Neil Haverstick

Stick Man: Electric Music for 19 and 34 Tone Guitars (Microstick)
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As suggested by the title, Haverstick plays instruments that have been customized with 19- and 34-note to the octave fretboards on this disc. The former obviously adds seven notes per octave, which still maintains some semblance of tempered-scale harmony, while the latter is an almost entirely alien arrangement based on microtonal master Wendy Carlos’ suggestions for approximating “Classical Just” tuning on the guitar. Haverstick actually plays 19- and 34-note electric and acoustic guitars, as well as 19- and 34-note basses, and slide. He is joined by drummer/percussionist Ernie Crews.

Despite the intervallic irregularities, the original compositions presented here are surprisingly seductive and accessible, encompassing a broad range of styles from a heavy 6/8 Hendrix homage, “Jimi,” to the Middle-Eastern inflected “Snake Dancing,” to the atmospheric “Far Away.” Haverstick and Crews collaborate on the largely improvised “34 Fjord,” which blends nervous jazz drumming with microtonal shredding and ambient noise-scapes. If you’re curious about microtonal guitar, this album is a real eye- and ear-opener.