea