Loren Connors is a relatively unknown living legend of guitarists. Lots of critics love to elevate his name beside the likes of other masters such as John Fahey and Derek Bailey. With over 50 releases to his name on two dozen or so labels for over 25 years as a soloist or collaborator, you'd think even dad would have stumbled onto him by now. He has performed with Keiji Haino, Alan Licht, Jim O'Rourke, Chan Marshall, Darin Gray, Rafael Toral, John Fahey, Thurston Moore, Henry Kaiser, Dean Roberts, Jandek and the list goes on.
My favorite works of his are his slow-motion meditations. Sparse, empty spaces that wring emotion out of wood and steel. In a live setting, his fragile frame hunches over and gently reverberates out into the room just as delicately as the sound, leaving just enough pause to hear the chair underneath creak as weight shifts. Intaglio ambience.
Family Vineyard has been doing a great favor to us in recent years by releasing a half dozen recordings to the masses. Next year will see the completion of an amazing long term project for FV, Night Through: Singles & Collected Works, 1976-2004 triple CD boxed set. Painstakingly remastered by Jim O'Rourke from the original masters, this combines nearly all of Loren's scarce releases in one place and runs for 3.5 hrs and has an extended essay by William Ferris and even a song from Loren's mother. I can hardly wait.
In the meantime, to whet our appetites and minimize the holiday explosion of thanksgiving weekend, a couple of lo-fi tapes have been uncovered to help bring the merriment to a crashing halt. Silent Night has always been one of the prettier songs of the season and nothing warms a heart quite like a child singing along to dad's playing. Recorded at home in 1995, his son was around 8 at the time.
Music is silent when it's still inside you. When you let it out, it takes on a sound, just one hand held toward another. - Loren Connors
Loren Connors - Silent Night
Loren & Jamie Connors - Silent Night
Loren Connors -The Departing of a Dream, Part 4
Loren Connors - Her Death
Loren Connors & Suzanne Langille - Why We Came Together