Sono Luminus releases High Low Duo's new album - Ravel & Bartók on September 24, 2021
High Low Duo
Guitarists Cameron Greider & Jack Petruzzelli
Featured on NPR's #NowPlaying
Video for Ravel's "Pavane de la belle au bois dormant" Out Now
Worldwide Release Date: September 24, 2021
Sono Luminus announces a new album from High Low Duo, guitarists Cameron Greider and Jack Petruzzelli, who take electric guitar sounds of the fifties and sixties to unexpected places, inspired by Chet Atkins and Les Paul. The Duo’s new album for Sono Luminus features their own unique arrangements of the music of Ravel and Bartók. High Low Duo’s forthcoming debut CD on Sono Luminus includes Ravel's Mother Goose Suite and Bartok's Violin Duos and makes a good case for the electric guitar as a classical instrument, capable of the range of expression and colors needed to bring these pieces to life.
The new album came out of High Low Duo’s experiments with using electric guitars to play classical music. Greider and Petruzzelli are guitarists who cut their teeth playing rock, blues, country, and folk as session musicians and sidemen – they have toured and recorded with the likes of Joan Baez, Patti Smith, Rufus Wainwright, Chris Cornell, Natalie Merchant, Ian Hunter and more – and the pair became obsessed with classical music along the way.
“When people hear the words ‘classical electric guitar,’ they might picture a heavy-metal virtuoso shredding onstage with a symphony orchestra, or a loud, rocked-out version of a Debussy piano piece,” Greider says. “Our goal is different. We aim not to play rock versions of classical works, but instead to use the palette of sounds the electric guitar offers to re-orchestrate them, while still doing justice to the composers’ dynamics and nuances. We studied harmony, counterpoint, solfège and all the rest, and the further we went down the rabbit hole the more fascinating it became.”
The Duo found they could use the sound world of the electric guitar – with tones ranging from sweet and sustained to growl-like – to colorfully orchestrate classical works such as the two featured on this album by Ravel and Bartók. Greider explains, “We love classical guitar and classical guitarists, but those aren’t the techniques and sounds we know best. The electric guitar offered us a way into the pieces that was personal to us, but also, we hope, true to the composers’ intentions.”
Greider gives the following examples of this approach at play: “In ‘Beauty and the Beast’ from Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, the Beast’s theme is written for the contrabassoon, which has a gruff, low sound. Jack plays the part with his low E-string tuned down, and he gets a growling tone that is perfect for the Beast, who is rude and rough in spite of himself. It reminds me a little of Duane Eddy, who had hits in the early sixties with his signature low, barking guitar tone. Another example is in ‘Laideronnette,’ when Ravel is imitating the sound of the Indonesian gamelan orchestra. He scores the opening for celesta combined with sustained woodwinds. Electric guitar harmonics (touching your finger lightly against the string) render that sound wonderfully because they have a such a metallic attack.”
About High Low Duo
Cameron Greider is a guitarist, producer and composer who has worked with Joan Baez, Chris Cornell, Natalie Merchant, Sean Lennon, Freedy Johnston, Rufus Wainwright, P.M. Dawn and many others. He started on classical guitar at age twelve, but soon figured out that by putting a microphone inside the instrument and hooking it up to the family stereo, he could rattle the windows of their Washington D.C. house. Once he got a real electric guitar, he played in bands in high school and in college at Yale University. In 1988 he moved to New York to study at the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music program, and soon found himself playing gigs with local singer-songwriters. In 1993 he auditioned for his first tour, with alternative hip-hop group P.M. Dawn, and the next week he was playing with them on the Tonight Show. He would go on to play and co-write on their next few records. Another important collaboration was with Freedy Johnston; Greider played on his album Blue Days, Black Nights and produced the Elektra release Right Between the Promises. He also played on Martha Wainwright's debut record, and Chris Cornell's solo album Carry On. Tours with Rufus Wainwright, Sean Lennon, Joan Baez, Curtis Stigers, Natalie Merchant and others have taken him all over the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia. He has performed on the Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman, and the Late Show with Conan O'Brien, and has worked with top-tier producers like Butch Vig, T Bone Burnett and Steve Lilywhite. Writing for strings led to an interest in classical music, which soon became an obsession. He went back to school at the Mannes conservatory to study music theory, piano, composition, and conducting. He enjoys writing for groups from string quartets to full orchestra and has contributed arrangements to film scores as well as pop songs.
Jack Petruzzelli is a seasoned touring and recording musician. As a multi-instrumental performer, producer and songwriter, he has had the privilege of working with artists like Patti Smith, Ian Hunter, Joan Osborne, Rufus Wainwright and Sara Bareilles, to name a few. In the studio, Petruzzelli has collaborated with everyone from platinum artists to unknown sensations. He co-produced Joan Osborne's album Bring It On Home, which was nominated for Best Blues album of the year at the 2012 Grammy Awards. Petruzzelli recently co-produced Joan Osborne's latest album The Songs of Bob Dylan and can be seen playing with her. He released his debut solo album, Lake Songs, under the pseudonym Jack Snax. He can also be seen performing his own music with High Season.
Ravel & Bartók | High Low Duo – Cameron Greider & Jack Petruzzelli
Sono Luminus | Release date: September 24, 2021
Ma Mère l'Oye (Mother Goose) – Maurice Ravel 1. Pavane de la belle au bois dormant [1:36]
2. Petit Poucet [3:43] 3. Laideronnette [4:31] 4. Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête [5:16]
5. Le jardin féerique [3:37]
from 44 Duos for Violin – Béla Bartok
6. Bankodas (Sorrow) [2:29]
7. Fairy Tale [1:04] 8. Harvest Song [1:47] 9. Mosquito Dance [0:43] 10. Prelude and Canon [2:43]
11. Pizzicato [1:17]