Guitars May 24th, 1999
Cover by Bill Smith Studio
1. Muse 2:19
2. Cochise 5:25
3. Embers 3:56
4. Summit Day 3:50
5. Out of Sight 3:51
6. B. Blues 4:35
7. Four Winds 9:29
8. Enigmatism 3:31
9. Out of Mind 3:46
10. From the Ashes 2:29
Written by Mike Oldfield
Produced & engineered by Mike Oldfield Assistant engineer: Ben Darlow Recorded at Roughwood Studio
All sounds on this recording, including drum sounds, were generated from live guitars, midi guitar or individual guitar samples
Additional notes from Richard Carter
Notes On The Instruments
The picture on CD tray liner (and also printed on the CD itself) with Mike surrounded by numerous guitars is a good thing to use to point out some of the instruments from his collection. Going clockwise, from the classical (spanish acoustic) guitar at the top (and slightly to the right), the guitars are as follows: (José Ramirez) Classical guitar (1962) Fender Stratocaster, salmon pink Martin O-45 Parlour Guitar. PRS (Paul Reed Smith) Custom 24 with Roland synth pickup (1962) Fender Stratocaster, sunburst (1989) PRS Custom 24 (José Ramirez) Flamenco guitar Wal 4 string bass guitar PRS McCarty Thinline
Mike made further use of the Roland VG8 synthesiser/processor on this album.
The ‘sitar guitar’ makes an appearance on ‘Four winds’ (Its lead part starts at 4:04 although it plays a background part just before that).
Notes On The Musicians
Not many notes to make here, except that, despite being known as a solitary musician, this album is in fact the only one of Mike’s made completely without the assistance of other musicians.
Mike sees himself mainly as a guitarist, so the concept of this album was perhaps not particularly unusual. Similar things have been attempted by other guitarists in the past – Adrian Belew, for example (who guested as guitarist and vocalist on the album ‘Earth Moving’) created a suite of music played on guitar and guitar synthesiser.
Mike attempted to create many of the sound using guitars as the source. Many of the drum sounds, for example, were created from samples of Mike slapping a bass (that is, hitting the strings with the side of the thumb – not the same type of slap as when you might slap a person…). A good example of the types of sounds possible are the tablas in ‘Four Winds’ (3:48). Mike then triggered the samples from a guitar fitted with a Roland midi pickup (in fact it’s not a midi pickup as such – it first has to be plugged into a guitar synthesiser or guitar – midi convertor). The guitar used for this was probably the PRS Custom 24, which actually has had one of these pickups built in. They don’t make them like that though – the pickup was, as far as I know, fitted by Chandler Guitars in Kew, just outside London, where Mike has been known to visit before. The pickup itself is visible just by the bridge of the guitar – a small thin black bar. The controls for the pickup are fitted to the bottom edge of the guitar.
For some information on Roughwood studio, (including some images which as far as I’m aware are available nowehere else on the net), highlighting some of his equipment and other things, click here.
© Richard Carter 2001