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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut - The Music of Everything - BFP (Creative Musicfor Creative Listeners, 2014) ****

By Paul Acquaro

The Music of Everything - BFP by New York based guitarist Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut is a digital only EP-length release, that while only 20 minutes long, covers a lot of sonic ground. Recorded during two dates during the summer of 2013 at Brooklyn Fire Proof, Shurdut, along with Landon Knoblock , Kevin Shea, John Letman, Sean Sonderegger, Harvey Valdes, Sana Nagano, Matt Luczak create an unpredictable and unusual soundscape that feels both lightly structured and open ended. 

And what of the music of everything? Shurdut has a technique of tuning to the environment of where he is playing, and as I understand it, pulls the ambience, atmosphere, and hum of humanity together into a sound that is gripping in its intensity. On this recording, track one begins with swooping effects on guitar and bleating of horns. As the large ensemble explores the contours of sound and space, the listener is led around a dizzying labyrinth until ending up in the same spot. Track two takes a quieter approach but with a bit more forward motion. Still featuring a layer of noise, the clamor of the track is juxtaposed with strains of straight-ahead sax beneath the bubbling surface. 

In the end, it seems that the contrasts are paramount - the difference between the first track's inertia and the second tracks motion, the tensions between the layers of sounds. Indeed, the recording is the music of many things.

There is also a companion piece with the suffix DMG that was recorded recorded during the winter of 2014 at New York City’s Downtown Music Gallery with a slightly different set of musicians. Available at eMusic, iTunes, Amazon, etc.