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Classical guitar duo to perform at Freight & Salvage

By Ian Stewart, Special to the Daily Planet
Thursday July 18, 2002

Sure, summer is here. And even though the fog sometimes plays havoc with the concept of the perfect, dreamy summer dusk – you know the kind where you can sit on a porch and lazily watch the sun set, batting away flies and listening to deep, melodic tunes – the concept of dreamy isn't lost to musicians Paolo Giordano and Michael Manring. Their music, which swirls like a firefly out of reach, sets the perfect tone for a twilight of gazing, reflection and pure dreaminess, even if there is fog. To promote their new CD "Kids in a Toyshop (Step Musique)," Italian acoustic guitarist Paolo Giordano and Oakland bassist Michael Manring are playing a show at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse this evening. 

On the CD, Giordano plays acoustic and slide guitar and performs the vocals, while Manring is strictly bass. Though the album also features Jacqueline Perkins on vocals and Alex Acuna on percussion, tonight just Giordano and Manring will be playing– though that should satisfy pretty much anyone interested in a night of astonishing, ambient music. 

Giordano and Manring have a long history of producing absorbing music, both together and separately with various solo efforts. This may be the second CD collaboration between them but it sounds like they've been playing together for years, and they have– for nearly a decade. This is their second United States tour. 

Their musical resumes cover a huge swath of varying musical styles and distinct musicians. Giordano, mostly known for classical guitar, has worked with guitarists such as Pierre Bensusan, Peter Finger, Alex De Grassim, Michael Hedges and Lucio Dalla. He also has worked with singer Patti Cathcart, from the duo known as Tuck & Patti. 

Manring, on the other hand, known for his unorthodox tunings, techniques and methodologies, has worked with the Yo Miles group, New Age keyboardist Suzanne Ciani, Henry Kaiser, John Gorka, and with the late Michael Hedges, with whom he had a fifteen-year collaboration. He has recorded with the experimental post-metal trio, Attention Deficit, which features Tim Alexander of Primus and Alex Skolnick of Testament. Manring also plays with the Seattle punk-jazz trio Sadhappy and has published four solo albums through Windham Hill records, where he was the house bassist. He has two gold records, Grammy and Bammie nominations and is a Berkeley School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award winner. He has also been featured on a recent PBS documentary, "The Artist's Profile: Michael Manring."