Exposé Online banner

Adam Rudolph / Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra — Turning towards the Light
(Cuneiform Rune 406, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-12-18

Turning towards the Light Cover art

When it comes to Adam Rudolph’s music, I really need to stop having any expectations. His recent Hu Vibrational release featured a battery of percussionists playing music more spacey than rhythmic, and with Turning towards the Light he redefines what an ensemble of guitarists can be expected to do. It’s the latest in his ongoing series of Go: Organic Orchestra assemblages, which seek to provide new options for how “orchestra” can be defined. In previous outings, Go has consisted of a wide variety of instruments from musical traditions around the world, all organized under his “improvisational conducting” rather than playing composed scores. This time, the Orchestra consists of 11 guitarists: Rez Abbasi, Nels Cline, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Joel Harrison, Jerome Harris, Miles Okazaki, Marvin Sewell, and Kenny Wessel (all on electric with effects); Marco Capelli (acoustic with effects); and Damon Banks (bass). In addition, Harrison, Harris, and Wessel contribute some extras like National steel guitar, lap steel, and banjo. Of course an electric guitar with effects can sound like just about anything, so the sonic pallette here is more or less infinite. There is a lot of esoteric theory behind Rudolph’s process, some of which is hinted at in the liner notes, but it’s the kind of thing that makes little sense when you read about it – apparently it makes more sense when it’s being created, since the result is so engaging. Much of the time, subsets of the full ensemble are engaged (there’s some indication of whose sound is on the left and whose is on the right on each track), and the music is much more sparse than you might expect. The prodigious technique that was in the studio is tempered by both Rudolph’s vision and a kind of collective spirit where all players contribute their little bit to a whole that is (as they say) more than the sum of its parts. Turning towards the Light is a fascinating listen, and further evidence that Adam Rudolph is one of the great musical thinkers of our time. I think he’s onto something.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Nels Cline, Joel Harrison, Adam Rudolph / Moving Pictures / Go: Organic Orchestra

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Paul Rucker & Hans Teuber - History of an Apology & Oil – Like Nels and Alex Cline, Satoko Fujii, and even Henry Threadgill (all with their various ensembles), Paul Rucker produces music that is usually referred to as jazz, but has such far-ranging elements...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues