John Bruce Wallace

John Bruce Wallace

BandJazzAvant-garde

An aggressive, wailing guitar sound--astonishing and extremely individual--that one has never heard before.

Biography

I am a composer, improvisational guitarist, painter, and philosopher interested in freely improvised music with a focus on generating extended sound statements within the options afforded through solo performance. What I do is referred to, especially in Europe, as ‘Free Jazz’, totally improvised sound expressions with emphasis on deconstruction of structure and pattern, upon which one can become comfortable and rely on during a performance, while generating a narrative of the moment. I am interested in the textural aspects of the sounds, in the physical dimensioning of each note, of the geometric quality of the sound. I am also concerned with the timbre of every note and passage, and with the rhythmic structure of the relationship of each note to its neighbors within the musical neighborhood. Compositions are improvised extemporaneously on solo electric guitar without the use of tape, tape dubbing, computers or synthesizers. The idea is to utilize a few basic tones and then present relational possibilities inherent in those tones. The improvised compositions often incorporate sonorous multi-tonal qualities, dense, interwoven passages embellished with harmonic and micro-tonal sound statements, or silence further defined by irregular syntaxed rhythms and primitive beats. These extempore compositions incorporate complex musical riddles wherein are displayed the qualities of multiple instrument arrangements, incorporating voicings that bring to mind horns, sax, chimes, cello and strings, and percussion as well as various guitar timbres: All in the service of exploring, exposing, exhuming, and exploding the human GEIST. In fact I have been credited with inventing a new approach to playing guitar. I have recorded and released seven albums of extended sound statements that have received considerable air play on alternative and college radio across North America, Western and Eastern Europe, along with reviews in leading trade journals and press. Tours have included festivals in Russia and Lithuania, where I was awarded fourth place at the Vilnius Jazz Festival. My music was invited for performance consideration at the American Pavilion during the 1991 Bienal-Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo Brazil. I have shared performance billings with: Tim Hodgkinson, Evan Ziporyn, John King, Vladimir Tarasov, ZGA, Enver Izmailov, Burham Ocal and Jazz Band Arkhangel'sk, to name a few.

A high point during the concert tour in Russia was when a veteran of the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan came up after the performance and indicated that he had been comforted and relieved of a great sense of loss over the death of a fellow soldier and friend through what he experienced from what John had played.

My experiences, encountered while participating in the popular music business from the inside via associations with individuals at Columbia Records (while living in New York) greatly disillusioned me to the belief that the importance of the quality of talent counted as a value considered in the priorities regarded as essential by A&R (Artists and Repertory) executives to achieving ‘Fame and fortune’ as a rock star, as-well-as exemplifying the tremendous shallowness of the whole popular culture within our society. This moved me to look more closely at jazz and ‘free jazz’ as practiced in Europe, by established artists such as Ornatte Coleman, Anthony Braxton, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Derek Bailey, and by certain young artists at the time beginning to work in Alphabet-city on New York’s lower East side, some of whom I have since shared performance billings with; music expressions that place great value on quality of talent, originality, and uniqueness, as the appropriate voice for my sound statements (a good deal of the time I think in terms of sounds), while taking time to formalize my interests in philosophy.

John finds supplemental expression through painting and computer generated art. He has exhibited in several shows in New York and Washington, DC, as-well-as in shows in Chicago, Minneapolis, Missouri, Maryland, Maine, and Virginia, with positive reviews in the local artpress.

Educated in Philosophy, John takes interest in issues in the Philosophy of Mind, Consciousness, Philosophy of Psychology, Epistemology, Logic, Perception, Time, and Thought. He has published a monograph on Solipsism, Mind, and Consciousness.

Discography

Impaled Dreams of the Believer

Riding the Cusp of Time

Electro Static Time Line

Loud Noises In A Corner: Engagements On Urban Terrain

John Bruce Wallace In Russia

Plumbing the Depths of Reason

Krank Cauls Disturb My Sleep

Set List

Improvised sound statements

An improvisational performance features JOHN BRUCE WALLACE exploring, exploding, and exhuming the avant geist. Compositions are improvised extemporaneously on solo electric guitar without the use of tape, tape dubbing, computers or synthesizers. The idea is to utilize a few basic tones and then present relational possibilities inherent in those tones. The improvised compositions often incorporate sonorous multi-tonal qualities, dense, interwoven passages embellished with harmonic and micro-tonal sound statements, or silence further defined by irregular syntaxed rhythms and primitive beats. These extempore compositions incorporate complex musical riddles wherein are displayed the qualities of multiple instrument arrangements, incorporating voicings that bring to mind horns, sax, chimes, cello and strings, and percussion as well as various guitar timbres.