Label: River Flow Productions - CDRFP 11101 • Format: CD Album, Stereo • Country: UK • Genre: Rock • Style: Experimental
A guitarist fusing and mixing both traditional and avant-garde styles, he is also known for having invented the musical genre known as 'Industrial Sound Sculptures'.
Hall's music draws on classicalrockjazzflamencofolk and blues styles as well as free music, electronic noise and "found" instrumentation. Some of Hall's techniques resemble those of avant-garde guitarists Fred Frith and Keith Rowe who also play guitar with found implements, experiment with sound-sourcing and textural manipulation, and in the case of Rowe incorporate radio broadcasts into their work.
However, Hall's approach is less orientated towards free jazz and the formal avant-garde and tends to be more melodic, serving a tune or the background setting of a melody.
Unlike Rowe, who generally plays or manipulates his guitar with the instrument lying flat on a table, Hall performs using the standard playing position, although like Frith he has been known to lay his guitar down flat in particular when using the wind-up toy cars.
Hall refers to one of his main playing approaches The Look Of Love - Diana Krall - Live In Paris "Industrial Sound-Sculpture". The sound-sculptures can be melodic, amelodic or both. He is an expert flamenco guitarist, and an accomplished classical -style player.
He also plays a customised Shergold six-string bass guitar featuring a half-fretted, half-fretless fretboard and has been known to play it using flamenco techniques. Hall has been known to dabble in playing other instruments such as double basspianosoprano saxophone and varied percussionmostly for the sake of their timbral qualities.
More recently, he has taken up singing in order to perform his own original folk songs. Raised in the East End of London, Hall was schooled in classical, flamenco and jazz playing and went on to develop his skills as a guitarist in the British blues boom of the late s he would also be inspired by the developing hard rock Gypsy Gathering - G P Hall - Imaginary Seasons . As a teenager, he played in the Odd Lot Band and set up the Odd Lot Club as a venue for their music, which in turn attracted more established bands and players for concerts.
As he became better known, Hall went on to play at more celebrated London venues including The Roundhousethe Middle Earth club and the Club where he was a resident player. Hall's musical approaches began to broaden in the early s. InHall was commissioned by the South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell to write The Estates - a "large and complex" musical piece intended to depict the breakdown of established communities to make way for the New Town of Bracknell.
The piece was scored for a large ensemble centred on guitar, bass, clarinetglockenspielhammer dulcimerassorted percussions and two specially prepared piano frames. The Estates was recorded and released on album by Prototype Records in Originally an hour long, the recording was subsequently edited down to twenty-five minutes, and a version was released twenty-five years later on the Mar Del Plata album in Video footage also exists but has not been commercially released.
At around this time, Hall's promising career was cut short by personal trauma. He describes it as having been "traumatised by a situation of events beyond my control Belief In A System - Go! - Existence was in the wrong place at the Gypsy Gathering - G P Hall - Imaginary Seasons time and the experience left me mentally, physically and spiritually bankrupt.
As the trauma took hold, it took my Three Button Hand Me Down - The Faces* Featuring Rod Stewart - The Faces Featuring Rod Stewart and self worth. He suffered from depression and became homeless and destitute on several occasions until joining a recovery programme.
Gypsy Gathering - G P Hall - Imaginary Seasons the s he began to "communicate back into the real world via my music But as if to compensate, I had extraordinary insights.
I am sober today and lead a relatively ordinary life and I really value that. I could not perform my music in any other way other than with a clear head, because it requires so much concentration. It was an isolated and lonely road, but I do appreciate the people who helped me in financial and supportive ways and gave me encouragement when I had many setbacks. InHall released a new album - the twenty-nine track Colors Movements - as part of the Colors series of instrumental albums on the Kenwest label some of his pieces were also included on the compilation album for the range, Colors: The Collection.
During this period he also composed library music which suited his individual and colouristic style with its multi-instrumental and gadgetry-filled approach. Hall's Gypsy Gathering - G P Hall - Imaginary Seasons solo album, Imaginary Seasonsarrived on his own Imaginary Music label in  and was a surprise nominee for the Mercury Music Prize. Having signed to the Future Music Recordings label, Hall delivered a further follow-up in - Figments Of Imagination which compiled both new pieces and old s and s recordings with various avant-garde musicians.
The second of these was released on the tiny Esoteric Binaural Label, and featured label owner and sound engineer Mike Skeet's individual take on binaural recording techniques. Hall also played concerts in the Scottish isles of Lewis and Harris, having been commissioned to write the commemorative piece Sea Sorrow.
The latter appeared on the double album Steel Storms And Tender Spiritswhich featured one disc of hard-textured, mainly electric material and one disc of softer, more acoustic-orientated pieces.
Without a steady recording contract, Hall's work in the subsequent decade became more sporadic. He also performed at the Burning Shed Event in Norwich in support of Industrial Bluea compilation of his more industrially-inclined work released on the Burning Shed record label. His next actual release, however, was Gothic Flamenco which was released on the Bronze Records label in and continued his eclectic instrumental approach. Hall performed live at the London Guitar Festival.
Since then, Hall has toured and played intermittently, now interspersing his instrumental pieces with original self-written folk songs, and has gained attention from a new audience by showcasing video clips of his playing on YouTube.
He has continued to release albums: inhe released Pyroclastic Flowa fifteen-track guitar-only CD which explores most styles of guitar work. Five years in the making, the album was a collaboration with Hall's close friend Alistair Michie, the Scottish abstract painter.
Hall commissioned Michie to paint the covers of the CD - although Michie died just before he could finish the paintings, they are still being used as album artwork as a posthumous tribute.
This was followed by 's Embarkation a mixture of guitar and classical synth orchestration. Since Hall has been self-releasing download-only material via Bandcamp. Several album releases have resulted, including Spirits in a collection of mood pieces and Palm Tree Ablaze in flamenco jazz. In he released two albums Spatial Awareness more synthesized orchestral work and Ships of the Desert desert-themed guitar pieces.
In he released two albums of acoustic-guitar-and-voice songs - Be Strong and Tender Mercies - inspired by his experience of the twelve-step recovery program and themed around "life, recovery and hope".
Both albums featured contributions from violinist Edwin Pritchard, with the latter also Comes A Time - Nada Surf - The Weight Is A Gift Hall's old s bandmate Jeff Clyne. There have also been a number of single-track releases. Various future GP Hall albums have been promised but not yet released - these include the all-acoustic Pure and a Delta blues record.
Note that the majority of GP Hall's catalogue has consisted of short-run release albums which have been deleted fairly quickly, meaning that many recordings of individual pieces have been re-released on subsequent recordings.
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