Tim Motzer’s guitar is an infinitely adaptable piece of machinery. He regularly wields the instrument in a staggering variety of contexts, always fitting in with whatever genre he finds himself recruited for, while also warping it just the right amount to spotlight his inventive individuality without muscling his way into the spotlight. Of course, it helps that the artists he chooses to collaborate with are all on the eccentric or at least envelope-pushing end of the spectrum in their own fields, from Ursula Rucker to King Britt to Kurt Rosenwinkel.
Motzer’s latest release on his own 1k Recordings imprint finds him going it alone, but once again not without an imposed context. The hour-long improvisation that comprises Live From Stars End was recorded live during a performance on Chuck Van Zyl’s long-running space-music show on WXPN, “Star’s End.” The constantly morphing sound sculpture definitely fits the droney eclecticism of the show, but again with Motzer’s own unique stamp. Over the course of the hour his axe sounds alternately like a synthesized chorale, humming machinery, an oncoming train, a bagpipe, a gamelan, a scrapyard metal-on-metal screech, and even occasionally like a guitar, as on a lovely neo-classical interlude close to the piece’s end.
Motzer will celebrate the release of the Live From Stars End at Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday on a bill with two other adventurous soloists: harpist Mary Lattimore and guitarist/banjo player Brandon Seabrook. If all goes according to plan, the three will bring their iconoclastic sounds together for an unpredictable trio excursion to close things out. Tickets and information can be found here.
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