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Héon - Electro-Acoustic Requiem

Héon - Electro-Acoustic RequiemMartin Héon is a guitarist of some 18 years standing.  Armed with just his trusty Fender Stratocaster, screwdriver, screws, saw and nails (I’m quoting here), Martin set out to produce an album to explore the range of the electric guitar.

It has taken a year of research to finalise and on Electro-Acoustic Requiem, he has widened the audible spectrum with non-conventional elements, oh yes, to modify the sound as we normally hear it.  Is it a coincidence, I wonder, that if you take the initial letter from the title above, it spells ‘HEAR’?  Back to the techniques used, he passed the source wave through all sorts of plug-ins, persuading the listener that he is listening to something other than guitar sometimes, such as percussion or keyboards.  And the whole thing was recorded on a Pentium III 500Mhz PC using a Cubase VST etc.  No mention of the operating system but I reckon we can be pretty certain it isn’t Windows ME otherwise the album would have never reached fruition.

Inspiration for the album came from the great mystery of life and death, but don’t think for a minute that the album dwells in any sort of self-pity, nor is it flippant. 

Some parts of the 12 tracks will sound strange if not a little weird to some ears.  The very nature of experimentation in the tweaking of sounds should create something that is unfamiliar but Martin has managed to combine this unfamiliarity with the familiar.  The familiar takes the form of prog, sometimes menacing prog, and jazz-fusion.  And it is all rather good I must say. 

If you have heard Ed Alleyne-Johnson’s Purple Electric Violin Concerto you will know that this was similar in that it involved a single instrument connected to various gizmos to alter the sound.  The big difference is that PEVC, more or less, kept a similar theme throughout whereas Electro-Acoustic Requiem continually changes.

Electro-Acoustic Requiem is surprisingly accessible for music of this genre.  The melodies are memorable and the percussive sounds vary from haunting to mesmerising.  Be prepared to be impressed.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Unicorn Records

 

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