Is this record worth a spin? Should I buy it? Will it add to or detract
from my credibility? Should I care?
I wish someone could break it down for me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

John Fahey- Requia

Fahey was a master at the finger-picking style of guitar playing. The British guitarist James Blackshaw is a fine current example of this difficult style and Philadelphia songwriter Kurt Vile has also listed Fahey as a big influence. When Requia was released in 1968 it received mixed reviews. Fahey broke the record into two parts: the first half, just Fahey and his guitar, are requiems for dead musicians utilizing the folk and blues styles that Fahey had explored with his earlier work. The work is engaging and often beautiful. The second half of the record consists of his attempt at "musique concrete", a combination of white noise and sound collages consisting of found sounds, speeches, clanging pans, animal noises, you get the idea. It was this style that turned critics off, even Fahey mentioned that he was disappointed with his initial attempts at this musical style. Oddly, perhaps by coincidence, The Beatles released their own "musique concrete experiment, "Revolution No. 9", at almost the same time as Requia. John Fahey should be required listening for any aspiring guitarist.

Buy this record if you wanna make your fingers bleed.


1 comment:

  1. Mixed in with the collage on side Two (Requiem for Molly Pt 3) is an excellent John Fahey account of California Dreamin'. I am learning it right now!