Sometimes you just do it because you love to do it, you know? You do it, then you do it again, then you do it some more, and you do it because it’s in your blood, in your bones. You breathe it, you live it, and it becomes both a part of you and a healing practice to regenerate you. Zachary Levinson and Alexander Homan know exactly what I’m talking about, because they’ve found what they love to do, and they intend to do it endlessly. That something just so happens to be experimental acoustic guitar meditations.
That’s the gist of Endless Guitar Meditations – Levinson and Homan each provide a half tape’s worth of acoustic improvisation that meanders like a river as it makes its way toward the coast. The two even collaborate on “On the Banks of the Bodhicitta (Ode to Fahey),” which wears its inspiration as on its sleeve as possible. That’s right, there’s quite a bit of Fahey worship in the playing of these two, a sort of proto-folk that also borrows from Orcutt’s jagged acoustic blues riffage. There’s also hints of raga, and of course there are passages where all you hear is the ambient squeaks and creaks of string and frame, neck and pick, the physicality of the recordings never wavering.
And it’s not just because these pieces are “endless” (although some sure are long) that signals a love for this performance – it’s evident in the playing itself, as these two attempt to outdo each other in a fretboard Olympics. But even then, when the focus is on the intense playing, on the perfection of performance, on the internal spirit of competition, the spirit moves outward, over the crowd, the audience, the listeners. And it’s here where the AGH Tapes motto comes right into play: “May all beings benefit by the virtue of these works.” And all things do, and are lifted and carried right along with every note springing to life under nimble fingers.