domingo, 11 de janeiro de 2009

O som experimental de Chris Michalek

O gaitista Chris Michalek nasceu em Minneapolis, EUA, em 23 de julho de 1971. Mestre em muitos estilos, incluindo jazz, funky, blues e World Music, é reconhecido como um dos pioneiros do uso da técnica “overblow” ou “overbend”, que possibilita o cromatismo da gaita diatônica.
Outra característica importante de Chris é o uso de filtros e pedais em seu som (delay, octave, octaves polifônicos, sintetizadores e auto-wha). Ainda adolescente seus talentos foram descobertos pelos membros da Twin Cities Harmonica Society (, mas foi a música de Howard Levy que abriu os olhos de Chris para as novas possibilidades da gaita. Levy desenvolveu em 1968 a técnica que disponibiliza todas as notas sobre a harmônica, até então diatônica, permitindo a combinação do carismático timbre da harmônica blues com as possibilidades melódicas da harmônica cromática. Um instrumento que parecia limitado se tornou extremamente flexível. Chris rapidamente começou a tocar jazz e experimentar outros estilos musicais. Ele já dividiu o palco ao longo dos anos com Bobby McFerrin, Bela Fleck, Brecker Brothers, James Taylor, The Yellow Jackets e Jason Ricci. Hoje toca no Buddha's Groove ( ao lado de Skinny Bispo (baixo), Rob Popescu (guitarra) e Martin Diamond (bateria).
Ouça e veja Chris Michalek aqui:

Ouça e veja Howard Levy aqui:

Um comentário:

Leandro Ferrari disse...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Brendan Power"
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2010 10:02:31 -0000
Subject: [Harp-L] Chris Michalek R.I.P

I just got a message from George Brooks saying that Chris has died after a
short illness... I am utterly shocked!!! I find it hard to take in, but
George says he was called by Chris' wife Laurie, so it must be true,
horrible as that is to contemplate.

You had to know Chris personally to appreciate him. His posts online were
pretty extreme at times I agree, but he's the epitome of that saying "His
bark is worse than his bite". Chris had a heart of gold, and was incredibly
generous to me and lots of other people. The 2000 Harmonica Summit he
organised single-handedly was a landmark event in the harmonica world;
that's the first time I got to know him, as he put me up in his house. We
became friends, meeting at successive SPAHs, and I spent a great three days
with him in June at his and Laurie's home in Phoenix, where Chris organised
a gig/workshop for us. Remembering how lively and energetic he was only a
few short months ago makes his sudden death all the harder to accept.

At the Summit in 2000 I met his wonderful parents, American Dad and
Vietnamese Mum, who met when his Dad was in the Vietnam war. Wonderful
people; his Mum worked as a surgical nurse and gave me some exquisite small
scissors and tweezers that are still in my harp tool kit today.

After the recent SPAH in August Chris invited Buckwheat, TJ Klay and me
again back to his parents' place in Minneapolis/St Paul, and we had a
brilliant afternoon playing, joking, firing his Dad's home-made pipe gun and
enjoying a delicious meal of Vietnamese delicacies cooked by his big-hearted

That afternoon I tried the sample Buddha Marine Band that he was showing
people at SPAH, and it was absolutely incredible! Among the 2-3 most
responsive custom diatonics I have ever tried.

Sure he talked himself up, but he certainly walked the walk as a customiser
as well as a player, big time. His playing, especially the gorgeous 12th
position sound he got, was very influential, especially through his generous
YouTube teaching videos. He was a great mentor to many of the best young
players around today, as I'm sure they will attest.

Personally I liked Chris's strong opinions on everything. They always made
sparks fly, never boring! It's a pity that many of those offended by strong
posts online never got to know him in person, or they would have seen
through the bluster.

Chris was one of the great characters of the US harmonica scene, and he will
leave a big hole.

There is lots more to say and I know many others will feel the way I do. RIP
Buddha, and keep tootin' wherever you are!

Brendan Power