Had a very exciting night in JJ’s candle lit Pendulum Club Sunday night getting my head around the futuristic guitar talents of Irish born Lucerne resident Christy Doran on his way back from the Cork Jazz Festival for a welcome Dublin appearance. Beginning to End is an improvisational collaborative music performance written with leading Irish Composer and Bassist Ronan Guilfoyle inspired by the works of Samuel Beckett and polished off with the extraordinarily unique Swiss Vocalist Isa Wiss out front and drummer Sean Carpio tying everything down at the back.
Trying to explain the amazing excitement and beauty of this performance is a bit like dissecting a fish out of water it would be impossible to capture the grace and magic of it all away from its natural environment but that’s never stopped me before so I will press on. The door handle for me was Christy’s guitar, a six string electric Fender Strat look-alike produced by ESP with a worn look finish that allowed his brush strokes, moves, tickles, scrapes and scratches up and down the 22 frets to sound as smooth as a baby’s ass interplaying with the beautifully fused musical explorations of Isa Wiss’s vocal’s Ronan’s acoustic bass guitar and Sean’s percussive foundations and backdrops.
This is a musical experience that open’s your eyes and ears, capable of taking you beyond your wildest dreams, to the unlimited potential of the spoken word freed from boundary’s of expression, the improvisational rhythmic rearrangement of the dot’s and a Hendrixian guitar world of delights hinted at previously in masterpieces like Electric Ladyland and the spiritual spacious sounds of John Mc Loughlin. In the hands of master musicians like these it’s possible to experience a musical transcendence that is fluid and spiritual even on the first date. The ecstatic innovation bursting with energy on stage pulls you along the rails planting seeds along the way that soon become laden with all manner of fruit and ear candy.
Being a self confessed latecomer to jazz music, I have my own coat hangers with me to make sense of it all in the wardrobe and yet I find again and again in the company of Beginning to End that where the technical proficiencies, which are of the highest calibre are enthralling and challenging to me, the evocative passionate galaxy patrolling expression of Christy Doran’s guitar sound makes perfect sense to me finding an immediate interpretation in my conscious, listening experience.
Compositions entitled Neither, The End is in the Beginning, Happy Day’s and Gone are all vehicles brim full of inventive guitar and bass lines, lyrics steeped in the darkness of Beckett and tripping off Isa’s tongue like an alien dialect interpreting simultaneously to the conscious subconscious and spiritual mind releasing pleasurable waves of ecstatic comfort for the ear. After coming to a brief standstill to take a break for air, Isa introduced her own song entitled Probably and then two more by Ronan including Sucking Stones a vocal performance searing with brilliance and another gem called Stories if my memory cells serves me correct. Ronan and Christy sprint relentlessly up down their respective fretboard’s with furious speed keeping the needle just barely below the spontaneous combustion threshold.
What I loved about Christy Doran’s guitar technique, Ronan Guilfoyle’s bass, Sean Carpio’s Drumming and Isa Wiss’s vocals, is that they collectively create such a wonderful atmosphere, that brings superb craftsmanship to the rich textures and layers of the complex and captivating compositions opening the impenetrable pages of Samuel Beckett’s work so that you realise that there are no classically understood limitations necessary. Beginning to End celebrates the centenary and work of Samuel Beckett and it’s a marriage made in the beautiful unpredictability of defining usefulness in any spoken or musical language.
That music develops with an improvisational flow that only touches the riverbank once on its way, offers up no resistance to constraint, listens out for no matchfit in anyone else’s speech pattern and is entirely satisfied with its usefulness, accepting that our convenient definition of chaos is really just a lack of awareness and converting that into a conclusion that the sea will refuses no river so why should we. This is a musical dream and better still, because unlike our dreams which are fragmented by the limited power of our recall, the Beginning to End musical experience is cohesive and linear unravelling its capability to imply the beat while flowing openly along to a limitless aesthetic future.
Creatively expansive and fuelled by the finest, explosive, combination of skill and passion on stage, building blocks of pure emotion and sensation are produced effortlessly on stage, glued craftily together with Christy’s tremolo bar technique and superb control on a trippy and spacey delay effects unit, with creative left and right hand techniques, tools like a screwdriver sitting dangling against the strings behind the neck pick up and a bow highlighting his impressive chops and amazing lead tones.
If you like your music on a constant restless quest, up for the challenge of reinvention, fresh with a new perspective, propelled by a deep understanding and an appropriate nod in the influential direction of masters like Miles Davis, Tony William’s, John Mc Laughlin, Jimi Hendrix then you have come to the right place in a performance by Beginning to End and the extraordinary talents of Christy Doran( www.christydoran.com ) Ronan Guilfoyle(www.ronanguilfoyle.com) , Isa Wiss and Sean Carpio that will take you on an amazing journey.