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Chatham, Rhys
Guitar Trio Is My Life

Rhys Chatham has achieved some degree of notoriety as a minimalist composer turned noise-rock pioneer. His seminal work, Guitar Trio, had a significant impact on the New York no-wave scene of the late ‘70s. Chatham’s contemporaries Wharton Tiers, Glenn Branca, Bill Brovold (Larval) and Sonic Youth were certainly directly influenced by it, as is the guitar ensemble Tone from Washington DC. Guitar Trio is an incredibly simple composition. It is nothing more than an Em7 chord played over a simple rock beat.

This particular recording is a rather strange concept. It is comprised of no less than five variations of “Guitar Trio Pts. 1 & 2” recorded live in eight different U.S. cities. At each stop, Rhys is joined by local musicians. For example, the NYC band included Alan Licht, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Renaldo, Ernie Brooks and Jonathon Kane amongst its ranks. Douglas McCombs, Jeff Parker, and John McEntire helped out in Chicago.

As a historical document, Guitar Trio is My Life! is highly listenable. It is highly unlikely, however, that the casual listener will make it through all three discs in one sitting.

— Jesse Srogoncik, March 14th, 2008

Rhys Chatham — An Angel Moves too Fast to See (Table Of The Elements, 2006)
Rhys Chatham — Die Donnergotter (The Thundergods) (Table Of The Elements, 2006)
Rhys Chatham — A Crimson Grail (Table Of The Elements, 2007)
Rhys Chatham — “Guitar Trio Is My Life!” (Radium/Table Of The Elements, 2008)


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