Gongfarmer 18 will twist your brain into knots. It'll deep fry your nervous system, coldclock your preconceptions, and splinter your most hidden fears. Well, maybe not, but the improvisational efforts put forth by acoustic guitarist Jim McAuley on his instrumental CD will have you rethinking your notions about song structure and genre categorization. McAuley used an array of classical, steel-string and 12-string guitars on his improvs, pushing them to the limits in terms of creative sonic output and breadth of aural interest. Will you like it? That is an impossible question to answer - the most open-minded among us will be challenged by McAuley's work, be impressed with his obvious skill, and be taken in by his determination to follow a very personal creative muse.
Jim has had a long and diverse career so far - from studio work in the '70s (including working with Frank Sinatra), to his most recent release with Rod Poole and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline ("Acoustic Guitar Trio" Incus CD46). He has earned an MFA in composition from CalArts, studied improvisation with jazz composer/clarinetist John Carter and recorded classical guitar for Marcel Marceau, always finding time to pursue his own improv muse, albeit in the context of a very underground L.A. scene. His most recent brush with Hollywood was coaching the cast of "A Mighty Wind" (Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, etc.) on the fine points of folk guitar playing.
McAuley's current activities include promoting his new CD, garnering college radio airplay, and organizing a tour in support of Gongfarmer 18. He has also begun work on a duo album, which will feature duets with violinist Leroy Jenkins.
Web site: www.ninewinds.com