October 2014 US West Coast Tour
Oct 10, Seattle, WA, North West Loop Fest, The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. 6pm – 10pm. more info
Oct 11, Portland, OR, North West Loop Fest, The Analog Cafe and Theatre, 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd. more info
Oct 12, Ashland, OR: North West Loop Fest, Club 66, 1951 Ashland St., +1 541-450-2656. more info
Oct 15, San Jose, CA BEST of Y2K14 International Live Looping Festival
ANNO DOMINI GALLERY, 366 South 1st Street more info
Oct 15-20, Santa Cruz, San Jose, San Francisco: YK2 International Live Looping Festival. more info
Oct 22, Long Beach, CA: SoCal Loop Fest, diPiazza’s, 5202 E Pacific Coast Hwy. more info
Oct 24, Canoga Park, CA, Per Fest, Guitar Merchant, 7503 Topanga Canyon Boulevard, 818-884-5905, 7pm – 11pm
On stage: Emmett Chapman, Kevin Keith, Don Schiff, Gary Jiblian, Michael Johnstone,
String Planet (featuring Larry Tuttle and Novi Novog), Mike Kollowitz, Gene Perry, Per Boysen.
I'd like to know why the SG12 resonates so well with you. What can you tell
us about your experience with it, compared to other intruments you've
played? How would you characterize the sound and feeling of playing it?
The SG12, with its shorter strings and higher tuning, has a more
snappy feel and I really like that! It takes less time between tapping
a string and hearing the sound coming out of the speaker. The tonal
range of the SG12 is in fact the range where I think chords sound the
best, so the added bass range of the 12 stringed 36" scale Grand isn't
really needed for me. But I have a big Stick too, I just don't bring
it for a lunch concert in a church or for down-town street busking.
The studio is the only place I use my big Stick and then just for
adding the lowest bass tones that the SG12 doesn't provide. The SG12
generally resonates in a way I like better; with the more focused tone
and hotter temperament. The way I prefer to play the SG12 is musically
closer to harp music than to guitar or bass music. But sound-wise the
SG12 relates to my old beloved Fender Stratocaster electric guitar.
Before I picked up the Stick in 2010 I played only monophonic and
non-multitasking instruments; starting with the guitar, then learning
tenor sax, alto flute and EWI. All these instruments needs you to
practice using both hands synchronised as part of the same musical
gestures. But the Stick is totally different, on the Stick you use
both hands independently, like two jamming musicians conducted by the
brain. It took me one year to rewire my brain and only after that
initial year I was able to play the music I had been dreaming
about for the Stick. After having played so much lead melody
instruments, often with live electronic extensions, I was longing for
an instrument that would let me perform different parts like chords,
bass and melody all at the same time. And I also wanted to explore
rubato style playing, something that is almost impossible with a lead
instrument plus live looping technic.
What can you tell me about your new recording projects?
I'm busy making a Stick based solo album right now - for public
release that is. The concept is to combine three aspects: inspired
first-takes on the Stick SG-12, my recent experiences from producing
three albums of media music and my two decades of playing "meta
instruments" that includes interactive electronics. The music will be
easy to follow and yet inviting for a deeper emotional experience.
A few months ago I released a Stick CD based on the natural Stick
sound, as the instrument sounds when you just play it through an amp.
I made that - Stick Street
- album to meet the demand for a CD that I
was confronted with as a Stick busker here in Stockholm. In fact, I
had to spend some studio time in research of how to replicate the
busking sound of the SG-12 going out through a Roland Cube Street
battery amp! On this modest amp I had found ONE setting that sounds
excellent and this was the "street sound" I tried to reproduce in a
With the new upcoming album I want to offer a more varied listening
experience. Not just the sound of "a person playing a piece of music
on a Stick" but an experience bordering to watching a movie, reading a
book or having a dream. You could say the recipe is to have the Stick
Guitar as the lead instrument and let it interact with what you might
hear in film music while the general sound design of the recording
helps to communicate the music. Cinematic Stick electronica, kind of.
Finally there is the live electronics, the third element. I don't see
this as an "add-on" or "extension of the instrument" but more as part
of my special self designed meta instrument, just like the Stick is
also part of that. Signal routing for immediate simultaneous audio
processing has been my greatest interest since the early eighties,
when the first digital delays and harmonisers appeared on the consumer
market. Today I use the fine amplifier Fractal Audio AxeFx II for my
both Stick outputs and in this box I'm able to virtually cable up most
of my favorit processes and play them in real-time by foot pedals as I
play the Stick with my hands. With this magic meta instrument I like
to record one stereo take and if the performance is good there isn't
much more needed in the mixing or mastering department. So it is a
totally here-and-now based recording production method.
I don't know about more "new recording projects"... when this album is
finished I don't think I need to record more. I'm basically more
interested in performing live and hear other artists play live. Few
people buy CDs in these days and you only need to make them as a kind
of "super expensive business card". I will of course continue to
record media music, but that won't go out to the public market, only
into the music recourses archives for TV, film and game producers.
Oh, I almost forgot; there might slip in some vocals into these
recordings. I used to play a lot of alto flute and love that sound for
my live electronics. But when I picked up the Stick four years ago it
just took over and now I want to play Stick more than any other
instrument. On the Stick it is hard to get those "fluffy cloud pad"
sounds that a flute can produce, so I thought I'd try to use my voice
instead, since both hands now are tied to the fretboards. I bought a
TC Helicon Voicelive2 effect box for my vocal mic and this too goes
through the Fractal Audio box with the expression pedals etc. Not sure
about how much this singing will take off but it's fun to expand a bit
into a new field for starters. I often find lyrics rather stupid -
since music already communicates - but if you invent fake languages or
sing with no words I guess it can work as music.
Greetings from Sweden
Find out more about Per's recordings
and performances at www.perboysen.com