My music in a short film

Recently, some of my music was used in a short film by Don Cato called, Dead Man Rides Subway . The film is a depiction of a poem of the same name written by Cornelius Eady recently published in Token Entry: New York City Subway Poems – Editor, Gerry LeFemina (Smalls Books, April, 2012).

The film was one of six films as part of the Subway Film Series. All the films were premiered at the Queens World Film Festival in March 2012.

The poem:

He lolls, he sways, this lone male sleeper
Minding his business on the B’way local.
Some let him snooze and think they’re
doing him a favor,
Others wait to see his head startle awake,
His drowsy panic,
Uptown when he meant to be Downtown,
Downtown when he intended to be Up,
And feel a bit cheated when his nap proves
to take longer than their stop.
Need I tell you life in New York City
is different? Difficult?
There he floats, slightly out of style
From the rest of us.

Cornelius Eady (b.1954)

The film:

“A man holds dearly onto his soul as he eternally rides the subway.”

The director Don Cato selected my music, so nothing was composed specifically for the film. I think it all worked out beautifully and am very happy with the result.  Hope you like it too.

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Jillian Maisie Oppedisano

All parents think their kids are talented.

I don’t know if my kid is truly talented.

I do think she really loves music.

Jillian and Marco Oppedisano

photos by Kimberly Fiedelman-Oppedisano

And if she seriously considers taking up guitar, I’ll encourage her to sing too….

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki

All-time favorite electric guitar tracks

In an interview last year with Contemporary Guitars Blog, I was asked to name 5 Desert Island albums. Now, I’ve never been one to get too carried away with making “top 5 lists,” but thought what if I were to do one for electric guitar tracks that continue to have a profound effect on me years after having heard them the first time. So, after some thought, I recently decided on a top 3 list.  I know, it’s only 3…..Anyway, here they are:

1. Machine Gun – Jimi Hendrix (Band of Gypsys)

What else can be said about this live version of Machine Gun. Just a mindblower. If I could go back in time to see one concert, it would be this one.

2. Where Were You – Jeff Beck

I could go on and on regarding Jeff Beck. This track is pure electric guitar poetry of the highest order. Simply incredible music and one of the more beautiful things I’ve ever heard.

3. Watermelon in Easter Hay – Frank Zappa

FZ was very underrated as a guitarist. Gorgeous music in a slow 9/4 (or 4/4 + 5/4 – however you prefer). This track shows off FZ’s more sensitive side.  It’s not even from my favorite Zappa period though. I’m more of an early Mothers person (see my 5 Desert Island albums).

As with these types of lists, it’s always tough leaving stuff out. Here a list of a few Honorable Mentions (I may continue to edit this..)

The Final Peace – Jeff Beck

Power to Love – Jimi Hendrix

Pink Cashmere – Prince

Black Napkins – Frank Zappa

Is It Sweet? – Bill Frisell

and definitely a few more….

Some electric guitar memories, feedback and a new piece

I’ve always had a fascination for electric guitar feedback. My first experiences go back to when I was around 13 –14 years old.  After many hours of intense practice (all I did was practice from the ages of 12-17), dealing with frustration and sore fingertips, I would turn the amp up as loud as possible allowing the guitar to howl and scream.  Then I discovered that I could manipulate the feedback by walking around the room and swirling the guitar around in the air. I also discovered that at certain spots in the room the feedback was very consistent and could get that long sustain to add to those certain held notes.

painting by Richard Whadcock

Here’s a link to my brand new piece utilizing electric guitar feedback, Fractured Sky (2012). The sounds in this piece come mostly from electric guitar with the addition of a few percussion samples. The painting above is by the British artist Richard Whadcock. Click the photo to check out his wonderful artwork.

Both recording sessions for these pieces involved recording electric guitar feedback at a very loud volume.  For me these compositions are not only about the finished result, but about the process. A reliving of those youthful electric guitar feedback experiments and sculpting them into compositions. It’s the stuff that keeps me drawn to the electric guitar and makes me want to keep playing and wrenching sounds out of it.

Hope you like these pieces.  I still have some feedback experimenting left to do..