Tom Carter Monument

This recording captures something that sounds so spontaneous and unrepeatable. Unlike his work in Charalambides that usually involves incessant repetition of a handful of notes, Tom Carter’s solo piece, Monument, builds out of ghostly tones and controlled feedback. Originally released on a limited CD-R (55 copies) in 2001, Carter’s recording is live to DAT of lap steel guitar using only minimal reverb and distortion to alter the atmosphere. Closer to Stefan Basho-Junghans than John Fahey, Carter’s playing is moody and unsystematic, using long stillness and sudden accelerations that rend regular intervals to shreds. The accumulation of sound at times takes on a density similar to the livelier works by Rafael Toral, but without the digital alterations that smooth off the corners and edges. Above all Monument is the sound of something actually happening in real time… anticipation rewarded by surprise, expectations confounded; imperfections left visible, choices made in the moment. (Kranky)