My guitar with a piece of sponge underneath the strings. The sponge shortens the sound and renders it almost oud-like. Hence the title of this post, the name a friend gave a track I recorded with it. (is the Oud masculine in Spanish??)
This last phase of recording Rain Poems has been about altering the guitar sound a little bit. Prepared guitar. Making the sound a little less pristine, less clear, less of that singing quality, and with more fuzz, a more percussive sound. Home-made wine. Moonshine. Kitchen food, not restaurant food. I used a cloth, woven through the strings and this sponge. I used a piece of paper, woven through the strings, on an album a few years ago. I bet nobody recognized it as a guitar sound. 😁
I often like limiting my palette because I have found that a small palette can inspire new ideas within those borders. There is so much one can discover through working with only a pencil. I suppose this is akin to having a tradition that limits what one is allowed to do. I don’t follow a tradition but perhaps I am creating my own for each album? There is an enormous difference between being told what we can and can’t do and choosing to draw our own lines within which we choose to work.
I have arrived at a point where I no longer want to use an electric guitar, or even a steel string guitar. I also haven’t used a synthesizer in a long time. I may use other instruments at some future time but right now I am loving everything about the Flamenco guitar. And, to be clear, by that I mean the instrument, not the tradition.