Winding Echoing (Music for two prepared electric guitars)
Hofuoborgarsvaoio - Reykjavik - Island
lat.: 64.13548, long.: -21.89541
About the work
The Icelandic mountains inspired me moving notes through a « bourdon » that seems to tell a story. I didn't want an abstract drone easily linked to a static video.
I used a wood twine to strum slowly and constantly the six strings of the guitar. The sound of the open chord through reverb and filters reminds me of the wind blowing heavily for days across the land. As we can hear notes in the wind, I let my other hand improvise notes hitting the guitar neck. The second guitar enhances the harmonics of the first one with a bell-like sound, a resonant echoing, winding between the frozen and mysterious mountains.
About the artist
Nico Guerrero is a French experimental composer / guitarist based in Paris and Reykjavik. He made an impression with his dark shoegaze Vortex project in the early 90’s. The 1st album (‘Eksaïphnès’ – Les Disques du Soleil et de l’Acier, 2000) laid down already the foundations for the frozen, cosmic and noisy universe that Nico would explore later.
His compositions reach out a certain sonic gigantism with a fairly minimalist instrumentation: a single prepared guitar and obscure electronic alterations, making the strings resonate like a hallucinatory echo of organ clusters. In this very dense space of overtones, almost symphonic, ghost sounds appear.
Nico composed and performed in duet with the New-York composer Rhys Chatham known for his guitar orchestras. He also co-conducted a symphony for the "100 guitars" Chatham ensemble (Le Havre, june 2018). For years he has collaborated with visual and musical artists, Wladd Muta (fr), Aima Lichtblau (it), Nicolas Kunysz (is), Arthur Geffroy (fr) ...
His latest album was recorded Live at the Nordic House Reykjavik in 2018, during the Iceland Airwaves Festival. In may 2020, he started a new musical collaboration with the San Francisco-based label Silent Records and his creator Kim Cascone. Invited in the “Dark Indicator / Guitar & String Drones" Collection (Oct. 23, 2020), a solo album will be released on the US label in spring 2021.
Imbued with esoteric references and devotion to Icelandic volcanic powers, his music is sometimes cold, incantatory, bright or abstract, evoking a deep melancholy and a certain idea of desolation.