Marco Oppedisano’s “Electroacoustic Compositions for Electric Guitar” is another smart set of program music from OKS Recordings of North America, thankfully delivering compositions far more imaginative than the rather plain title indicates.
Like OKS co-owner Bill Byrne, Oppedisano is a well-seasoned professional, having performed in Glenn Branca’s ensemble and with Tom Buckner. I was also not surprised to learn that Oppedisano had studied composition with Charles Dodge, whose influence I heard straight away in works like “Time Lapse” and ‘Three Short Electronic Pieces.”
Covering works composed between 1999 and 2005, this disc is an excellent introduction to the artist, and is especially enjoyable for its limited sound sourcing– knowing that all the sounds (save a few vocal samples in one track) arise from electric guitar and bass makes the electroacoustic nature of these works more apparent, and gives rise to interesting thoughts about how such sounds were realized. Oppedisano gives a great assist to listeners as he demonstrates his ability to generate an extremely broad range of sounds from his instrument, from sonorous aquatic bells to swarming clouds of electronic chirping.
I also detect more than a little thrash spirit in Oppedisano, who drops some mutilated riffs into the heart of “The End Is Near,” alongside laser blasts, robot terror noises, and a tickling finish. Then again, the Dante-inspired “Eternal Lovers” wouldn’t be terribly out of place for fans of Brian Eno or Alan Licht, with its annular tone and choral washes.
Overall, “Electroacoustic Compositions for Electric Guitar” is well-produced, and mostly flows well from one composition to another. As each work seems to have been produced separately, I’d prefer them to be arranged chronologically, but this is a minor flaw easily correctable with a blank disc and a burner should I run out of anything else to do!
As a side note, listeners who enjoy Oppedisano’s album should start saving their pennies for “Retiring to Palermo to Make Apple Whine;” which features the work of Byrne, Oppedisano, and OKS-released artist John Ibarra. It is my understanding that this trio of electroacoustic improv work will be available later this year…