Badger, Jonathan - Verse
"This melancholic, mosaic record . . . shuffles nimbly between extremes of darkness and light the way an Olympic figure skater transitions from twirls and spins to Lutzes and Axles, a suite of fluid, involving instrumentals that draws from disparate genres to arrive at a sort of post-ambient survey course." – Baltimore City Paper
Jonathan Badger is a composer and performer based in Baltimore, Maryland. Formally trained as a classical guitarist, he went on to study music theory and composition at Duke University and arranged and composed music for theatre and dance. He then studied in Guitar Craft, a guitar school founded and guided by Robert Fripp of King Crimson.
He has toured extensively, performing his riveting style of “guitaristic” electronic music, processing guitar through an assortment of customized software and hardware - folding and weaving signals together into complex patterns of interlaced rhythm, harmony and texture. The resulting aesthetic is an ambient, avant-rock hybrid with DIY sensibilities.
Here is his account of his performance process: “My guitars generate two signals: one analog and one digital. Both signals are fed into a computer, and the digital signal controls a homegrown sample base I made of hundreds of recordings of acoustic instruments such as viola, cello, flute, the human voice, piano, and so on. So in addition to conventional guitar tones there is a wide palette of organic sonics. This audio is judiciously processed in the computer in a fashion that causes the music to swerve between acoustic chamber flavors to full-on noise explosions. The processing takes place in a MAX/MSP environment of my own design. Additionally, I use Jitter -- which also runs in the MAX context -- to control multiple video streams. Jitter is a programming language that enables the user to manipulate video either manually via outboard hardware controllers, or, more interestingly, via audio. I've written a series of programs that attenuate, distort, and blend several video streams at once according to what is happening in the music. The audio itself (its amplitude, rhythm, and frequency components) tugs and warps the visuals, which are projected in real time.”
A newcomer to Cuneiform but no stranger to the creative music world, Verse is his third studio album. Jonathan Badger has shared the stage with Dustin Wong (Thrill Jockey), The DeathSet (Dim Mac), Jamie Branch’s Bomb Shelter, Delicate Steve (Luaka Bop), Janel and Anthony (Cuneiform) and Wendel Patrick.