Derek Bailey – Explanation & Thanks (2005)

Recorded 2005, Barcelona, Spain.

It’s a bit difficult to understand how, after more than four decades of playing guitar, Derek Bailey developed a debilitating case of carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s not like holding a pick was something new to him, but the condition (fortunately confined to his right hand) made it such that he was no longer able to hold a “plectrum.” This fact comes out in “Explanation & Thanks,” the introductory piece to the album entitled Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, an audio letter dictated/played by Derek to someone named “Carol.” [source]

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Derek Bailey: Audio Production, Engineer, Guitar, Producer /

Kazunori Sugiyama: Assosiate Producer / John Zorn: Executive Producer




Derek Bailey – Paris (1980)

Paris is recorded at ‘Dunois’ Paris on 4 July 1980 and is first track on the album Aida by Derek Bailey.

Derek Bailey (29 January 1930 – 25 December 2005) was an English avant-garde guitarist and leading figure in the free improvisation movement. [source]

Aida, consisting of two live recordings from 1980, captures Derek Bailey on the cusp between his early-career thorny and more drastic explorations of the outer limits of guitar playing and the subtler, softer (though no less idiosyncratic) approaches he would often employ later on. Throughout his career, Bailey has championed what he calls “non-idiomatic improvisation,” an attempt to improvise without reference to any pre-existing musical styles. While perhaps impossible to achieve 100 percent, he has certainly made it difficult to describe his work with the normal allusions and comparisons to that of others. The first track on Aida, “Paris,” is a gorgeous and relatively smooth excursion in Bailes sound-world. One imagines that if England had a tradition of koto accompaniment for Noh plays, it might sound something like this. Not that there is an overt Asian influence, but the sparseness and careful choice of notes gives one a slight sense of both Eastern asceticism and luxury within that asceticism.

Though he has professed to not particularly enjoying solo playing, that circumstance is often the easiest introduction to Bayley´s work. Aida is a remarkably beautiful entry to one of the world’s masterful musicians. Indeed, he sounds like no one else. [source]

Derek Bailey – Guitar