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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Exclusive Raja - Off the Map – Off the Map is the debut release by a new French band on Musea's Musea Parallele series. Picture if you will a musical blend of Robert Fripp, Richard Pinhas, Alain Markusfeld, and Camel and you...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues