A Short Story….
Well; about 7 or 8 years ago i bought my 1st guitar synthesizer a “Roland GR – 33“, with the intention to broaden my sonic palette; and to be able to pursue other musical avenues besides the obvious ones that were available to me as a guitarist. I remember quite clearly at the time, to have the need to express myself in other ways, besides the lexicum and the “colors” that where available to me with the guitar..
I was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with my personal guitar studies, and felt a enormous “creative” blocking; and buying the synth was the first step to solve this situation. It was always very clear from the start that i didn´t want to abandon the guitar; and that is really easy to happen these days with all the electronic “gadgets” and “toys” available to us.
This enabled me to continue to play it but my approach that is still the same to this day was “not” to use it as a “guitar” at all. My goal was to play the “sound” with no pre-conceived limitations, only the ones imposed by my imagination and my musical abilities; and to be able to play “everything” that i wanted to (Double-basses, Fender Rhodes, Organs, Orchestral Sounds, various types of Percussion, and a lot of abstract patches as well). The majority of guitarists that use a guitar synth, tend to use it as a complement to their main guitar sound; mixed at a lower level; and that was definitely something that i didn´t want to do.
It is important to say that the sounds i produce are a blend of audio and midi. I have a “double” rig with a audio and a midi path. Everything is played between these to paths and sometimes i am playing three different sound sources at the same time; and these sounds are looped, tweaked, and processed through effects at a later stage, but all in real time.
Playing an instrument is really a demanding “adventure” dare i to say; and something that changes all your existence in a multitude of subtle ways; and i don´t say this as a positive thing. You have to dedicate yourself to the instrument, and to the music; but eventually down the road you will arrive to the conclusion that the more you think you “know” means exactly that “you still have so much to learn”, or that you are “permanently” folding to the begining. It never end´s. Music and the creation of it is one of my longest passions; and one of the most gratifying things in my life; but at the same time one of the hardest.
Sometimes is wonderful, sometimes is frustrating, sometimes is pure bliss; and yet another times it can be as horrible as an horrible thing can be!. Well: very much like everything else in real life actually!.
After some time playing with the synth i bought a Repeater from Electrix (a company that sadly is no longer with us); and this became my main looping and mangling unit to this day.
A short time after that in a summer sunday afternoon, we played a session in my house. Everything worked so well that we decided to form Platform. Some week´s later we made our first rehearsals in a space were Rui used to work, called the Black Box; “pictures here” in preparation for the first concert in Guarda.”see gallery” – In a week we developed the basis of the material that we played and improvise with in our concerts; and those concert recordings were latter used to assemble the Test Tube release “Templates” Stay tunned for the next episodes…