Improvised Meditations for Low-Strung Guitar

The first ever live presentation of Jenkins' solo 'domestic' suite
for specially re-tuned acoustic guitar.

Thursday 23rd November 2000
65 Peckham Road, London SE5

  Improvised Meditations for Low Strung Guitar

Sometimes it all gets too much. The hustling, marketing, scratching, straining, travelling and administration all but swamps the raison d’etre. The musician needs to re-ignite that spark.

Having played the guitar as his first instrument all his professional life, Billy Jenkins is not one to throw a lifetimes work out the window and ‘retrain’ for another career. To dismiss one’s work with such vigour, he tries to reason with himself, would render that person completely pointless.

It was in 1994 (when battling through one such period of defeatism) that Billy settled on a compromise. He’d keep playing, but with a ‘low strung guitar’. Bolstered by an Arts Council of England Artist R & D grant he spent a period of time ‘ rediscovering’ the acoustic guitar but tuned two whole tones lower than norm. The string slackness and wholesale pitch shift opened up a whole new world of nuance, timbre and intonation. Two of the resultant pieces can be heard on UP6 ‘Eclectic Guitars’.

The refreshing perspective of the ‘low strung guitar’ initiated a musical ‘rebirth’, leading to the creation of the Blues Collective which, five years on, has not only become Jenkins’s favoured live performing outfit, but indeed the music closest to his heart and soul.

This concert of Improvised Meditations for Low Strung Guitar is the first time Jenkins has agreed to perform this very private music in public.


The SOLO BILL DOUBLE BILL also featured
A site-specific installation / performance of material from Sheppard's CD The Diver in the Crypt and the world premiere of Venetian Underground  

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