Alex Ward presents his second solo guitar album, conceived and developed over the first two months of the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown and recorded on May 28th of that year. Unlike his freely improvised solo clarinet performances such as the Otoroku-released 15.2.18, Alex's solo guitar music integrates composed and improvised materials in a similar manner to that which he employs with his groups Items 4 and 10. His first solo guitar album Frames (released in March 2020 on Relative Pitch Records) consisted of six individual pieces encompassing a variety of approaches and moods. By contrast, the five new compositions on The Trade are dovetailed into a continuous 43-minute performance, the formal arc of which might not necessarily be best perceived by attempting to discern where each piece begins or ends (although a division into 3 tracks has been made for listener convenience). This seamlessness of approach is reflected in the high level of momentum and energy sustained across substantial amounts of the performance's duration, balanced out by the starker tone of the album's later portions.
Alex Ward - guitar
Artwork design by Oliver Barrett