Magazine article Guitar Player

Markus Reuter

Magazine article Guitar Player

Markus Reuter

Article excerpt

"TOO MANY PEOPLE WRITE MUSIC THAT IS EASY to play," says Austrian touch guitarist Markus Reuter. "For me, the real creative challenge lies in pursuing something I wouldn't typically attempt. I like to force myself out of the comfort zone, and use rules-based algorithmic and serial compositional techniques that enable me to come up with new guitar lines. If you don't have rules, you can do anything--which means you may do nothing interesting, because the possibilities are either overwhelming, or limited by your existing knowledge."

Reuter's unique compositional approach is at the core of Pole [Unsung], the new CD by Tuner, his duo project with King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto. The song-based album weaves together melodic, minimalist, prog rock, and experimental influences into an edgy, yet cohesive whole.

"The entirety of Pole is based on defined sequences of numbers," explains Reuter. "I assign a series of notes, pitches, chords, or sets of intervals to each number in a series, and then I stick to that series for the entire piece. It's similar to 12-tone technique in which you have to play all 12 notes before you use the first note again. If an unexpected chord emerged as a result of the sequence, I didn't try to change it to make the song sound conventional. I forced myself to make the chords work within the context."

Reuter's touch-guitar talents can also be heard on Lovefield by Centrozoon, his all-improv duo with electronics maestro Bernhard Wostheinrich, and Eleven Questions, a collaboration with ambient-music pioneer Robert Rich. All of his recent efforts feature him on the 8-string Warr Guitar TSG-8--an instrument that looks similar to a standard electric guitar, but enables the player to use two-handed tapping techniques similar to those employed on a Chapman Stick. After years playing classical guitar and piano, Reuter was drawn to the touch-guitar universe upon hearing Tony Levin playing a Chapman Stick with Peter Gabriel and King Crimson. …

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