Ian Williams is a guitarist from a rock background. His status as a rock musician has always existed in the realm of hyphenated distinctions (experimental-rock, electro-rock, post-rock, math-rock, etc…) although none quite fit. His music has always balanced somewhere between complexity and accessibility, falling more to one side or the other each time. He started the band Battles in 2002, in which he plays guitar, keyboard and electronics. They’ve released 2 full albums and a series of EP’s with Warp Records.
In the past he was a key member of the group Don Caballero which was based in Pittsburgh from 1992-2000. He played guitar and released 5 albums with them over that time. He also spent a number of years in Chicago where he had an experimental band called Storm and Stress, which existed from 1995 until 2000 and released 2 albums. In 2000, he moved to Brooklyn, NY where he currently resides.
What’s the difference between finely edited material on a multi-track recording and scored material in sheet music form to be played live? Edits and unnatural transitions are actually natural to computers. Jumps of tone and texture, even when bearing the marks of the artificial (a person couldn’t do that!) are easily done and modern ears are used to hearing such things. If you consider a multi-track recording where the music actually isn’t played, but just assembled, to be a lie, or an illusion, but you don’t think that’s actually a bad thing, then you might want that artificial quality and consider it an “enhanced” reality. How then would you preserve that improvement in music that is to be played by real musicians in real time and space? You might use traditional threads of melody and harmony to make the jump from one of these realms to the other and see what happens.