Ken Silverman

visicover

Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Oud, Charango, Synthesizer

Recorded Spring, Summer and Fall, 2010 at Future Sound NY. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Ivan Evangelista. Artwork by Ken Silverman. Design by www.quae.gd | www.kensilvermanguitarandstrings.com | Contact: roundstein@gmail.com | ©© Ken Silverman/SoundSeer Records

These pieces are all original compositions, recorded specifically for this CD, with the exception of ‘Blind Lemon’, which is a home recording from some time ago. The compositions were not written with anyone in mind, but as each piece seems to evoke a different feeling and influence, I decided to name them for specific artists who I admire and have influenced me. They are all in very different ways VISIONARIES.

Tracklist: 1. FOR ALFRED H. (To the greatest director of all time.) [0:54] 2. PIG SNORT (For the great Robert Fripp) [2:34] 3.IRANIAN (“When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.” Rumi) [2:54] 4. SABICUS (Dedicated to the flamenco master) [8:00] 5. POP ERNESTO CAVOUR (Ernesto Cavour was a Bolivian charango master, who literally wrote the book on how to play the instrument) [4:01] 6. VISIONARIES (Three very different seers of 20th century music: T-Bone Walker [3:18], Jimmy Page [1:56], Arsenio Rodriguez [3:46]) 7. HAMZA (This piece was created by layering oud parts. For the sublime Nubian oudist, Hamza El Din) [11:07] 8. FOR SYD (An exploration in synth sounds dedicated to the original psychedlistician, the man who first bent minds, Syd Barrett) [6:02] 9. BLIND LEMON (For Blind Lemon Jefferson, one of the great early country bluesmen. Recorded primitively on cassette tape in the pre-digital era) [2:20]

ken silverman

Multi-string instrumentalist Ken Silverman’s first solo outing

Visionaries, is a collection of intimate sketches dedicated to those musicians (and other artists) who have inspired him. Silverman penned these abstract, tonal portraits first, and then named them after these iconic individuals. The result is the ultimate homage to eleven trailblazers.

Each piece has, within it, diverse influences. “Hamza” is a multifaceted oud improvisation that fuses breathtakingly unrestrained musical expression with hypnotic vamps. It also melds distinctly western harmonic structure with fluid North African balladry. “Visionairies,” on the other hand, features guitar sounds that flow from cinematic fantasy to somber poetry, and from mellifluous serenading to gently swinging blues.

The record is an amplified reflection of these two centerpiece tunes, as the remaining tracks range from the edgy flamenco guitar of “Sabicus” to the futuristic synthesizer of “For Syd.” The former shimmers with Andalusian lyricism and Catalonian passion, as Silverman sways between quiet contemplation and bursts of musical exuberance. The latter brims with electronic whimsy and quasi-baroque melodic framework. It is as if a mad scientist brought J.S. Bach back to life in a darkly futuristic universe.

The album also includes evocation of mysticism on “Iranian,” dedicated to Sufi poet Rumi, melancholic streaks on the intensely satisfying Latin-esque “Por Ernesto Cavour,” and emotional rawness on “Blind Lemon.” The latter was recorded several years before the remainder of the disc on analogue cassette tape. It is a poignant tribute to the great Delta bluesman, but with a modern twist.

With his past releases like Macroscopia (Metier, 2010), Silverman has proven himself adept at collaborative group extemporizations; he has also demonstrated effective leadership skills on the near perfect From Emptiness (Self Produced, 2011). Visionaries is Silverman’s very personal statement as soloist and composer, an attestation that he is indeed a consummate musician and an accomplished artist.— Hrayr Attarian

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ken silverman

ken silverman

Ken Silverman Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Oud, Hand Percussion | Roy Campbell Trumpet, Pocket Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Flute | Kossan Chanting and Sanshin | Blaise Siwula Alto Saxophone and Clarinet | Tom Shad Turkish Cumbus | Dave Miller Drums | Tom Swafford Violin

Recorded November 2009 at Future Sound, NY. Recorded and Mixed by Ivan Evangelista. Mastered by Matthew Agoglia. Paintings by Ken Silverman. Design by www.quae.gd | www.kensilvermanguitarandstrings.com | Contact: roundstein@gmail.com | A SoundSeer Production | ©©2011 Ken Silverman/SoundSeer Records

Thanks to you the listener and special thanks to the musicians. A word about Kossan: A practicing Buddhist monk, I met him while he was chanting in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few years ago. He was game for trying improvisation and proved to be a natural. The centerpiece of this recording is “FROM”, which is an orchestral arrangement designed to create improvised episodes of shifting instrumental combinations. The other pieces are all free improvisations. I hope you enjoy. — Ken Silverman NYC, 2011

listen to The Ken Silverman Septet | NESSken silverman

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ken silverman

I’m Ken Silverman

a NYC-based Guitarist/Composer, who also plays Oud, Charango, Bass Guitar and hand percussion. My interest as an Improvisor is in taking everything I’ve been exposed to and using it to try to create something distinctive and creative. For me that means using what I’ve learned from blues, jazz, rock, ethnic and to some extent classical and concert music in an improvised or “free” setting, or within the realm of “Composition.” My goal is to create my own brew of sound and to keep forever expanding, both through playing with others and through working on my sound and playing as an individual. I have been active concertizing in NYC with a variety of musicians, including Daniel Carter and Roy Campbell. June, 2010 saw the release of the Quartet CD “Macroscopia” on the Metier label.

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CD version of From Emptiness (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

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