Ted Killian Biography
Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Ted Killian has been playing guitar for nearly 4 decades and hasn't yet managed to learn how to do it quite "correctly." But, as it happens, this may have turned out to be a pretty good thing. Without necessarily having set out to do so, Killian has succeeded (according to critical praise for his debut CD, "Flux Aeterna") in finding a fairly unique "voice" on an instrument that is nearly ubiquitous in modern popular music. His sound is a peculiar amalgam of odd, and (oftentimes) familiar, influences: folk, pop, blues, rock, metal, jazz, electronica, electro-acoustic "art music," and just plain noise ("!") that begs one to think the word "fusion" but is much more primal, gut-level and organic than any connotation that word may conjure.
This music is full of contradictions. It is primitive and sophisticated, visceral and sensitive, abstract and accessible, complex and blood simple all at once. It is given birth by heavy doses of technology (MIDI guitar, a plethora of electronic effects, digital echo devices, samplers, and all manner of assorted "gadgets") but the result is amazingly human sounding. There is blood and sweat mixed in with all of the diodes and cables -- and more than a small measure of passion. This intensity is not something that can be seen in the usual form of typical guitarist "histrionics" but can be heard in every note of the music itself.
Killian began playing and experimenting early on, but (in terms of public performance) bloomed late. Beginning in the late 1980s, he began performing his original music in conjunction with the Ventura, California New Music Concert Series -- aided by close friend and colleague, avant-jazz trumpeter, Jeff Kaiser. So began a long series of ever-changing concerts and presentations all around Southern California. Some of these were in connection to SEAMUS, an acronym for the national "new music" organization: the Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the United States (Killian was introduced to the organization by Kaiser in 1990 and became President of the Los Angeles chapter in 1992). Ted's has been interviewed as a featured composer on "Music of the Americas" on KPFK radio in Los Angeles.
Since the debut of "Flux Aeterna" his music has been played on literally dozens of radio stations around the globe and has garnered critical praise in as many publications national and internationally. In recent years, he has composed music for ballet, "fixed" gallery installations, multi-disciplinary art performances, large ensembles and small groups. And, after all of this, Killian has still somehow managed to avoid having ever been in anything resembling a "band."
Radio stations playing Ted Killian's "Flux Aeterna" CD:
WNCW 88.7 FM Spindale,Spindale NC USA
WSIA 88.9 FM Staten Island, NY USA
WSUM 91.7 FM Madison, WI USA
KUCI.88.9 FM Irvine,CA USA
WOMR 92.1 FM Provincetown, MA USA
KDSU 91.9 FM Fargo, ND USA
KCSB 91.9 FM Santa Barbara, CA USA
WXYC 89.3 FM Chapel Hill, NC USA
KLCC 89.7 FM Eugene OR USA
WORT-FM 89.9 Madison WI USA
KZSU 90.1 FM Stanford, CA USA
KDVS 90.3 FM Davis, CA USA
WPKN 89.5 FM Bridgeport, CT USA
KBCS 91.3 FM Bellevue, WA USA
KFJC 89.7 FM Los Altos Hills, CA USA
WHUS 91.7 Storrs, CT USA
CKUT 90.3 FM Montreal, Quebec Canada
CFLX 95.5 FM Sherbrooke, Québec Canada
CJAM 91.5 FM Windsor, Ontario Canada
CIUT 89.5 FM Toronto, Ontario Canada
3D Radio 93.7FM Adelaide, Australia
RTR 92.1 FM Perth, Western Australia
FRK 105.8 FM Kassel, Germany
RCV 99 FM Lille, France
90.1 FM Sens, France
RCV 100.4 FM Barcelona Spain
RF 91.5 FM Barcelona Spain
KAPSAI FM 100.2 Marijampole, Lithuania
Reviews praising Ted Killian's "Flux Aeterna" CD:
Matt Blackett - Guitar Player Magazine
"Feedback shreiks and EBow howls over hypnotic grooves add up to a great soundtrack for a bad dream. pfMentum" - GP, July 2002 issue "Quick Hits" (p.104)
Eric Lewis - www.jazznow.com
An album whose liner notes quote Edward Abbey against metaphysical idealism is probably not going to contain middle of the road smooth Jazz! Here in ten tracks, Ted Killian explores the terrain first charted by the likes of Robert Fripp and Fred Frith. Making generous use of electronic effects, Killian creates soundscapes alternatingly terrifying and beautiful. All in all a recording for lovers of extreme guitar and experimental sounds. Nicely packaged. Ted Killian, electric and acoustic guitars, samples, loops; Jeff Kaiser, mixing and mastering.
Jason Bivens, Cadence Magazine, February 2002
"Ted Killian plays solo guitar on "Flux Aeterna" but the sound is rich and full owing to his generous use of delay devices and effects pedals. This music . . . is atmospheric in the extreme, filled with ethereality and almost psychedelic textures. Killian has clearly listened to players like Christy Doran, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Steve Tibbetts, Robert Fripp and Terje Rypdal - that list should give you a good idea of where he's coming from. He loves searing guitar improvs over various backdrops. With a white hot tone - super trebly and always threatening to spill over into raw feedback - Killian alternates between Hendrixian fantasies and paranoid digital sounds, with occasional high lonesome plucking. He might not be up to anything original but I found it hard to deny Killian's energy and exuberance."
TJ Norris - Underground Studio
Hubble starts off like the shards from the Hendrix (as in Jimi) shuttle. Indeed a trip! This electroacoustic mesh of guitars and samples is an understated meeting of contemporary electronica and heavy metal, without its farce and circumstance. The lovely distortion on Leaving Medford wriggles in Oregonian tongue and then shoots off into a distant galaxy to meet Steve Vai for a moment of reckoning. Now, don't get me wrong, this is by no means late 80s schlock rock, though it does playfully walk its lines by way of the language of strings. This is a much less accessible alternative, especially as heard on Last Sparrow, with its warped loop filtering and Asian theme. This distortion has more in common with KK Null than Tommy Lee and bares this disc's finest moment in repose. Parts Godspeed You Black Emperor, parts Eiko & Koma, Last Sparrow is equivalent to a carwash with mercury having replaced the water and suds. Nocturnal Interstices is a Pacific Northwest coastal drive on a typical inclement evening. Its wash of passing vehicles, waves and stormy weather are trance inducing. Killian uses his MIDI instrument like an ancient lyre charming the fear from night. There is a funky humourist about in the concave Reverse Logic as it winds and shimmys with guitarese. Call it fusion, but above its pap and underestimation of its audience, this guy sounds like he is having fun. Over and above this record will not be for those who caution guitar squealers, but it is in its more abstract and introspective moments that this disc succeeds and revels. And those moments are aplenty on Flux Aeterna.
Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara Independent
"Ted Killian is a nice enough fellow. Family man, mild-mannered, well-versed in the manipulation of ones and zeroes, PDFs and digital delay loops. Those who-knew-him-when as a local, and the graphic design point man at the Seymour Duncan compound in Goleta, knew him as a kindly sort who was missed when he packed up the clan and moved to the friendlier real estate climes of Oregon a few years ago. And then there is his alter artistic ego, also kindly, but also restless and wild. Killian is an electric guitar adventurer who may finally get some of the attention he deserves, having finally released his debut CD, Flux Aeterna, on the pfMENTUM label, run by his old friend and comrade, Santa Barbaran new-jazz maestro, Jeff Kaiser (www.pfmentum.com).
A beautiful, raucous, and ethereal maze of sounds both physical and digital, and mostly conjured with guitars, Killian obviously ignored the advice of anyone who might have suggested "don't try this at home." What has come out of his garage, and his brain, is a mutant DIY jewel. Experimental, yes. Accessible, too, in the way that mad guitar playing in the post-Hendrix era has embedded itself in the collective ear.
Some may have caught Killian's very occasional live appearances, in Santa Barbara and Ventura, in which he appeared entangled in wires and chains of effects. To set up kinetic musical canvas situations, Killian would deploy looping devices, including the mythical antique, the Electro-Harmonix 16-second digital delay unit, and sound-altering devices such as a ring modulator and mondo-distortion pressed into the service of grace.
As heard on the opening track, "Hubble," Killian doesn't spare the piercing solo guitar statements, the epic rock gesture that sounds loud no matter what volume you've dialed up. But often, those sweeping lines are laid atop surprisingly delicate, layered backdrops, as on "Cauterant Baptism," or the languid distorto-toned musing drifting over "Recurvate Plaint." "Leaving Medford" is an Oregonian-specific play on the song "Leaving Memphis," but the vibe here is industrial and a touch foreboding, and a splinkety energy bubbles beneath the textural demolition derby that is "Reverse Logic."
But tenderness and subtlety hover about the proceedings, too. "Nocturnal Interstices" is an ambient collage of soaring tones and happily elusive structure. "Convocation Solitaire" is a sweet dream of a loop-happy tone poem, somewhat reminiscent of Bill Frisell's first album. The title cut closes the album with its underwater-sounding arpeggios and unruly rock phrases, all dressed up in feedback and tattered timbral garb. The nice guy, the artist, the looper, and the rock riffster walk into a bar . . . and a church.
For anyone wondering about the painterly expressive potential of the electric guitar, this is one prime example. One hears influential strains of artful gadget-tweakers David Torn and Robert Fripp here, but Killian is also onto something that is uniquely his own. This is the work of an open-minded, dogma-resistant experimentalist in a rock guitarphile's body."
Jim Santell, allaboutjazz.com
"New creative music can mean many things to different people. It's an opportunity for the artist to find new ways to express himself. Interpreting the results may leave many paths for the listener. It's a personal decision.
Ted Killian's compositions fall into the realm of "space" music. Outer space may contain programmed loops, noise, and electronic pulses. Some of it is random and some of it is not. To this, Killian adds forceful guitar phrases. They're meant to intimidate. They're meant to shock you. And they're meant to provide you with the means to "let yourself go." After all, aren't many film soundtracks filled with the same kind of mystery?
A guitar strikes familiar sounds. All over the world, folks are comfortable with its timbre. From its most piercing cries to its most mellow tones, the guitar's vocabulary can handle every hue. While Killian stays with a science-fiction pattern through much of the session, his imagination does wander far and wide. Elongated tones squeeze and ooze through tunnels of sound. Close your eyes and watch the clouds go by. You won't be dreaming about gentle flowers and grasses that sway in the wind. This music is alive with action. Imagine a gunfighter staring down Clint Eastwood, or a Vulcan preparing to land on 21st Century Earth. Killian's creative music has a charming effect. It won't lull you to sleep. Instead, it will provide you with hours of varied sounds that stimulate different memories each time out."
A. Canales, The Critical Review
"This album brings experimental and artistic music out on the edge where few dare to travel. Killian's music is at times guitar jams that make the instrument cry, wail, shout, and moan-all at once. He explores various electronic-sensed atmospheric textures, nuances, and colors. In moments the music is ultra-alternative, speculative, mystical, and it can be understood, but in other moments the sounds are bizarre, ethereal, other-worldly, and weird. Noises and screeching[?] that must be heard. Such is cut 2 "Leaving Medford" (9:08).
Yes the songs are almost 'aeternal' giving us a long listen at the talented playing and experimenting. On "Cauterant Baptism" (8:29) we get a more nuanced elongated effort. Still his acid, acrid metallic electronic 'screamer' tones and sounds are both treat and irritant. This could be metal meets industrial meets electronica meets avant-garde meets the end of the space-time continuum.
Track 4 opens with less stress and makes it a nice change of pace. "Recurvate Plaint" at 8:40 exudes aspects of LED ZEP, Celtic touches, New Age tones, and rock undergirdings. It was one of my favorite numbers. This is really an interesting long number. "Nocturnal Interstices" has a more classical and mellow sense. It is dreamy yet without the loud edges.
Now speaking of long "Reverse Logic" (10:44) is the lengthiest cut on the project. Strange noises, white noise, feedback, and fiery guitar sounds are just a part of this selection. Add metal, etc. and it is one experimental work.
The prettiest track is number 8 "Convocation Solitaire" (5:30). Very nice tones! Cut #9 "Gravity Suspended" offers some haunting sounds to the theme. Even the names of the tunes are experimental and on the edge. Still these are not just experimental jam sessions. There is a spiritual awareness, a keenness and insight to the music. We end with the title track. There's a total music time of 70:40. That's a lot of music for thought. A very creative and exploratory work that deserves a listen."
Richard di Santo, Incursion, Issue 036
"Ted Killian is first and foremost a guitarist, performing on both electric and acoustic guitars, but as seen on this new album he also has a firm handle on sampler, loops and sound design. Recorded by Evan Hodge and mixed by Jeff Kaiser, this album explores a number of ideas in and around the post-rock landscape. Killian's programme is not that of the experimental improv performer - to explore new sonorities and textures in his instrument - but rather Killian seems content to exploit more recognizable chords and performance techniques, with perhaps some Frippertronics thrown in for good measure. The howling, plucking, scraping and sliding sounds from his guitar are often surrounded by restrained electronic tones, voices and occasional field recordings, which add a nice touch to the arrangements. Consider the calm atmospheres of "Nocturnal Interstices", or the low frequency drone in "Hubble", matching the fretwork by creating interesting and evocative moods. Occasionally, as in "Cauterant Baptism" the music will erupt in an explosion of swinging rock, with a drum loop beating loudly and energetically. Sometimes his guitar will howl as if to the moon, as in "Flux Aeterna", and sometimes his playing will be more contemplative and melodic, as in "Recurvate Plaint" and "Convocation Solitaire". I'll admit that on occasion my tolerance for electric guitar gives in and I find myself becoming a little restless in the wake of this music (listening to "Reverse Logic" is a prime example), but Killian seems to sense my discomfort and adjusts things just at the points where I begin to feel unsettled. Killian's compositions (for these do not seem like improvisations), whether rocking or more abstract, reflect a maturity and restraint that makes this music all the more enjoyable. Nicely done."
Dead Angel, Issue 48
"I've never heard of guitarist Ted Killian before, but apparently i should have. He's a guitarist in the vein of Fripp, Sharrock, and maybe even David Gilmour, creating droning and repetitive soundscapes with tweaked electric and acoustic guitars, often over a bedrock of alien-sounding loops. Some of this, like "Last Sparrow," is the sound of machines hallucinating - in fact, in many ways this a throwback to seventies acid-rock, only with more modern (and out-there) influences. Ambient, singing guitars play hypnotic avant-blues lines while other guitars hover quietly in the background on lock 'n lull. Imagine Sonny Sharrock playing for Pink Floyd while Fripp natters on in the background with slo-mo starlight guitar loops that suffice for a "beat." That's the general gist of the songs here. The opener, "Hubble," begins with throbbing, swirling drone and graduates to brilliant, celestial guitars bursting like fireworks. "Leaving Medford," probably owes as much to Tangerine Dream as it does to any avant-guitar icons - it's a pulsing slab o' tones rippling beneath a winding, scorched-earth guitar playing demented psychedelic machine blues. My favorite is probably "Last Sparrow," which opens with an endless chittering guitar loop, then slowly builds to a massive, droning collection of drawn-out machine tones before exiting on the same endless loop. "Recurvate Paint" sounds like something that could have come about during a collaboration with David Gilmour, circa his first solo album, and Fripp during his ambient Frippertronics phase. Pinging, ringing, endless ambient guitars become the backdrop to slo-mo psychedelic blues - it sounds glacial and beautiful and seems to last forever."
"Reverse Logic" is pretty bizarre in its own right, sounding like M's "Pop Muzak" as remixed by Techno-Animal and ripped apart, then rebuilt by grindcore players under the direction of Sonny Sharrock and Painkiller. By contrast, the guitars in "Convocation Solitaire" are all pretty ones - acoustic, electric, clean, distorted, whatever, they're ringing those celestial tones. "Gravity Suspended" almost sounds like it could have come from a mislaid late-sixties Pink Floyd record - in a lot of ways it's a kissing cousin to "The Narrow Way" - but the title track is far weirder, more alien and monochromatic, like the sound of the Monolith in 2001 vibrating, until a violin-like guitar soars above the increasingly noisy bedrock. This is seriously spaced-out stuff, and really well-executed to boot. This disc is one of the unexpected surprises of the issue."
Music Extreme, musicextreme.com
"Really atmospheric use of electronics and guitar on this recording by master Ted Killian. It is interesting to see how this man creates certain waves of sounds, some of them more rhythmic, some of the more melodic, some of them more noisy and he starts to put one over the other to create this unique pieces. In my mind this is like the sea...when one wave dissapears then another one comes to replace it without leaving any holes. Here is the same...you have one sound in the background...then another one covers it gently and the first one stays in the back or goes away. If this sound dissapears, another one takes it places letting silence appear only to remark the dynamics. Ted Killian is really experimenting here and I love guys like this one who have the mind so open to achieve this results. Ten tracks of exploring new soils in the musical world. Favorite tracks: "Leaving Medford", "Recurvate Plaint" and "Reverse Logic.".
Luke Martin, Splendid E-zine, http://www.splendidezine.com/
"If Terminator 2's evil robot played Morricone-styled guitar to the accompaniment of loops of questionable tonality, it'd sound like Ted Killian. Despite the lofty philosophical statement that graces the sleeve of Flux Aeterna (adorned with mathematical symbols, natch), this is an album that wants only to stand in front of an amp stack and wail, albeit in a slightly mechanical, dystopian way.
The tunes on this disc are all vaguely soundtrackesque. For some reason, I was put in mind of the Cronenberg flick Videodrome while listening; the whole idea of a disintegrating future, of some kind of technological breakdown is communicated in these tunes so successfully that it's difficult to believe that there isn't a piece of film that goes with them. "Leaving Medford" is an edgy, angry piece of work, leaving no doubt in the listener's mind that the future's fucked, and Ted's here with his newscasting guitar to tell you all about it. "Cauterant Baptism", on the other hand, uses the depressive tone to rock out: it begins with some loose space-cowboy noodling, then turns into a late-Bowie toned behemoth, with a stomping bassline and searing guitar that threaten to rip off your ears. Not as truly astringent as other guitar-wielding noiseniks, Killian seems to always keep some sense of the tune inside his world-o'-shred. While this makes you crave more spark in his playing -occasionally, it can sound more like he's practising for the real deal more than experiencing it - it's satisfying to have something to hold on to amid the sonic excursions.
The propensity for albums like Flux Aeterna to devolve into nothing more than shredwank isn't entirely sidestepped here - there are a couple of moments when one imagines that Ted's giving Steve Vai a run for his gurning-while-fretboard-whizzing money - but thankfully, these instances of cringe aren't too long-lived when they occur. The weakness with ambient/experimental guitar tunes is that they can fall into the "Hey! I've played that in my bedroom before!" trap. Whether this is a welcome familiarity in the world of anonymous rock, or merely annoying when you've forked over money for the disc, is a personal call, but let's just say that if it's the latter, you might want to give this disc a miss. That said, it's a strong album - there are some good ideas here - but just don't be surprised if you find yourself digging out your guitar and an EBow after giving it a spin.
Heath Row, Heath Row's Media Diet, http://mediadiet.blogspot.com/
"Music to My Ears. It's been awhile since I've gotten an unannounced CD in the mail (keep 'em coming!), so here's a review in honor of random promotional mailings. Ted Killian's "Flux Aeterna" solo outing CD is an exercise in emotive and ambient guitar, sample, and loop work recorded in Medford, Oregon. The opening track, "Hubble," is a brief anthem that pays tribute "The Star-Spangled Banner." But make no mistake, Ted's no Yngwie Malmsteen or Joe Satriani. Eschewing finger-fast technique for layered guitar exploration, the subsequent tracks, at their more energetic and interesting moments, remind me of a guitar-driven instrumental cross between Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and Zirbel - while they avoid any semblance of beat-driven techno or dance. This is experimental guitar for the Starscape set. Think Mike Hersch. While not overtly technically adept or classically composed, "Flux Aeterna" makes for some interesting background noise, if not repeated, studious listens, and its wide(ish) range of stylings - from "Cauterant Baptism"'s eventual burst of Locust Abortion Technician-era Butthole Surfers-style noise and "Recurvate Plaint"'s more ballad-oriented approach to "Convocation Solitaire"'s near-Bill Frisell nuances - make me wonder where Ted comes from musically... as well as where he's going.
Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations, No.18, January 2002
Imagine Robert Fripp, David Torn, Steve Tibbetts, and Jimi Hendrix at their wildest, and add heavy doses of electronics and space Kosmiche, and you've something like Flux Aeterna by Oregon based guitarist Ted Killian. Killian plays electric and acoustic guitars, samples, loads of creative loop work, and sound design to create a ripping set of guitar excursions and pyrotechnics that meld numerous recognizable influences into something decidedly Killianesque. I gather by "sound design" that Killian is using loads of guitar efx, perhaps even some electronic gear. The ambient element is prominent throughout the CD's 10 tracks, but over the ambience is a man seemingly possessed, wrenching piercing, noisy, throbbing... you name it... notes from his guitar.
"Hubble" opens the set as a kind of Hendrix Star Spangled Banner type tune backed by low drones and subtle percussive sounds. "Leaving Medford" is a combination rock concert shred solo, psychedelic freakout, and ambient David Torn styled excursion. Killian keeps the piece busily exciting as he kicks out wailing and rumbling runs and anguished notes, yet the sonic attack has an element of restraint from the ambient backdrop and slowly pulsating electronic sounds. A well crafted piece that blends killer playing with Killian's frenetic sound designs. "Cauterant Baptism" features ripping spaced out rock solos backed by repetitive Dubby/hip-hoppy rhythms and intense looped bits. "Last Sparrow" includes strong Frippoid guitarscape influences but backed by mechanical minimalist patterns. "Recurvate Plaint" is an acoustic and electric guitar duo piece that starts off easy-paced but the electric guitar solos soon start to shred a bit with sharp attacks that contrast in a strange but cooperative way with the laid back acoustic guitar. "Convocation Solitaire" is similar but far more ambient, conjuring up images of John Fahey teamed up with David Torn. "Gravity Suspended" is like a noisier version of something from Torn's Cloud About Mercury. And "Nocturnal Interstices" is an ambient tune featuring looped Fripp styled guitarscapes placed against a seaside setting of rushing ocean waves.
And there's plenty more. In some ways I'm reminded of a modern version of Steve Tibbetts first two albums. Or Fripp gone totally acid cosmic. King Crimson for space rock fans? In any event, this is one exciting as hell album that fans of creatively aggressive guitar work will love. Killian goes nuts on the loops and efx, but all throughout the album it's crystal clear that the man can PLAY. Highly recommended.
Rent Romus, Bay Area Improvisors Network
Guitarists are a dime a dozen in the pop world, but when you go further out into exploration like Ted Killian, commonality is replaced with unique sound. Thus said, I was happy to receive this new CD from Ventura rebel label pfMentum. It's great to hear another voice in the world of experimental electric guitar done so well. Killian utilizes both his superb skills as a musician on electronics as well as guitar.
He interfaces the two seamlessly to create a powerful and unique voice to the known fair we've come to expect from other players such as Nels Cline. This CD has made it quite clear that rock is not dead it just got cloned and reconstructed before it's original was gutted by the music industry. Killian creates a full musical adventure with ten cuts of thematic tunes ranging from rhythmic scream sessions to all out grooves digging deep into the history of the guitar.
He even makes an interesting musical reference to a famous Jimi Hendrix performance one summer in the late sixties, and I would swear I hear some Sun Ra in there as well (though I may be tripping).
What I love about the improvised scene growing throughout the world is the abolishment of specific styles that continue to eat away at the artistic status quo. I'd say if you have an open ear to electric guitar exploration with appreciation for the hard core, you'd want to get this one. Flux Aeterna is another nail in the coffin of pop sensibilities, and I thank Mr. Killian for that.
Matt Borghi, All Music Guide
Ted Killian's Flux Aeterna begins with a eerily apocalyptic electric guitar solo that in places seems to quote parts of Jimi Hendrix' by now world-famous rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" from 1969's Woodstock Music Festival. With the first track as a point of departure, Killian moves through a series of compositions where the guitar plays the main role, while surrounded by a variety of synthesized harmonic tapestries. For the most part, though, the guitar is the primary melodic instrument on Flux Aeterna, and really shows Killian experimenting with it in a lot of new ways. In places, this recording sounds like the work of Robert Fripp and King Crimson, and in other places there's strangely experimental work going on that's reminiscent of Brian Eno, and even some of John Cage's work. However, one thing is certain: Ted Killian has created a fantastic disc that truly creates a new harmonic vocabulary both for the guitar and for the guitar as background and foreground instrument. Guitar players in particular should pay special attention to this recording, but if you're looking for a recording that seems to be slightly -- very slightly -- tinged with an 1980s synthesizer sound (as well as a very unique guitar sound), then this is certainly a fantastic recording.
John Chacona (One Final Note), http://www.onefinalnote.com/issue10/reviews
All music is to a greater or lesser extent about movement through time (or the lack of it). Really canny musicians can also create the illusion of moving through space. Ted Killian is one of those musicians. Using nothing more than layered guitars (and occasional samples and loops), Killian creates sound worlds then moves through them, sometimes drifting as on the opening "Hubble," a sort-of calling card for the entire project. There are echoes of another master of guitaristic space, Bill Frisell, in "Recurvate Plaint," which adds intensity over the high lonely landscape of a rolling, endless rhythmic figure. "Reverse Logic" takes us to the brink of ambient clubland, but throws some noise into the mix just to keep it real.
"Gravity Suspended" wouldn't sound out of place on "Hearts of Space" (for that matter, the entire CD would make a very nice "HoS" program, if you could stretch the time to the CD's generous 70-minute length), and the title cut, with it's punning reference to Ligeti's choral work, made famous on the 2001 soundtrack, has a Dark Side of the Moon kind of vibe (the opening notes are an almost direct quote of Floyd's riff).And I think I hear David Torn in the starfields of "Nocturnal Interstices," so Killian has learned his lessons well. He's a lapidary craftsman building charming structures that pretty much compel you to wander through (though the layering never sounds fussy or contrived). He's a pretty damn good graphic artist as his captivating and perfectly executed packaging design demonstrates. Highly recommended, especially for guitar freaks.
Guitar 9. http://www.guitar9.com/undiscov37c.html
If you're looking for guitar music where you'll be searching for a stylistic reference point, but will come up empty handed, check out Ted Killian's CD Flux Aeterna. Imagine an Uli Jon Roth or Jimi Hendrix within a sonic landscape not cohabited by bass and drums, but simply with guitars and amps set to feedback mercilessly (oh yeah, and add a heaping helping of samples, loops and other sonic mayhem). Creativity with a capital 'C' is what we've got here, but it won't peak everyone's interest of course. That may not be the artist's desire though. Killian is walking his own path with these ten instrumentals; within the structure of what he's established however, he does do his job with conviction, tenacity and confidence, which are important elements to have in order to enjoy work that's constantly breaking down your preconceptions and shattering barriers. The highly overdriven tones on songs such as "Cauterant Baptism" and "Hubble" may frighten children and small rodents, but others will find it just what Dr. Ted Nugent ordered (if this reference escapes you, look for late '70s footage of Nugent bowing before a wildly out-of-control amp).