Bill Horist – “Guitar Weirdo – Prepared Guitar Improvisations 2000-2012”

This new digital-only release captures over a decade of strange guitar manipulations by Bill. Culled from previous LPs and various compilation, it is a great primer for those unfamiliar with his work and a great addition to the collection of those that are. Originally assembled to coincide with Bill’s appearance on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” This is a self-release so all proceeds go to the artist. It is available through Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby.

I came across this link by searching for ‘Prepared Guitar’ in iTunes – of all places. After the purchase, whilst listening to the panning out sonic vista, I did some research in to what proved to be a fascinating man. Horist has written a transcript of his time on America’s Got Talent – here – and more power to him. He approached (what I would see as an) ordeal with dignity and aplomb.

bill-horist-guitar-weirdo-solo-prepared-guitar-improvisations-2000-2012But what about the music – I for one am sure Bill would want his legacy to be about the music he made rather than the brief dally with mainstream media. Hats off to the man for the release of this album – the DIY aspect ingrained in this album is enshrined in the avant-garde. The man certainly has testicular-fortitude for appearing on a soul-sapping show such as “….. Got Talent.”

A prepared guitar is a guitar that has been ‘tinkered with.’ As in, foreign objects are inserted under the strings, bulldog clips are attached to the strings and the playing method reflects it so in this light. The guitar, played eloquently by Horist, is not always plucked or strummed – there is plenty of use of an eBow in it; the eBow generates a sine wave when held close to the string. This adds to the Klangfurben of the album and the individual pieces as well.

All in all a remarkable body of work. It is not disjointed as a lot of ‘selected works’ can be. The pieces flow well together and add to a sense of continuity that carries you from track to track.

I get where Horist was coming from. He wanted to see prime time burn and he was going to be the match – he somehow had to capitalise on the occasion and more power to him for releasing this album. As a result I have gone out and sought more of his work.