In Gated Memory of Gentle Giant
v. 2020 | by Gustavo Matamoros featuring Davey Williams on electric guitar
This version of In Gated Memory of Gentle Giant featuring soloist David Williams on electric guitar is part of INDIVISIBLES, an anthology of compositions and sound art pieces by Gustavo Matamoros and David Dunn spanning 40 years, and published as a limited edition art album by Subtropics Editions. The featured image above is from a drawing of the same name by Ralph Provisero.
Gentle Giant was one of the few English bands I discovered as a teen in Venezuela in the early 70s that got me interested in audio recording and electronics. In general these bands approached the recording studio creatively as an integral aspect of the music. Even today I continue to discover how deeply engrained the recordings of Gentle Giant and most importantly, Egg—like some kind of spirit possession—are etched into my unconscious sound mind. Created in 1995, In Gated Memory of Gentle Giant is my second attempt at a tribute to the band. It is the daughter of In Memory of Gentle Giant for percussion and tape, which was performed widely by Jan Williams in the early 90s and was included in the band’s tribute CD Giant Tracks. As a member of the gated tape community of pieces that followed, IGMGG contains a richer pallet of very short snippets of source material from GG recordings.
And as typical of this series, its realization is as unpredictable for the performer as it is for the audience. Electric guitarist Davey Williams was my chosen target for its first performance and premiered it in 1996 as a member of the Fishtank Ensemble in a duet version along with the marvelous Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello at Merkin Hall in NYC. The century turned and during one of his many visits to Miami I suggested to Davey we record a new improvisation of the piece using a revised tape part. That proved to be one in a series of steps needed. Unfortunately for Davey, he passed before I was able to get back to it. During the 2020 lockdown I was able to recompose the recorded track and apply the implied gating suggested by Davey’s performance to create the version included here. This recording was first presented as a tribute to Davey during the Subtropics 25 Festival at the Deering Estate in September of 2021 — G.M.