Bill Orcutt Guitar Quartet
San Francisco-based guitarist and composer Bill Orcutt presents his latest project, an all-electric guitar quartet performing the music from his 2022 LP Music for Four Guitars, which The Wire listed in their Top 5 albums of the year.
Featuring an all-star team of guitarists Orcutt, Wendy Eisenberg, Ava Mendoza, and Shane Parish, the ensemble will present the music in an expanded live format that will combine intricate composition with no holds barred improvisation.
Bill Orcutt is the former guitarist and founder of the notorious 90’s group Harry Pussy, and his sound is a stuttered reimagining of blues guitar, weaving looping melodic lines and angular attack into a dense, fissured landscape of American primitivism, outsider jazz, and a stripped-down re-envisioning of the possibilities of the guitar. Whether he’s playing his decrepit Kay acoustic or gutted electric Telecaster (both stripped of two of their strings, as has been Orcutt’s custom since 1985), Orcutt’s jagged sound is utterly unique and instantly recognizable, compared with equal frequency to avant-garde composers and rural bluesmen. The New York Times has called him a "powerful musician... a go-for-broke guitar improviser," and described his sound as "articulated sprays of arpeggiated chords and dissonance."
Wendy Eisenberg is an improviser and songwriter who uses guitar, pedals, the tenor banjo, the computer, the synthesizer and the voice. Their work spans genres, from jazz to noise to avant-rock to delicate songs; their performances span venues, from international festivals to intimate basements. Though often working solo as both a songwriter and improviser, with acclaimed releases on Tzadik, VDSQ, Out of your Head, and Garden Portal, they also perform in the rock band Editrix, and in endless other combinations of their heroes and peers including Allison Miller, Carla Kihlstedt, John Zorn, Billy Martin, and Caroline Davis. They are also a writer on music and other things, with published essays on music in Sound American, Arcana, and the Contemporary Music Review.
Ava Mendoza Ava Mendoza is a Brooklyn-based guitarist, composer, and songwriter. Best known for her solo guitar/voice performances, and as the leader of the experimental rock band Unnatural Ways, she has received critical acclaim for her guitar work's compelling combination of technique and visceral impact. Mendoza's recording and performing credits include work with William Parker, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Nels Cline, Malcolm Mooney (CAN) , Fred Frith, Abiodun Oyewole (Last Poets), Matana Roberts, Mike Watt, Carla Bozulich, and Negativland. As a composer she has received commissions from film distributor Kino Lorber, Jazz Coalition, the New Music Creator Development Fund, and John Zorn’s Stone Commissioning Series at National Sawdust.
Shane Parish devotes much of his time to developing his singular and expressive voice on the guitar. He communicates through emotion, unexpected melodicism, technical whimsy, a nuanced sense of form, and rich timbral variety, simultaneously drawing from the guitar’s history and aiming for its future. He is known for fronting the electric instrumental prog-punk band Ahleuchatistas, and for his uniquely beautiful solo acoustic finger-style work, often creating modern re-interpretations of traditional folk tunes. He has released records on Tzadik, International Anthem, Cuneiform and more.
“A rigidly structured quartet that weaves tiny rhythmic phrases into expansive tapestries, drawing on the tenets of early minimalism and New York guitar groups like Glenn Branca Ensemble.”Pitchfork