Sketches for Electric Guitar and Laptop

Review by Marc Weidenbaum at

There are sharply plucked guitar strings and a combination of echoes - glitchy snaps, high-pitched synthesised tones, occasionally with a touch of Morse code to them, and the guitar itself playing a complementary line. This is the elegant “Sketch for Electric Guitar, Laptop & Electromagnetic Interference” by A Companion of Owls, aka Stephen Stamper of Helsinki, Finland. In a brief accompanying note he explains in slightly greater detail than the track’s title: “Sketch for single coil pickup electric guitar, monophonic pitch tracking sine wave oscillator, three randomly reversible audio buffers and electromagnetic interference.” The real beauty in the piece may be the pauses, the waiting, the time during which something is held before something else appears - it adds drama, intensity, and narrative to sounds that are quite simple unto themselves.