Monday, February 14, 2011

Guitars: Art Museum Shows & Guitars Making News

Now Showing:
Picasso Guitars 1912-1914
At the Met
Guitar Heroes
Sometimes things just come at us in waves for reasons we never quite understand. 2011 might be the Chinese "Year of the Rabbit", but it looks more like the year of the guitar everywhere I look. 

At the Museum of Modern Art is a blockbuster show of cubistic Picasso Guitar assemblages and constructions. At the end of the year in 1912 Pablo Picasso made some radical guitar artworks which were a move away from painting and sculpture in radical new ways. Some were sculptures which hung on the wall made of paper or sheet metal and some were collage paintings made with added newspaper, wallpaper or other objects pasted on the canvas and painted over in oil. Let me see, that was about 98 years ago, before World War I, before women had the vote in the US, when there were far more horses than cars in Paris - and these art pieces still seem to be pushing the artistic envelope in this show. MoMA brings together 70 collages, constructions, drawings, mixed-media paintings and photographs from public and private collections all over the world to show us this creative time in Picasso's career. 
After the artist made the cardboard guitar he photographed it, disassembled it, stored it and ultimately gave it to MoMA. For this show a curator, after reviewing Picasso's photo noticed that the museum had not been using the cardboard tabletop semi-circle which was originally part of the sculpture. The curatorial staff searched for and found the forgotten piece which they reunited with the wall sculpture. Now the complete piece is on view for the first time since the original construction.

Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914

February 13–June 6, 2011

MoMA Third Floor Gallery open Sat., Sun., Mon., Wed., and Thurs. 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Fri. 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Closed Tues.

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a show featuring the beauty of real guitars through out history and especially some hand made by local expert guitar makers. The exhibition is titled GUITAR HEROES celebrating the works of these NYC area Italian Luthiers (makers of stringed instruments). Chet Atkins sets the mood here:

Feb 09, 2011–Jul 04, 2011
Featuring the extraordinary guitars of John D'Angelico, James D'Aquisto, and John Monteleone, this unprecedented exhibition of approximately eighty musical instruments will focus on these modern-day master craftsmen and the four hundred year tradition of stringed instrument making under Italian influences.
Stradivari Guitar

The work of Italian luthiers has been highly desired since the 16th century, when lute makers in cities such as Venice and violin makers in places like Cremona supplied instruments for many of the most important personages in Europe. In subsequent centuries, makers such as the famed Antonio Stradivari continued this tradition. Stradivari, best known for his violins, built a great variety of stringed instruments, including both mandolins and guitars, one of which will be on loan to the exhibition.
By the end of the 18th century, Naples had become the dominant center for stringed-instrument production on the Italian peninsula, with makers there introducing innovations to both the mandolin and guitar. Later, in the decades around the turn of the 20th century, many skilled luthiers moved to the US as part of the mass immigration of the time. These makers set up workshops throughout the NYC region, building traditional-style violins, guitars, and most importantly, mandolins, which experienced a tremendous popularity in America from the 1890s to the 1920s.
James D'Aquisto, Luthier

A change in musical tastes by the late 1920s meant that many Italian-American luthiers were suddenly forced out of business, but the young John D'Angelico was among a small group who were able to transition to building archtop guitars, an instrument that combined elements of violin construction (carved top, f-holes) with the guitar, based on the models being produced at the time by the Gibson Guitar Company. The archtop guitar was especially popular with jazz musicians in the days before the electric guitar. D'Angelico quickly built a reputation for his high-quality, beautifully constructed guitars. The tradition was carried forward by his apprentice James D'Aquisto, and continues today with the work of the famed mandolin and guitar maker John Monteleone.
Instruments by these makers have been used by some of the most influential guitar players of the 20th century through the present day, including Chet Atkins, Les Paul, George Benson, Paul Simon, Steve Miller, Mark Knopfler, Jim Hall, and Grant Green, among others.

The exhibition,Guitar Heroes, will present 50+ works owned by some of the world's great guitar players, placed against the backdrop of the Museum's extensive collection of stringed instruments of Italian construction.


Guitars in the News:
Gibson has taken every innovation in the past 50 years in guitar design and electronics and put them all in one guitar. The limited edition FX. You want to play acoustic, flip a switch - if you want to use the latest pedals, the guitar comes with a wireless blue tooth pedal and all of the pedal adjustments are on the body. Whether you like the sound quality of the old early '60 amps, old solid bodies or the newest guitar effects, it is all built into the Gibson FX. Revolutionary is a powerful word, but that is how Gibson describes the Firebird X, with features that would have seemed like science fiction just a few years ago.

Information is from Gibson Press Release:
Firebird X is capable of very resonant and acoustic-like voicing.TA special resonant chambers not only decrease total weight, but also allow acoustic-like tones and increased overall sustain. The guitar is louder than a typical solid body. We use a heavy bottom gauge of string insuring even, crisp tones for all six strings. With a limited run of just 1,800 units, it is sure to become a collector classic.
Video: Highlights of the Firebird X Press Conference

Game OVER: 

The electronic game, Guitar Hero has disbanded the franchise.  In 2007, Activision sold 1.5 million copies of Guitar Hero III in its first month of sales. Last year, Activision only sold 86,000 copies of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. Slowing sales of their chief competitor Rock Band led Viacom to sell maker Harmonix and close the MTV Games publishing division. Activision said the decline of the genre, plus the high cost of licensing music and producing the games, led it to close the business.

FOOD: Sushirrito! 
It's not a joke. Take burrito fillings, then wrap them in sticky sushi rice and a nori wrapper. The same state that gave us the healthy California Roll, now has introduced the super sized, calorie laden "Sushirrito".

Art Shopping:

Picasso: Guitars 1912 - 1914

Pablo Picasso’s modest yet radical cardboard and sheet metal Guitar sculptures—made in 1912 and 1914, respectively—bracket an incandescent period of structural, spatial, and material experimentation in the artist’s long career. While in what he described as “the process of imagining a guitar,” Picasso embraced techniques of assemblage, collage, construction, and mixed-medium painting, combining traditional art supplies—oil paint, charcoal, pastel, ink—with what were then unconventional materials, including cardboard, sand, newspaper, wallpaper, and sheet music. This book situates Picasso’s Guitars within the constellation of objects that surrounded them in his studio, affording fresh insight into his Cubist work in the years immediately before World War I. An essay by Anne Umland, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum, uses photographs, correspondence, archival records, and eyewitness accounts to explore Picasso’s practice and the remarkable institutional history of the two Guitar sculptures, gifts to MoMA from the artist.

Item# 794

A graphic tee

made expressly for the exhibition
Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Available in s, m, l, or x-l. Cotton. Unisex. 

Machine washable. 

PRICE: $25.00 

For Guitar Heroes books and stuff - 

Until Later,


addendum for Gibson Guitar:
Gibson Firebird X's Revolutionary Features
Ushering in a new era. Firebird X has features that would have seemed like science fiction just a few years ago. If you don't believe us, take a tour of this beast and decide for yourself.
Audio files and Video files on the FX
Revolutionary Audio Quality
Integrating the effects signal path within the guitar allows for perfect impedance and level matching to the pickups, resulting in far lower noise than outboard effects - the dynamic range exceeds 100dB. Even with high-gain distortion and compression, Firebird X is astonishingly quiet.
Revolutionary Pickup Design
Either coil in each of the three mini-humbuckers can be off, on or reverse polarity, and can be switched into single coil modes with — for the first time — true noise-canceling technology.
Revolutionary GoldTone™ Switching Technology
Thanks to carefully-selected pickup coil switching choices, Firebird X emulates iconic guitar tones with analog technology — not digital modeling. Over 2,000 pickup combinations are possible, each with its own unique sound.
Revolutionary Pure Analog™ Updateable Audio Engine
Based on the Freescale multi-processor (the latest generation of the chip family used in Pro Tools TDM systems), the audio engine has the power and resolution needed to create sounds with a true analog feel. The engine hardware is not only updateable, but user-replaceable to accommodate advances in hardware technology.
Revolutionary Patch Morphing
Two “tog-pots” — which look like standard pickup selectors, but have a control built into the rotatable toggle shaft — let you morph smoothly from unprocessed to processed sounds, and anywhere in between.
The bridge piezo pickup includes hex outputs (each string can provide a separate output for computer or live performance setups), which allows for totally new guitar sounds — from “clean” distortion and synth-like timbres to groundbreaking surround possibilities. Firebird X’s new hex pickup design means higher output and greater string separation than ever.
Revolutionary Open Architecture
3rd-party developers can develop new and exciting applications (sold through Gibson’s app store) for the Pure Analog™ audio engine. And users can create and share their own patches, as well as download additional patches from Gibson’s Firebird X microsite.
Revolutionary Battery Life
Thanks to advances in low-power circuitry, greater Robo-Tuner efficiency, and powersaving techniques derived from laptop computers, the internal battery lasts for well over two hours of heavy, continuous use — and should the power run out, the battery can be swapped out in under 10 seconds with commonly available, inexpensive camcorder batteries.
Revolutionary Blue Lightning™-Compatible Footpedals and Footswitch Unit
Tired of clutter and cables on stage? So are we. Firebird X communicates with the two (included) pedals and footswitch unit using Bluetooth technology optimized for musical applications.
Revolutionary Effects Software
Although the heart of the distortion options within Firebird X use McDSP’s critically-acclaimed Chrome Tone plug-in, Gibson’s engineers have included multiple modulation, delay, and reverberation effects — including new effects like “dynamic” delay, and old favorites like spring reverb, analog chorus/delay, and a 10-second looper.
Revolutionary Pedal Interconnections
Forget cables: the pedals and footswitch snap together for a secure mechanical and electrical connection, as well as the ability to create large pedalboard setups. And daisy-chaining the control signal saves power and optimizes wireless performance.
Revolutionary Computer Interface with Solid-State Recording
The included cross-platform RIP interface not only provides pro audio-level interfacing for cutting-edge software, but integrates a solid-state, SD card-based recorder — so you will never lose a riff again.
Revolutionary Low-Impedance Active Output
While the idea of using a low-impedance output to preserve tone, drive long cables, and even feed a PA or mixer directly isn’t new (thank you, Les Paul), Firebird X’s implementation is new — this is the most transparent-sounding audio you’ve ever heard from a guitar output.
Revolutionary Direct Digital Output
A true S/PDIF direct digital output from Firebird X is available for direct digital interfacing to S/PDIFcompatible gear, from signal processors to mixers.
Revolutionary Digital Varitone™ Tone Control
Turn the tone control fully counterclockwise and you’ll hear the traditional high-end rolloff; turn it clockwise for the full guitar tone. But in between those two settings are six additional tone options that add subtle, musical variations.
Revolutionary Case Technology
To protect this finely-crafted instrument, Gibson has developed a unique case that can survive a fall from a six-story building. If you ever have to check Firebird X as baggage with the airlines, rest easy.
Revolutionary Real-Time Control
Do you like bending over and reaching down to a pedalboard to change a setting? We don’t either. So, Firebird X includes six color-coded sliders that let you morph settings, and even switch into different effects entirely, with a flick of the finger.
Revolutionary Live Performance Modes
When you just want to call up one of the 55 onboard patches and wail, choose “preset” mode — this locks out all onboard controls so you can’t change the sound accidentally. To switch into live mode and alter your sounds in real-time, just push on the tone pot twice.
Revolutionary Robo-Tuners
The first generation of Robot Tuning technology created its own revolution, making alternate tunings practical at last, as well as tuning multiple strings simultaneously. The fourth-generation Robo-Tuners — smaller, lighter, more durable and faster — revolutionize Robot Tuning again.

© ARTS&FOOD,( All rights reserved, © Copyright Jack A. Atkinson 2011 Under All International, Digital, Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws. Images © Copyright individual Creators, Lenders or Fabricators.

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