Clearing (album)

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FredFrith AlbumCover Clearing.jpg
Studio album by Fred Frith
Released 2001 (2001)
Recorded 1996, 2000, Germany
2000, Poland
Genre Experimental rock
Length 54:05
Label Tzadik (US)
Producer Fred Frith
Fred Frith chronology
Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire
Freedom in Fragments

Clearing is a guitar solo album by English guitarist, composer and improvisor Fred Frith. It was Frith's first solo guitar recording since Live in Japan (1982) and his first solo guitar studio recording since his landmark [1] 1974 album Guitar Solos.

Clearing comprises eleven tracks of unaccompanied and improvised music played on prepared guitars by Frith. Ten of the tracks were recorded in Stuttgart, Germany in 1996 and 2000, and one was recorded live at the Konstrukcja w Procesie Festival VII in Bydgoszcz, Poland in 2000.


In 2000, John Zorn commissioned Frith to make a guitar solo album for Tzadik Records as a follow-up to his 1974 album, Guitar Solos. Using prepared guitars, Frith recorded Clearing in Stuttgart, Germany in July 2000 in a similar vein as Guitar Solos, revisiting areas explored on that album but not developed further at the time. He also included two additional tracks, "Gaifu Kaisei" and "This Earth is a Flower" that had been recorded earlier.

Frith used a variety of found objects when recording the album. On "Chains", Frith placed a lozenger tin on the guitar strings and dropped a chain into the tin. An acoustic sound was achieved on "Blue" by placing microphones close to the electric guitar strings. Chopsticks were jammed between the guitar strings on "Gaifu Kaisei". "Minimalism" was performed entirely by striking the guitar strings with drumsticks.[citation needed]

Frith dedicated four of the tracks on the album to:


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]

AllMusic said this of the album:[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "White (for Andy Goldsworthy)" (Frith) – 9:28
  2. "Open Ocean" (Frith) – 5:12
  3. "Chains" (Frith) – 2:00
  4. "The Bow Moon" (Frith) – 4:00
  5. "Minimalism (for Tomoko Itani)" (Frith) – 5:07
  6. "Not With Love But With Fear" (Frith) – 6:03
  7. "Theatre" (Frith) – 10:09
  8. "Gaifu Kaisei (in memory of Akira Iijima)" (Frith) – 2:50
  9. "Road Movie" (Frith) – 2:12
  10. "This Earth is a Flower" (Frith) – 3:52
  11. "Blue (for Bill Frisell)" (Frith) – 3:12


Sound and artwork[edit]


  1. ^ Westergaard, Sean. "Guitar Solos". Retrieved 2006-11-21. 
  2. ^ a b Olewnick, Brian. "Clearing". AllMusic. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 

External links[edit]