Pedal steel guitar workshop
One of the world’s greatest pedal steel guitarists visits New Zealand this month.
Susan Alcorn takes the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country and western swing music. The Baltimore based musician has ripped the instrument from its typical genre and cast it in a whole new light. From comfortable country glissandos to deep surges and theremin-like science fiction noir, the shimmering earnestness of the instrument is used to full effect in her arrangements that probe the depths and textures of her songs.
Known among steel guitarists for her virtuosity and authenticity in a traditional context, Alcorn first paid her dues in Texas country and western bands. Soon she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of modern classical music, free jazz, and world musics. Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument and her musical experience while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal musical expression.