Sten Hostfalt 29 Pieces For The Microtonal Guitar Live at Knitting Factory New York

 
 

 

Sten Hostfalt / 29 Pieces For The Microtonal
Guitar Live at Knitting Factory New York

[ g-wOw 1215 ]

Sten Hostfalt - Acoustic, Electric and Prepared Guitars, Electronics.
All Music Composed, Arranged and Performed by Sten Hostfalt.
Recorded live at Knitting Factory New York City August 29, 2002
by Jason Tubbs, Edited, Mixed and Mastered by Greg Thompson.
Produced by Sten Hostfalt and Greg Thompson.




_________________________________________


Signal To Noise Magazine
Issue 36 Winter 2005, page 53-54
STEN HOSTFALT ETERNITY CHECK
[ g-wOw 1214 ] 29 PIECES FOR THE
MICROTONAL GUITAR LIVE AT KNITTING
FACTORY NEW YORK [ g-wOw 1215 ]

In these two releases, guitarist Sten Hostfalt
develops a finely-detailed, insect-scaled musical
system in which a thousand granular details,
seemingly disjointed and unrelated, fuse to build
a giant mound swarming with life. The centerpiece
of Eternity Check is a 1992 Boston recording in
which Hostfalt ringmasters a boisterous sextet.
In this context the leader's fussy guitar work
often comes off as the fine print in a broadside
combining jazzy basslines with spacy synthesizer
wobbles and rockish riffs. The three shorter
tracks on this disc, recorded in 2001, almost don't
belong here ( although this 30-minute disc could
hardly afford the loss ) With Magnus Lind's
time-folding accordion arabesques, they presage
the total immersion in a miniverse of finely etched
detail that Hostfalt takes to glorious extremes in
29 Pieces for Microtonal Guitar.
Recorded live
at the Knitting Factory in 2002, 29 Pieces
is among the most riveting explorations of the
microtonal world ever recorded. It's fine focus
and beauty of details puts the cycle in a class with
John Cage's exquisite "Sonatas and Interludes for
Prepared Piano". With few tracks lasting more
than two minutes, Hostfalt contracts the material
to the crystalline scale of fly wings, piercing the
mind and soul with intimations of the deep and
strange order of the universe. The live recording
is almost desperately intense and immediate, and
the disc has richly rewarded as many listeners
as I have been able to give it ( five so far ).
Larry Cosentino




All About Jazz
CD REVIEW
29 PIECES FOR THE MICROTONAL GUITAR
LIVE AT KNITTING FACTORY NEW YORK
" Sten Hostfalt
takes the rigid confines of the
Guitar and transforms it into an instrument
capable of exploring the minute spaces
between traditional notes by using altered
tunings, mechanical preparations and
electronically enhanced techniques. The
result, 29 Pieces for the Microtonal Guitar,
is an intriguing recording that shows just
how far an instrument can be bent and
altered to meet a more experimental
and adventurous need, taking you on
a journey to a place where rules, quite
simply, don't exist and anything is possible.
For those with ears broad enough to allow
for the possibility that music can extend
beyond the expected, and expand the potent
boundaries of experience, 29 Pieces For The
Microtonal Guitar Live at Knitting Factory
New York constitutes a trip well-worth taking.
William Burroughs once wrote "exterminate
all rational thought" and, while there is an
unquestionable logic behind Höstfält's work,
it is so rooted in the unusual as to have the
appearance of complete abandon.
"

- John Kelman 2004



Jazz Review
CD REVIEW
by Don Williamson ( 2005 )
STEN HOSTFALT / 29 PIECES FOR
THE MICROTONAL GUITAR LIVE AT KNITTING
FACTORY NEW YORK
- "Sten Höstfält has more
than absorbed the teachings of some of the free-jazz
New England-based musicians he studied with at the
New England Conservatory of Music and Berklee ;
he has internalized their thoughts to come up with his
own investigations. As of late Höstfält has been exploring
and presenting the theoretical propositions of Joe Maneri,
who has identified 72 pitches within the octave, although
traditional traditional Western musical theory involves at
the most the 12 notes of the chromatic scale. All of a sudden
the addition of six times as many tonal possibilities has
opened up new vistas for sonic expression as the nuances
between the normally expected vibrations are stated, rather
than being contained within temporary pitch-wavering
allusions such as "blue notes" or vibrato. It means that
Höstfält now has developed his own repertoire that
incorporates the microtones contained within expansion
of pitches available to him. Tuning his guitar in intervals
of a quarter tone and smaller, Höstfält sketches with his
guitar, allowing the listener to connect the lines, rather
than painting a mural, referring to traditional harmonic
conventions even as as he microtonally upends them,
removing the audience's comfort zone as he challenges
it's combined expectations with a genuinely Innovative
approach for guitar. In the future 29 Pieces For The
Microtonal Guitar may be considered a groundbreaking
work as Western musical theory catches up with the
microtonality of Indian and Middle Eastern genres"





Jazz Now
CD REVIEW by Kenneth Egbert 2005
29 PIECES FOR THE MICROTONAL GUITAR LIVE
AT KNITTING FACTORY NEW YORK
" Not for the
faint of heart, but more for those of us who think
that the late great David Tudor got a bit 'easy
listening' towards the end, and Derek Bailey may
very possibly be the God that others of us thought
in the 1960s Eric Claption was. Utilizing Joe Maneri's
Micro scale "Alive on the Dead Screen" shreds and
distort over a droning, howling background while
"Icons" quick-picks through a seemingly decaying
landscape. Beyond rapturous. "Dialogue" from the
'Lighters' suite pits Höstfält improvising against a
tape of himself from an earlier timeframe, very
sharp and 'on point', while the 'Major Changes'
sequence moves more into John Fahey territory
- with well-thought-out and absorbing results. In
fact this entire 40-minute live recording from the
Knitting Factory NYC (8-29-02) reaches that peak
early and stays there with very little difficulty.
Certainly one advantage of using a microtonal scale
is that you will get new runs of notes, new chordal
matrices. For an illustration note, "Roll", last section
of the suite "Eight Variations" a furtively smooth run
of cacophonous tones that fit together only because
Mr. Höstfält and the listener want them to. High-
density, highly logical in a completely different way
and highly recommended "



Cadence CD REVIEW
[ Cadence October 2005 edition ]
Grego Applegate Edwards

STEN HOSTFALT / 29 PIECES FOR
THE MICROTONAL GUITAR
LIVE
AT KNITTING FACTORY NEW YORK

" Sten Hostfalt is perhaps the better known of the group
of guitarists in this batch, having played and/or recorded
with Bobby Shew, Paul Bley and Jimmy Giuffre. Hostfalt
uses conventional instruments and obtains microtones
through various other means. More or less pure-toned
microtones, buzzes, string scratches and
other timbral
textures weave in and out of the aural palette in an
attractive complexity."Major Changes" begins with electric
low notes, then follows with rapid figuration, microtonal
chords and arpeggios. "Eight Variations" features Jazz-like
figurations without a tonal center, mostly acoustic. Lower
strings seem downtuned and punctuate the texture
dynamically."Alive on the Dead Screen" brings in increased
energy. A white noise wash of electronics in the background
to distorted electric noise-oriented Post-Hendrix utterances
you hear the influence of the Hendrix at Monterey finale
and "Third Stone from the Sun". The electronic wash
varies, interjecting Morse-code-like high frequency
punctuations underneath the psycho-workout. Pretty
convincing "Diplomacy" turns again to the acoustic guitar
with added prepared objects that provide percussive
metallic timbres and low buzzes. Starting sparsely, the
figuration becomes rapid. On "Lighters II" prepared guitar
with a metallic slide produce intriguing koto-like sounds.
If you find Derek Bailey's solo guitar works to be of interest,
Hostfalt gives you another angle on exploring tone colors
and guitar abstractions



Jazz Views ( U.K. )

CD REVIEW August 2004

STEN HOSTFALT / 29 PIECES FOR
THE MICROTONAL GUITAR LIVE
AT KNITTING FACTORY NEW YORK
-
" As alien as the harmonies are, as abstruse as the
overall concept is, Höstfält's approach draws the listener
into it's most extrinsic world. Even rapid-fire and more
aggressive pieces like "Micronic" and "Roll" manage to
somehow lull the listener with a somewhat hypnotic
sensibility. The more processed pieces that comprise the
five-part suite "Alive on the Dead Screen" may be more
jagged and sharp, but they still create an ambience that is
strangely appealing.



Guitar Player Magazine
CD Editor's Pick Feb. 2005

Rants & Raves ; 29 PIECES FOR THE MICROTONAL GUITAR
GUITAR LIVE AT KNITTING FACTORY NEW YORK

- Barry Cleveland.



Altrisuoni
( Italy )
CD REVIEW by
Alekos
Pandelis : ETERNITY CHECK and
29 PIECES FOR THE MICROTONAL GUITAR
LIVE AT KNITTING FACTORY NEW YORK
[ Altrisuoni.Org 2004 ]

"
Sten Höstfält guarda alla microtonalità
come ad uno sviluppo organico dalle
tecniche tradizionali e dalle pratiche
compositive e alla conoscenza del
sistema del dodici toni, diatonicismo,
cromatismo e serialismo, cosi come
alle serie
degli ipertoni e al principi
fondamentali dell'acustica
". Riconosce
le proprietà uniche del sistema a
72 note ET, un sistema ideato da
Maneri che usa 72 toni fissi
per l'ottava al fine di definire
l'espressione all'interno di un
virtuale tono continuo. Con
un'esperienza accademica
di studi sulle tecniche compositive

microtonali, parallela al suo lvoro di
strumetista e compositore nella musica
jazz improvvisata, per Höstfält la
microtonalità è piu di un semplice
ingrediente della musica, ma
rappresenta una vera e propria
fonte d'ispirazione per il fraseggio,
il ritmo, l'interpretazione armonica e
melodica. I due lavori qui recensiti
potrebbero essere visti uno come
l'espansione dell'altro, nel senso
che come strumentista appare
chiaro che Höstfält abbia voluto
innanzi tutto sviluppare le tecniche
tradizionali della chitarra a sei corde,
strumento che tra l'altro suona con
particolare bravura,
sperimentandole
poi su un più largo ensemble di strumenti.

L'interplay tra mucisisti - tutti largamente
noti nella scena improvvisativa di New
York-contribuisce a dare una particolare
verve a questo disco, forse più pieno, senza
riserve o manierismi, proprio perche' il
gioco si allarga ad una squadra che
risponde con un particolare spirito.
Dal punto di vista strettamente jazzistico,
questo approccio, dove il confine tra parti
scritte e preparazione accademica e libera
e creativa improvvisazione è davverolabile,
l'approccio di Höstfält sembra dare nuovo
ossigeno, molta energia e una particolare
luminosità tanto all'approccio qualto
all'esecuzione. Un jazz complesso, mai
troppo astratto, capace di trovare bei
momenti di poesia. Un ottimo risultato per
uno che ha una vita di musica davanti a sè !




C | Net / Download.Com
2006
" With just a regular old guitar, Sten Hostfalt
completely rethinks and restructures conventional
technique "
- Editor's Pick [ track : ICONS ]



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All Rights Reserved Sonus Rex 2018.
Sten Hostfalt is a SONUS REX recording artist
professionally affiliated with Broadcast Music Inc.
(BMI) and AMF American Federation Of Musicians
Local 802, Associated Musicians of Greater New York