I’ve been a Pat Metheny fan for a long time, so I was really excited to learn last year that he was working on a new project. His CD is out, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s called Orchestrion, bringing new meaning to the term one-man band. I will be there front and center when he takes the stage at the Fitzgerald Theatre on May 9.
Here is how Pat describes his new project: “This project represents a conceptual direction that merges an idea from the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the technologies of today to create a new, open-ended platform for musical composition, improvisation and performance.
“Orchestrionics” is the term that I am using to describe a method of developing ensemble-oriented music using acoustic and acoustoelectric musical instruments that are mechanically controlled in a variety of ways, using solenoids and pneumatics. With a guitar, pen or keyboard I am able to create a detailed compositional environment or a spontaneously developed improvisation, with the pieces on this particular recording leaning toward the compositional side of the spectrum. On top of these layers of acoustic sound, I add my conventional electric guitar playing as an improvised component.
“At least for me, this takes the term “solo record” into some new and interesting areas, somewhat recontextualizing the idea of what constitutes a solo performance by a single musician. This project is the result of a lifelong dream in this area that dates back to my early youth.”