Trey Gunn | Modulator

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by Trey Gunn

Modulator is Trey Gunn with uber-drummer Marco Minnemann; but with a gigantic twist. This entire recording was composed and produced over the top of a 51 minute, live drum solo by Marco.
Genre: Rock: Instrumental Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Contact
3:26 $0.99
2. Flood
2:49 $0.99
3. Spray I
1:21 $0.99
4. Fall Time +/-
1:14 $0.99
5. Fall Time -/+
4:09 $0.99
6. Lumen
2:17 $0.99
7. Switch
0:49 $0.99
8. Daughter
0:59 $0.99
9. Pole
1:03 $0.99
10. Scatter
1:17 $0.99
11. Up Spin
1:03 $0.99
12. Down Spin
1:12 $0.99
13. Spectra
6:08 $0.99
14. Superstish-a-tron
1:12 $0.99
15. Californ-a-tron
0:46 $0.99
16. Spray II
3:07 $0.99
17. Mono-Punkte
2:24 $0.99
18. Coupling
2:17 $0.99
19. Incantation
3:27 $0.99
20. Slingcharm
2:09 $0.99
21. Twisted Pair
2:55 $0.99
22. Hymn
4:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Modulator is Trey Gunn with uber-drummer Marco Minnemann; but with a gigantic twist. This entire recording was composed and produced over the top of a 51 minute, live drum solo by Marco.

Marco has enlisted several different musicians to create a full cd, each, from the same drum solo. No editing of the drum performance was done. All the music had to fit with what Marco played and, ideally, make it seems like only this drum performance could go with this music.

"This was the hardest recording I have ever taken on," says Gunn. "The challenges of this process prove the old adage that 'with great restrictions come great creative leaps'."

Trey Gunn – touch guitars, fretless guitars, basses, keyboards, samples, arrangements
Michael Connolly - uilleann pipes, fiddle
Marco Minnemann – 51 minute, live drum solo

Seattle, WA (March 2010) – It all began when international drumming icon, and rhythmic illusionist Marco Minnemann approached former King Crimson touch guitar explorer Trey Gunn about writing music to Minnemann’s fifty-one minute drum solo. Gunn had no idea that accepting this monumental task would lead him into such challenging, uncharted compositional territory and ultimately the creation of Gunn’s laborious and masterful Modulator. Gunn comments on the birth of Modulator: “My initial response was: No way! That sounds ridiculously hard. Not being a huge fan of drum solos in the first place, made me wary, but the idea of tackling 51 minutes of improvisation sounded insane. Then you add in the fact that Marco has rhythmic complexities that leave most of the human race scratching their heads and, well, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”

But, Minnemann was persistent. He gave the 8-channel multi-tracks of his live drum performance to Gunn, which were put into Logic Audio and stared at for many moons. Gunn recalls, “I would open the files and just look at this huge, daunting piece of audio; 51-minutes of nearly non-stop drumming. Wondering, what do I do now?”

In the end, Gunn meticulously dissected Minnemann’s monstrosity of rhythmic insanity and cleverly converted this once massive, endless improvisation into a cohesive journey of sonic soundscapes that stretches the imagination across a dynamic spectrum of edgy to ethereal compositions. Gunn’s convincing arrangements deter the listener from the fact that it was a “drums first” structure by grabbing bits of Minnemann’s multi-layered, rhythmic ideas and composing ingenious melodies and textures that would lead one to believe Minnemann was in-fact following Gunn’s lead.



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I was sceptical when I read about the whole concept because to me, it seemed contrived. Something that would be an intellectual and artistic challenge for the musician but would lack 'soul' for the listener. - Well, I was wrong. This may be Trey Gunn's best album work yet. My one gripe is that you can't rip a CD like this to mp3 (nor should you buy the mp3 version): Because it's a single fluid piece of music, the 'segments' made by the mp3s will cause interruptions in the song and frankly ruin the experience. So take my advice and buy the album, but buy the CD.

John Stewart

Exceptional Music
Modulator is an exciting recording that once again shows Gunn’s compositional skills, this time while leashed to an epic Minnemann drum solo. It is interesting, that although there are no verbal cues, one gets the feeling of a story being told through the many moods and musical voices that zigzag through the 51 minute composition. Most importantly Modulator is thoroughly enjoyable.

Will Cruttenden

A masterful album
There is something rather magical about this album. You can hear Trey Gunn being pulled in all sorts of different directions by the demands of playing to a 51 minute drum solo. You can hear a relentless, explorer of music pulling out all the stops to make this; masterful record. It's been a while since I've bought an album which demanded immediate replay but this is one of those. If you know Trey's work (King Crimson, Quodia, etc.) then buy this album now. If you're new, buy it anyway and see where it leads you.