NOTES: Bass player Evan Brewer coaxes melody from Sketch 7-string guitar. Note how his style contrasts with Tosin Abasi's playing in the video below, although they are playing the same instrument. NAMM 2012.
I think Evan's music is astonishingly beautiful.
Watching him open for Animals As Leaders (Long Island, NY) I was captivated by his ability to tap rhythm and melody simultaneously. His music is like abstract complex math given voice.
I stood at the mixing desk during Evan's performance, hiding my broken toe (trail running accident) from the crowd. Tosin joined me at the board, his hand on my shoulder, and said: "You and Evan should work together. He is as great a human being as he is musician, which is saying a lot."
Performance over, Monster turned to me and said: "When was the last time you heard a twenty minute bass solo...where the audience did not leave for the bathroom...and listened so intently you could hear a pin drop?"
Never. Maybe Stu Hamm playing Linus and Lucy during Joe Satriani's Surfing With the Alien tour.
Evan visited me at NAMM 2012 were we had a chance to continue our conversation. I'm going to build him something interesting. Not sure what, yet, but a few ideas are forming in my mind.
The first step was to have him play a few of my machines to get a sense of what would fit him. Sketch guitar is a good starting point for his posture and how he aligns with an instrument.
I grabbed the iPad and shot this rough video to take notes. You can see how Evan's right arm and shoulder begin to relax as he plays, despite an unfamiliar instrument and a cluster of people around us. Note posture difference between 0:04 and 0:34 as his elbow drops. Tension is releasing as his forearm flows smoothly over the body shape.
The IPNP-DOWN neck profile fits his hand comfortably as seen from above starting about 0:50.
What is really cool about this is Evan is not a guitar player. This is also the first time he had ever held or played this guitar.
Yet, in just over one minute of performance, he takes us on a musical journey that begins with interwoven melody and ends with him effortlessly creating something that sounds like tabla drumming. Every note is clear, organic, and percussive.
NOTES: Tosin Abasi (Animals As Leaders) blisters the fretboard on Sketch 7-string experimental prototype. Playing backstage through a 15 watt Crate practice amp. Same guitar as above, before modifications.