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Solo Guitar Improvisation II cover art


'Solo Guitar Improvisation II' is the first release of 2011 from the enigmatic Talvihorros.

The track, released through Rural Colours, was recorded in a single live take with no overdubs and minimal post-production. A prepared electric guitar, played with various battery operated objects including an ebow, buddha machine and a shortwave radio, then sent through a complex chain of effects pedals and loopers. The result is a rich tapestry of textures, guitar melodies and waves of static combining to create a unique and modern take on live guitar improvisation.

Reviews for Solo Guitar Improvisation II:

“Nearly a year ago, London, UK-based Ben Chatwin aka Talvihorros released Music in Four Movements on Hibernate, four long compositions that told the fictional story of a person journeying to the suicidal act of walking into the sea. In a way, his new long-form work Solo Guitar Improvisation II could be seen as a sort of coda to this beautiful album. Over more than 15 minutes, distorted and distant voices are trying to vainly reach out through a bed of swirling saturated drones, suggesting an attempted rescue and a lost battle to save someone traveling on their final destination. Chatwin’s delicate guitar plucking ebbs and flows in a seemingly loose manner, as if refining a theme of sadness and acceptance. Long and plaintive swells of driven guitars contribute to enhance the emotional palette at play and bring both anger and resignation to the table. Despite its apparent theme of mournfulness, Guitar Improvisation II is a life-affirming piece of devastating beauty.”

– Pascal Savy, Fluid Radio

“Guitarist and experimental artist Ben Chatwin aka Talvihorros introduces us to his track with utterances of static and feedback in harsh, cold surroundings. Although the guitar is the central instrument, as with ‘Music in Four Movements’ released last year on Hibernate Records , Chatwin acheives a range of sounds that are far beyond the connotations of the pragmatic title of this track, and the traditional contraints of the instrument. There are recognisable guitar notes, set within a repeating meloncholic phrase, forming a sparse framework to the piece amongst which a soundscape of coarse etchings are intertwined. In the last five minutes of the track that Chatwin’s guitar really comes alive, with more viseral, alien noises eminating from the frets.

Chatwin then, further develops his experimental use of the guitar, and in the process creates a glisteningly beautiful piece, full of warmth to thaw the cold of winter.”

– Michael Waring, Futuresequence

“Ben Chatwin’s contribution to the Rural Colours series is a seventeen-minute solo guitar improvisation that distills many of the strengths of his Talvihorros style into a single, long-form setting. During the piece’s opening minutes, Chatwin peppers plaintive guitar figures with waves of distorted voice effects, bass rumbles, and percussive flourishes. As the material develops, the sound mass grows ever more combustible and the electric guitar fiery. There’s no sense of urgency in terms of tempo as the track unfolds at a meditative crawl, but there’s definitely dramatic portent in the crushing swell of volume and density that the elements work towards. Having escalated to the level of controlled howl by the ten-minute mark, the mass grows ever more molten as it’s pierced by the stabbing shudder and wail of the electric guitar until an eventual dénouement sets in. Though he pushes the EP’s material into an uncompromisingly raw and at times violent zone, it never becomes unlistenable or loses its fundamental coherence as an overall composition. Here as in his other recordings, Chatwin strikes an admirable balance between accessibility and experimentalism in such a way that other guitar-based sound sculptors would do well to follow his example.”

– Ron Schepper, Textura


released 14 February 2011
Performed and recorded live by Ben Chatwin
Image by NASA