Guillaume Gargaud is a French guitarist who specializes in improvised music and composition for contemporary dance and film. He collaborated with veteran pianist Burton Green on 2019’s Chant Records release “Magic Intensity,” and has worked with other artists including Marc Edwards, Stephen Grew, Guy Bettini, Jack Wright, Mike Majkowski and Korvat Auki Ensemble. Recorded at his home studio in Le Havre, France, “Strange Memories” is Gargaud’s eighth solo album. It features the guitarist in a beautifully intimate acoustic guitar setting, playing a collection of completely improvised pieces.
Review of Georges Tonla Briquet For Jazz'Halo
(...)To describe Gargaud as some sort of “incredible one man string band” is no exaggeration. Albeit that he ignores explicit references to well-defined styles and any narcissistic riff. In short, a "guitar pendulum" in the best improvisation tradition(...)
Reviews by Daniel Barbiero for Avant Music News
(...)Gargaud’s fluency on acoustic guitar is well-documented; for example, just a year ago he played that instrument on Magic Intensity, a fine duet recording with pianist Burton Greene, who is himself a veteran of the avant-garde jazz world of the 1960s. The improvisations on Magic Intensity are free-floating but cohesive, a pattern that Gargaud continues to follow on Strange Memories. On this new recording Gargaud’s improvisations follow a free-associative logic that takes them through harmonic and melodic developments constrained only by the chromatic imagination. The music is by turns abstract and melodic; Gargaud’s playing is sharply-etched with the occasional garnish of some extended technique(...)
Review of Ettore Garzia For Percorsi Musicali
(this is google translation)
For Guillame Gargaud's Strange Memories, considerations are made on the role of the acoustic guitarist dedicated to improvisation. It is only one album, of course, and it is not even the first: in 2008 Gargaud recorded Le Lieu, an excellent work played with the prepared guitar, controlled with a personal computer, an excavation that was almost in tune with the trends of Loscil and post-rock musicians; Gargaud was subsequently repeated with Here, with She and with Lost chords, all CDs where the function of the guitarist was not seen as that of a virtuoso, but rather as that of a chiseller of sounds, a filler of spaces. The free improvisation for Gargaud came after 2013 with a couple of albums at the court of Ernesto Rodrigues, with two songs collected in Solo and a Miniatures album with a reflective and relaxed character; for Strange Memories we can certainly speak of the work of maturity (if we remain attached to free improvisation) since the intuitions of Solo and Miniatures are developed here in all their strength. Thus, we discover a guitarist who plays the acoustics wonderfully, working on a condensation of moods that is a consequence of the techniques used: atonality, complex melodic lines and in the tradition of a contemporary guitarist, profuse accelerations on blocked strings, search for counterpoints, glissando places such as plot, search for sounds on the deck, etc. Strange Memories is part of that category of works that marvelously exploit the technical and emotional characteristics of the instrument, what can be perceived in the vibrations of the strings and in the subtle alterity of the phrasing; then, as for Gargaud, I think it is absolutely time to give him more consideration (here you can find his bandcamp page with the solo works that are absolutely worth listening to).
You might also enjoy these albums from Chant Records:
Burton Greene and Guillaume Gargaud - Magic Intensity
XOL plays X.EN
Robert Dick & Adam Caine - The Damn Think
released September 23, 2020
All music written, performed and recorded by Guillaume Gargaud
Recording at Le Havre, France 26th and 27th July 2019
Cover design by Stefano Giust