Wed, Apr 18 • 7:00PM
The Atlanta Room
PETER CILUZZI / SPENCER ELLIOTT
$10 IN ADVANCE / $15 DAY OF
With a distinctive, timeless sound that is both familiar and unexpected, Peter Ciluzzi's music defies easy categorization and reflects a wide range of influences including jazz, bluegrass, classical, and world music. Raised in a small town in coastal Massachusetts, Ciluzzi developed an appreciation of the arts at a young age and took up guitar when he was a child. Mainly a self- taught musician, he has also studied jazz and improvisation as well as classical composition and has written a number of orchestral and electronic works in addition to his solo guitar recordings. A finalist in the 2007 Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition, he has toured and performed throughout the US and shared the stage with the likes of Antoine Dufour, Ewan Dobson, Pino Forastiere, Craig D'Andrea and Gareth Pearson. The broad nature of his musical interests also extends into guitar design and construction; having studied lutherie with Charles Fox, he started Ciluzzi Guitars in 2006 and has displayed at a number of exhibitions including the Montreal Guitar Show.
Peter Ciluzzi’s music reflects his comprehensive approach to the guitar and his lifelong study of all things musical. An enthusiast and devoted student of many styles of music, his output often defies easy categorization and reflects a diverse range of influences including jazz, bluegrass, and flamenco guitar as well as contemporary fingerstyle guitar; classical and electronic music and the study of orchestral composition; and traditional music from other parts of the world such as Brazil, India, and west Africa. In his own music Peter seeks to express the influence of these styles in a way that conveys his own unique compositional voice.
Primarily a self-taught musician, Peter started making music when he was a child. Inspired by the many musicians and performers that filled the streets of the small Cape Cod town where he grew up, he began playing guitar at age 12. In his early teens he was drawn towards classical guitar and instrumental music and discovered the solo guitar work of Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, and Pierre Bensusan; the manouche and flamenco guitar of Django Reinhardt and Paco De Lucia; the bluegrass fusion of David Grisman and Bela Fleck; and the genre-blurring jazz of guitarists like Egberto Gismonti and Ralph Towner. He studied the music of these and other visionaries, including the guitar works of Albeniz, Granados, and Villa-Lobos and the expansive orchestral sounds of composers such as Mahler, Delius, and Glazunov.
Peter also took up other instruments including mandolin, piano, cello, and trumpet. He became increasingly attracted to the improvisational approaches of great jazz musicians like Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny, and in addition to itinerant formal study at a number of music schools, he attained proficiency in the field of jazz guitar and improvisation.
Peter continued to compose and develop his guitar technique and entered a number of composition and guitar competitions. In 2007 he was a finalist at the Canadian Guitar Competition, and following that appearance he was offered a recording contract with Candyrat Records, an independent label that publishes guitar-based music from around the world. In 2008 Peter released “Music Without Words,” his first album of original solo guitar music; and in the years since, he has toured throughout the U.S. and shared the stage with musicians such as Ewan Dobson, Pino Forastiere, Antoine Dufour, Gareth Pearson, and Craig D’Andrea. In addition to a number of new works in progress, Peter released his second solo guitar album "Still Without Words" in spring 2016 and is planning subsequent performances and touring around the US.
The broad nature of his musical interests also extends into the realm of musical instrument design, research, and construction. Having studied guitarmaking with the highly regarded educator and innovator Charles Fox at the American School of Lutherie, Peter founded Ciluzzi Guitars in 2006, and in 2010 he was invited to exhibit at the prestigious Montreal Guitar Show. In addition to continuing work on various musical projects & recordings and giving performances around the U.S., he presently commissions and builds fine handcrafted instruments out of a workshop in Massachusetts.
Spencer Elliott began composing instrumental music on piano growing up in West Virginia, influenced at the time by contemporary composers like George Winston. He later picked up guitar but was more influenced at that time by punk and progressive alternative music. For more than two decades, Spencer performed as vocalist and occasional guitarist in a number of punk and alternative bands. It wasn’t until 2007 that Spencer turned his focus to progressive instrumental steel string guitar. Spencer spent several years taking inspiration from and studying compositions by the likes of Hedges, Ross, McKee and Dufour, among others. (All while maintaining a love for influences ranging from Beethoven to Billie Holiday to Bad Brains).
Once Spencer began to write progressive finger style pieces, his compositional elements pulled not only from his piano background but also from his affinity for edgier guitar music. Spencer views modern finger style as part of the "Free Space" to borrow a phrase from Ian MacKaye (singer for Minor Threat and Fugazi and owner of fiercely independent record label Dischord Records). It is a place where new and original artistic ideas continue to bloom and are not borne of a profit motive but from a compulsion to be creative. Spencer's debut CandyRat release contains rich melodic and percussive landscapes that fuse his contrasting influences and place them on full display.