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iv: contemporary American music for electric guitar

Four contemporary pieces for electric guitar by three generations of American composers.

The Latest Update

“iv” on the road

Posted on February 27, 2015 by Giacomo Fiore

I will be performing selections from the record (and some other things) at various venues across the country in the coming months. Still looking to add a few dates in MA/New England (June) and the Midwest (July)—suggestions, contacts, etc. are always welcome!

March 21st NYC Spectrum (with Larry Polansky)
March 27th Bowling Green OH (conference talk on electric guitar repertoire)
March 28th Trinosophes, Detroit MI (solo gig)
May 1st Bellingham WA WWU Electroacoustic Festival (solo)
May 2nd Seattle WA Wayward Music/The Chapel (solo)
May 3rd Portland OR Taborspace Commons (solo)
June 27th Gloucester MA Artistry of the Guitar (w/ Ken Bonfield and Adam Miller)
July 8-11th (TBD) Omaha NE Omaha Under the Radar (solo)
July 12th Chicago IL Myopic Books Improv Series (with Julia Miller)

More Updates ▼

MOAR reviews!

Posted on September 11, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

Seems like we’re getting some traction with the album. Brian Olewnick of Just Outside recommends it as “good stuff”, while the Italian Blog Chitarra e Dintorni Nuove Musiche praises timbres and music alike. Most excitingly, the album was even covered in brief in the October 2014 of The Wire: Adventures in Modern Music, which has this to say about the recording of Polansky’s freeHorn:

“The tones and drones that arise from {the guitar’s] interaction with the algorithm have the feel of an alap in Indian classical music, slow and atmospheric massaging of sounds in preparation for a fiery electric raga”

As a reminder, the album is available digitally on iTunes, CDBaby, and Bandcamp, as well as in very tactile and great-sounding vinyl format.

First review is in!

Posted on August 18, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

Bradford Werner of thisisclassicalguitar.com had some nice things to say about iv: american electric guitars

Official release + followers giveaway

Posted on July 31, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

The journey is over (or just begun?): today marks the “official” release day for iv: american electric guitars. This means that, as an alternative to the very hip vinyl edition, you can download the full album from Bandcamp, CDBaby, or iTunes.

Also, as a small token of appreciation for the support through the long post-production process, I am offering one vinyl copy AND one hi-res digital download to be raffled out to my followers. New Music USA will randomly pick two winners for the giveaway a week from today—new followers are included (I promise you I won’t spam you too much!). Stay tuned for the announcement.

Finally, for those in the San Francisco area, swing by the Center for New Music (55 Taylor St) for a release party at 7:30pm tonight.

they are here!

Posted on July 28, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

I stopped by Pirates Press in SF to pick up six hefty boxes full of records. I have to say I’m beyond pleased with how the project turned out—one more round of thanks to New Music USA for the support that made it possible!

You can still pre-order the album on my website; existing orders are shipping today. Official release date is set for July 31st, with a party at the Center for New Music in San Francisco.

Preorder available with immediate download

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

We’re about one month away from the official release date (with annexed party at the Center for New Music in San Francisco), and as we’re waiting for the albums to be printed we decided to open preorders for those interested. In addition to getting a limited first-pressing vinyl edition of this album on or around July 31st, you will also receive immediate download instructions  to start enjoying this music right away. If you need to hear more you can also stream the entire album on my website or on Soundcloud. Thanks for your support! This project has been a long time coming and I’m really satisfied with the way it turned out.

What’s up, Doc?

Posted on June 19, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

The resurgence in popularity of vinyl records has caused a bit of a dilation in pressing times across the industry. I was originally quoted a two-month turnaround from order placement back in early May, but when I approved test pressings ten days ago that was changed to the third week of July.

Assuming there are no further delays (there really shouldn’t be, at this point), the album should be officially released to the public on July 31st, with a release concert to take place at San Francisco’s Center for New Music (you’re invited!).

Approximately one month before I will make the album available for pre-order with immediate digital download. So hang in there, and thanks for your support!

new album cover design

Posted on May 22, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

As test pressings are being made we have finalized the artwork/design for the packaging (and decided to go for a gatefold jacket…). Here is a quick screen grab of the mesmerizing front cover. Notice the simplified subtitle—we decided to avoid redundant text redundancy ;).

Pressing is underway!

Posted on May 8, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

Well, kind of sorta. Yesterday I put in my order with Pirates Press here in San Francisco, and I expect to receive test pressings in 2-3 weeks. The artwork is also coming along nicely—will post a preview as soon as my designer sends me a rough draft. Shooting for a vinyl release at the very end of June, with digital version available around the same time. The masters sound great—really excited about the project finally coming to a close!

Off to mastering

Posted on April 24, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

After a healthy dosage of “Murphy’s audio law” (if there can be mixing problems…there will be) all tracks have been submitted to our mastering engineer for a final polish. Next stop: the pressing plant. We’re really getting close now!

Thank you!

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Giacomo Fiore

We are besides ourselves at the news of receiving the New Music USA Project Grant! Still putting the finishing touches on the tracks, then it’s off to mastering and to the presses soon!


iv (pronounced “four”) is the fourth solo studio album by guitarist Giacomo Fiore. It includes four pieces by contemporary American composers:

until it blazes (2001) by Eve Beglarian

freeHorn (2004) by Larry Polansky (first recording)

another possibility (2005) by Christian Wolff (first U.S. recording)

hair of the thing that bit you (2011) by Anthony Porter (first recording)

The selections are representative of the broad range of styles and compositional techniques that are current in today’s American musical scene: mesemerizing post-minimalist motives in Beglarian’s piece; droning, modulating, just intonation soundscapes in Polansky’s freeHorn; indeterminate constellations in Wolff’s Another Possibility (a re-imaginging of the long-lost Morton Feldman piece The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar, written for Wolff in the 1960s); and whimsical, lyrical writing in Porter’s looping-based hair of the thing that bit you. As outlined above, three of these selections are first U.S. or world recordings.

These works also exemplify the versatility of the electric guitar medium—far from relying on idiomatic clichés, each of these works explores the timbral, contrapuntal, and expressive possibilities of this most American of musical instruments.

From a production standpoint the project is in its advanced stages: all tracking sessions and most of the editing have already been completed. Support from New Music USA would allow us to invest in professional mastering and replication services to endow the album with the kind of finishing touches that its music deserves.


Giacomo Fiore (guitarist, co-producer) is a performer and musicologist who specializes in new music; his research and repertoire are entertwined and focus on American music, just intonation, experimental instruments, and the cross-talk between experimental and popular musics. Giacomo has performed across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Brazil, premiering over a dozen pieces by composers such as Larry Polansky, Ron Nagorcka, Garry Eister, Edward Schocker, Fabrizio Carlone, Lanier Sammons, Fernanda Aoki Navarro, and others. His scholarly articles have been published in Tempo and the Journal of the Society for American Music. In June 2013 Giacomo received a Ph.D. in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz; currently he lectures at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, California State University Monterey Bay, and UCSC.

Lanier Sammons (co-producer) is a composer, guitarist, recordist, and educator based in Santa Cruz, CA. Lanier’s music often explores ideas like audience interactivity, improvisation, the intersection of popular and classical musics, and the pairing of electronic and acoustic sound. His works have been featured at SEAMUS, the Spark Festival, the Jubilus Festival, and on EcoSono’s Agents Against Agency DVD release. As a performer, Lanier explores multiple genres on electric guitar, classical guitar, and other instruments including Shona marimbas. He has premiered works by Ted Coffey, Paul Turowski, and Conner Lacy and shared the stage with musicians like Fred Frith and Christian Wolff. Lanier holds a Ph.D. in Composition and Computer Technologies from the University of Virginia.  Lanier currently serves as lecturer at California State University, Monterey Bay, where he teaches courses on recording technology, composition, and a variety of other topics.

Project Media

Larry Polansky: freeHorn
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Final edit (pre-master version).
Three multitracked laptops, two electric guitars, one just intonation resophonic guitar (after Lou Harrison); all performed by Giacomo Fiore.
A sequence of slowly-modulating harmonic series (up to 17th harmonic) generated by the computers, as the guitarist improvises along. Harmonic trajectory is G-B-D-G.

Christian Wolff: Another Possibility
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Final edit (pre-master version).
Solo electric guitar, performed by Giacomo Fiore.
Slow, quiet, sparse textures; fragments and ideas that come gently in and out of focus. In the last two pages of the scores only rhythmic and string indications are given, leaving the actual notes to be played up to the performer.

Eve Beglarian: Until it Blazes
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Final edit (pre-master version).
Solo electric guitar and dual digital delay; performed by Giacomo Fiore.
A melodic fragment grows from one to six notes in length; throughout, the performer accents different notes in the patterns to create “supermelodies” that float above the repetitive texture.

Start and End Dates



San Francisco, California

11 updates
Last update on February 27, 2015

Project Created By

San Francisco, California
Italian guitarist and musicologist living and working in the SF Bay Area.

In Collaboration With



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