March 6, 2017 — Multi GRAMMY® Award-winning artist ANDY SUMMERS rose to fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the guitarist of the legendary award-winning, multi-million-selling rock band The Police, recognized as the most successful and critically acclaimed group of the era. SUMMERS’ innovative guitar sound was a key element of the band’s popularity, creating a new paradigm for guitarists that has been widely imitated in the decades since.
Not one to ever rest on his laurels, SUMMERS launched a prolific solo career that continues to this day, positioning him on the cutting edge of musical innovation – all the while following his passion for music as he keeps diligently busy writing, touring and recording in the studio. As a guitarist, songwriter and composer, his latest effort, TRIBOLUMINESCENCE (his 14th solo album, set for release by Flickering Shadow Productions on March 24, available on all digital platforms in the U.S. and via Amazon, and distributed by Cargo Records in the U.K.), proves to be his most introspective work to date and is a collection of nine new tracks reflecting the style that SUMMERS has evocatively dubbed “New Exotic.”
“TRIBOLUMINESCENCE is actually a scientific word that means creating light from dark, which I believe is a great metaphor for any creative act and, especially, music,” stated SUMMERS. “I felt compelled to follow up the record I made last year, METAL DOG, where I was trying to go into a new territory — with not just a straight-ahead jazz or jazz fusion or rock or pop, but something very much my own genre. This record results from a lifetime’s worth of receiving influence, digesting it, and trying to create a new voice. I feel like I’m taking the METAL DOG album and moving on from there and trying to expand the writing, the tonal palette and this idea that I have about creating new music.”
And new territory it is. SUMMERS draws upon all his musical influences from around the globe and takes the listener on a sonic journey that begins with the opening track, “If Anything,” a majestic, sonorous piece featuring SUMMERS’ guitar with endless layers of rich tone and never-ending sustain. The journey moves to the title track, “Triboluminescence,” with its exotic, looping Indonesian Gamelan-like sounds that evoke the feeling of being in a village in Bali, and then to “Adinkra,” which is influenced by West African music, with SUMMERS playing all the drums and percussion.
“Elephant Bird” is the fourth track on the album, and once again it opens with thick, rich, loops. “This track has a challenging background to play over, but I found a way using distortion on the guitar and playing natural harmonics. The result – which surprised me, is a positive melodic line,” commented SUMMERS. “I was able to create sounds that range from a muted Miles Davis trumpet to a very liquid, yet thick, almost two-trumpet sound!”
For “Shadyland,” SUMMERS again draws upon his love of jazz and creates a haunting harmonic setting, à la McCoy Tyner when he played with John Coltrane. His quartal guitar harmonies lend themselves perfectly to this dark jazz composition, which evokes the feeling and emotion of being in a small, dimly lit, smoke-filled jazz club.
“‘Haunted Dolls,’ the sixth track on the record, is interesting for me because I think the melody is intervallic, which is very Monk-like,” stated SUMMERS. “Of course the difference being instead of a jazz piano in the background, I’m using a loop, which for me, replaces the more standard harmonic accompaniment of a piano, but in a very ‘guitaristic’ kind of a way.”
“Gigantopithecus” is a song SUMMERS started working on a few years ago with an amazing drum rhythm. The staccato melody is played on a baritone guitar that is doubled with a fretless bass, acoustic bass guitar and other instruments for additional character. The title of the song refers to the name of an extinct ape that lived millions of years ago. “This track sounded to me like a big lumbering animal, so I felt Gigantopithecus was an appropriate name for this track,” said SUMMERS, laughing.
“Pukul Buny Bunye,” an Indonesian phrase that means hammering, striking keys, was the name SUMMERS chose for this track, as it refers to the way he began working on this piece. “I started with two guitars in alternate tunings, and one had a capo on the 12th fret. I was playing them with chopsticks to get the background. Once I got that whole thing going, that was really the inspiration. I was setting out to find a melodic theme or thematic motive, but I had my Stratocaster guitar tuned way down, way below pitch. So, the track starts with these hammering guitars and then this off-the-wall solo comes in, which because of the tuning, made me play in a way that I thought was sort of funny. Then, it gets picked up by this crazy, almost like a marching band theme, again like an orchestra, until it goes into some very exotic chords and the guitar does a solo over that. So, it’s really quite a quirky piece, but for me it sat really well with the other tracks on the record which was the important thing.”
“Garden of the Sea,” the last track on the record, closes the sonic journey of TRIBOLUMINESCENCE and was created out of a set of sessions SUMMERS did with the great Armenian cellist Artyom Manukyan. “Garden of the Sea is played with a reverse looping effect — it’s like playing into a mirror,” stated SUMMERS. “And when you set the cello against that, you get this beautiful, pastoral effect. It’s a lullaby at the end of the album.”
TRIBOLUMINESCENCE once again builds on the sonic and artistic framework of his lauded 2015 set, METAL DOG. The nine tracks on TRIBOLUMINESCENCE all feature SUMMERS’ rich, lush, multi-layered, rhythmically and spatial signature guitar tones that draws the listener in track after track.
For Music Technology/Professional Audio Information/Inquiries for Andy Summers, please contact:
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Photo caption 1: Cover art for Andy Summers’ TRIBOLUMINESCENCE. Photo credit: Mo Summers.
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Photo caption 2: Andy Summers. Photo credit: Mo Summers.
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Photo caption 3: TRIBOLUMINESCENCE reflects the style Andy Summers has dubbed “New Exotic.” Photo credit: Mo Summers.