The overwhelmingly accomplished composer/performer Patrick Grant, with such esteemed career highlights as Julliard, John Cage, Phillip Glass, Billy Joel, and Quincy Jones, has taken session guitar to the streets, and taken that shredding back to the studio for a truly scintillating, and sometimes spacey, album that exhibits the diversity of the electric guitar. This street phenomenon is Tilted Axes, and the stunning studio album is the ambitious ‘Music for Mobile Electric Guitars’. With nothing but bass and drums to accompany the incredibly varied guitar parts, this seventeen track album is great to throw on whether you appreciate the technicalities of electric guitar, or if you just want some fun ambient music.
Before delving into the album proper, I think a few more words on just what Tilted Axes is might be in order. Essentially, a Tilted Axes event consists of selected local guitarists, who have been chosen through an application process, and a T.A. team that sends the locals music for the event, and comes to practise with them for surety. Once this has been sorted, all guitarists take to the streets, amps strapped to their sides, guitars strapped to their shoulders, and play as they march the event area. T.A. events have been held now in North and South America, as well as Europe. So now imagine, if you will, a procession of electric guitars blasting through town with rowdy riffs, loud licks, and sexy solos! Imagine that music shoved into a studio, and without as much cacophony as I’m sure the streets must be filled with in places like New York or Düselldorf, and there you have the crux of ‘Music for Mobile Electric Guitars’. I can only imagine how either intense, or inept a street performance of this magnitude must be.
But why imagine?
It is rather difficult to hone in, track by track here, so to comment on the album as a whole, one seriously must first understand the process above through which this work came to fruition. ‘Music for Mobile Electric Guitars’ is indeed just that. The music on the album is the very music that has been shared live at T.A. events all over. What an educational piece of work with various shapes, circulations, swells, themes; variations on themes, tilts, patterns, harmonics, techno, blues, and ‘The Sound of Burning Chairs‘. Grant has built a creative community for guitarists, where people can gather together and share, piece by piece, lick by lick, riff by riff, solo by sweet solo what it is to delve into the breadth of one of the most iconic instruments in the world: the axe!
I think the only way one will truly grasp this album is if one takes a listen for one’s self. Luckily enough, you can do that by clicking right over HERE! Personally I hope that Tilted Axes finds it’s way North of the border, and farther North still than just Toronto so that I can strap my Roland AC33 to my back, and rock around town with my crimson Warlock with a party of guitarists, each sharing their own prized pieces, and rocking out the many variations of ‘Music for Mobile Electric Guitars’.