Take It From The Ground
Scott Collins Guitar
My playing on fretted and fretless guitars draws from a wide range of western and non-western music, but improvisation is always a core component at the heart of my process. It's attractive to me as a performer because there's a real immediacy in giving a voice to something that can only exist in that moment. It's a kind of mindfulness that's communal with the audience and it can create a truly special moment of resonance and transcendence.
The title of the CD, 'take it from the ground', was really an acknowledgement of the recording process. All of the tunes (except the last song) were improvised and recorded as it was performed. The title is about capturing and preserving what happened in a specific room in a specific moment in time. The result is almost an anti-acoustic or post-acoustic recording, that is more about exploring a philosophical mindset than merely showcasing technical skill. Some of these pieces were really challenging to pull off live, but it's more about serving the song and the mood instead of saying, "Look at what I can do!" There's a certain amount of that in any CD release with craving attention, but with this recording, I wanted to create something unique, an immersive environment that transports people somewhere and gets them thinking about the music after it's done playing."
I have to give full credit to Daby Zainab Faidhi with altering the musical direction of the CD. I met her through an international film festival where she had submitted a fantastic animated film called,Ardh Al-Sawad (The Black Land) and approached her about the artwork for the recording. She and I talked through a number of ideas and processes and ultimately she came up with the idea of using a set of stairs as guitar frets and then running strings down them. The starkness of the image really moved me.
I had recorded a number of tracks previously, but I felt like much of the music didn't really work with the new artwork, so I saved a few of the live tracks from the previous sessions and then took the recording in a different direction."
A return to an old process yielded surprising results. I had a few freeware applications on an older Mac computer that allowed me to record multiple layers of guitars and mix them in real time to a stereo file. 'In that late hour' was the first track that was done that way and '21st century blues' was the second. Like the previous tracks, those were improvised and recorded in real-time and that just set the aesthetic for the rest of the recording.