Guitars, banjo and didgeridoo, too
Multi-instrumentalist Trevor Green discovered the didgeridoo in Idaho, of all places.
"I used to do a lot of backpacking and mountaineering with a friend of mine in Idaho and he would carry a PVC pipe with him," Green said during a telephone call from Los Angeles, Calif. "When we weren’t backpacking, I’d strum along to whatever sound he was doing with the pipe. I realized that I could tune my guitar to match the pipe and started playing that way. Then I went and got a real didgeridoo."
The indigenous Australian instrument fit with the type of music Green wanted to play.
"I originally played in bands as a lead-guitar player," he said. "I wanted to do something where I didn’t have to rely on a band, so I started a solo career playing music that I thought would fill up a club."
Green’s music is textured with a wooden percussion stomp box, 12- and 6-string guitars, a lap slide guitar, banjo and mandolin and didgeridoo.
"I did a lot of experimentation because my mouth wasn’t singing, so I tried to figure out how I could use it and tinkered around to see how the didge would work."
Once Green discovered the didgeridoo, learning to play became an obsession.
"I mastered the circular breathing after a couple of months of playing, because I was so hooked on that instrument, more so than any other instrument," he said. "When I first picked it up to play it, I loved it even more than I loved the guitar. It had something really special about it. Every morning I’d wake up and meditate to it. I fall into a different zone each time I play it."
Green developed his love for music through tinkering.
"When my father would play Tom Petty, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix back in the day, I would mess around with a guitar," he said. "Then he took me to my first Grateful Dead show. I can’t remember what year it was, but after that, I was sold to the idea that music was something really special, and I used to hang out by the beach and strum guitar with a bunch of friends. It became a lifestyle for me."
The desire to share that feeling has resulted in three CDs "Wake," "Reflections" and his most recent, "Sacred Seeds," which will be released in a few weeks.
"With ‘Seeds,’ I tried to capture more of the live sound," Green said. "I wanted to get as much air moving in the studio as possible. I wanted it to feel more analog than digital."
To do so, he not only plugged into the soundboard, but set up microphones around himself and his guitars.
"I had been playing these Cole Clark guitars which are made in Australia and this was the first time I was able to record an album with them," Green said. "In addition to their internal pick ups, I set up a microphone that directly recorded the guitar. So we had four different guitar lines being recorded at all times, which gave us an option as far as texturing the sound the way we wanted them."
Even with the setup, Green had to adjust his methods during the sessions.
"I thought we were going to lay some tracks and listen to the playbacks and tweak the songs and rerecord them, because my goal was to capture that live sound," he said. "But we got lucky. We went in, set up, tracked some stuff and loved the sound right off the bat. So we didn’t waste a lot of time, which was great because we had found the sound and tone we wanted."
That wasn’t the only good thing about the recording process, Green said.
"I even had a good feeling about the songs before I went into the studio," he said. "Prior to the sessions, I had some personal experiences with my daughter that rattled my cage and stirred up some emotional reactions," he said. "So some of the songs are a reflection of what I was feeling at the time, so the recording couldn’t have come at a better time. The album isn’t just me singing about my political views, but about direct experiences with my loved ones. I didn’t force it, and it happened naturally.
"There was a lot of emotional content that isn’t reflected on my previous two CDs," he said. "That, alone, propelled a high-level of confidence."
That confidence is reflected in the songs’ arrangements and sequencing, Green explained.
"This album, probably more so than any in the past, has an eclectic feel," he said. "It starts off with a solo feel and moves into a multi-faceted realm and then comes back to a solo feel before rocking out at the end.
"Weaving that together was kind of tricky," he said. "I had to figure out the flow, because I didn’t want the CD to sound like two drastically different projects forced together."
Trevor Green will bring his didgeridoo-laced multi-instrumental show to the Spur, 350 Main St., on Friday, May 6, at 9 p.m. For more information, call (435) 615-1618
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The Alpine Slide was a hit, so, why not try something a little more… extreme? Enter: Down The Tube.