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Tim Sparks

Surprising Program Of Jewish Music

Minnesota's Tim Sparks, the 1993 National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion, has recently released At The Rebbe's Table, a wonderful fingerstyle CD, and Sparks' fifth recording. The album offers a surprising program of Jewish music from around the world, all produced and arranged by Sparks. Cyro Baptista lends some excellent percussion to the ethnic music, which features duo and complex band arrangements. Sparks playing is stirring and technically superb, as he embellishes the beautiful melodies with harmonies and a sense of excitement. One highlight on the CD is the title track; another is the rhythmically charged "Tartar Dance". The opening number "Returning From The River" sets the tone for the entire album; right off the bat you hear exotic melodies and near-telepathic harmonic/rhythmic interplay. At The Rebbe's Table is another top notch addition to Sparks discography - if you're a fingerstyle lover, seek it out.

alb Tim Sparks' long journey to the 1993 National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, and beyond, began modestly in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, when he started picking out tunes by ear on an old Stella flat top. He later attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Segovia protegee Jesus Silva. Tim eventually relocated to Minnesota, where he soon established himself as a journeyman guitarist and session player. While recording three albums with the seminal vocal jazz ensemble Rio Nido, Tim also became proficient in jazz styles from Brazilian to Be Bop. A sojourn abroad inspired an interest in European and Mediterranean styles, particularly the music of the Balkans, culminating in the recording of Sparks' "Balkan Dreams Suite", a remarkable collection of odd-meter guitar arrangements.

In recent years, Sparks has been immersed in the ethnic music scene, performing on Oud in middle eastern ensembles, and accompanying on guitar in Greek and Klezmer orchestras. Last fall was spent studying Fado and Portuguese Guitar in Lisbon.

Contact Information
Tim Sparks
Box 476
Frazee, MN 56544
United States

E-mail: Tim Sparks
Web site: www.timsparks.com

Ted Killian

Experimental Explorations On Electric Guitar

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).

pic Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Ted has played guitar for over 38 years and has never managed to learn how to do it correctly. But, as it turns out, this may have turned out to be a pretty good thing. Without necessarily having set out to do so, Ted has found his own unique "voice" on an instrument that is nearly ubiquitous in modern popular music. 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 New Music Concert Series (Southern California) - 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. Ted 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 internationally.

In recent years, Killian has composed music for ballet, "fixed" gallery installations, multi-disciplinary art performances, large ensembles and small groups. And, after all of this, he has still somehow managed to avoid having ever been in anything resembling a "band."

Contact Information
P.O. Box 1653
Ventura, CA 93002
United States

E-mail: Ted Killian
Web site: www.pfmentum.com

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