The Art & Music of Michael Garfield: Musician

Musician


"Welcome to the future...Michael is a pioneer exploring the edge realms where the electric and old world meet."
- LostInSound

"It takes creativity to make the next step in a newer, more shocking direction, but it takes a visionary to go beyond the breaking point and meet music on the other end of the spectrum. That’s what Michael Garfield does."

"Intoxicating, rejuvenating, and unapologetically spiritual work...entertaining songs that completely upend the stereotypes of intelligent music...instantly memorable and utterly magnetic tunes whose authenticity and sweetness is boundary breaking."

Between the personal warmth of songwriting tradition and the whirling ecstatics of festival culture, Michael Garfield is making music for which new words must be invented – vocally athletic percussive future-folk and improvised instrumental electronica, a marriage of charismatic stage presence and dazzling avant-garde technique that combines polyphonic fretboard tapping with a fifty-pound pedalboard of filters, delays, and multi-channel loopers.

Singing and playing while twisting knobs and DJ'ing live samples with his toes, Michael's heart-winning and mind-expanding performances are an embodiment of his training as an evolutionary biologist and cyberdelic poet-philosopher – liberating the organic into the digital, and the idioms of Americana into a new species of transcendental trance.

  

Michael has published dozens of live releases since 2007 from gigs with a dizzying array of artists, including Papadosio, The Nadis Warriors, Whitewater Ramble, Spoonfed Tribe, Lunar Fire, The Floozies, Delta Nove, & Zuvuya; electronic producers Random Rab, Rena Jones, Sidecar Tommy of Beats Antique, Heyoka, Ana Sia, Jamie Janover, Skytree, & D.V.S*; singer-songwriters Willy Porter, Stuart Davis, & Cohen; and virtuoso instrumentalists Tim Reynolds, Andreas Kapsalis Trio, Zach Deputy, Cecil "P'Nut" Daniels, That 1 Guy, & Dixon's Violin – and jammed onstage with with an equally eclectic mix, including Fareed Haque, Entheogenic, Bird of Prey, Soulacybin, Erothyme, Futexture, Ayla Nereo, and Cualli.

His music has been featured in the award-winning PBS documentary series Arts in Context, as well as on KRFC FM's Live at Lunch, Erik Davis' Expanding Mind, and Notes From The Psychedelic Salon.  Passionate about interdisciplinary collaboration, Michael has made a habit of co-improvising with non-musicians, including dance/animation duo ARTheism, the Rootwire Festival Live Art Team, and Burning Man's Aerial Fabric Showcase.  In 2013 he launched an entirely new performance modality – Looper's Night – which remixes live input from professional and amateur musicians alike in richly textured improvisational groove-scapes that destroy the boundary between artist and audience.

At Gratifly Festival 2013, Michael made history as the first musician to stream point-of-view video from Google Glass through a projector on stage, letting the audience see through his eyes...

"Monstrously talented...an act the likes of which I have not seen in a long time."
Willy Porter

"So so so SO Good!! Yay and wow."


Full 22-minute performance with visualist Topher Sipes at Austin's Scottish Rite Theater:

Cyber-acoustic guitar improvisation from Rootwire 2013 scores this time-lapse live painting video:

Fretboard tapping, guitar percussion, live looping, Ebow, and pedal effects at the Austin Airport:

Fretboard tapping intro to some "Cosmic Americana" – a ballad about love's transformations:

Benefits For Causes I Believe In 
  

More Rave Reviews

"A transcendent exploration of what one man can achieve with an acoustic guitar...the glitched-out grooves [are] simultaneously calm yet very much switched-on."
- Michael Brown for Everyday Guitar Gear

"An insanely moving spiritual experience in sound. His intricately developed soundscapes delve into the internal harmonies of what it means to be human: the percussion our pulse and the melody the flow of our spirit, like blood vessels serpentinely traversing through the labyrinthine veins of the body."
LostInSound

"[Michael] is leading the charge in bringing a more human and soulful aspect back to electronic music."
- Jason White, aka Zympht

"The perfect opening act."
- Michael Travis of SCIEOTO, & Zuvuya

"Michael Garfield paints the world with sound...some truly mind-bending improvs. Fans of art and performance will find a lot to love."

"Esoteric and intricate, I found myself struggling to describe his sound and style...some surprisingly pleasurable heartbreak."

"Watching your show the other day was a PROFOUND spiritual experience for me...a highlight of my musical experiences up till this point. Dude, you hit me on the deepest soul level."
DJ Dreamcode

"This music makes me high. [Michael's] guitar talks. It tells stories and laughs and enters into shamanic fits…but it also weaves together a blanket of the familiar." 

"Honestly the best jam session I ever had."
Violinda Lola (on 2014.02.05 at Tantra Coffee House)

"If you are like us, then [in you] lies a yearning to discover something DIFFERENT and new, something that floors you, something that moves you, something that gets you excited to go home and download everything of theirs available online and to tell all of your friends about it...Michael Garfield could do that for us this summer."

"Here is my frank review, Michael: I think you love babies. And you want everyone making them so you go around giving people this music. You're like the Johnny Appleseed of a whole new crop of children."

"I've chosen [this] as the music I will conceive my first child to...in all seriousness."
- Jeremy Judkins of Deep Blip Records (on A Million Anniversaries)

"Unique and amazing....something sorely lacking in the world in which we live where cookie-cutter boys and girls are given stardom on a daily basis.  In this world, [Michael is] a supernova."
- Penny Moon of HireABandStLouis.com

"Astonishing...insane guitar talent."
- Smother.net

"Amazing to watch and even more amazing to listen to."
TwoGroove.com

"Great vibe, masterful looping. Hypnotic and wonderful sounds. Looking forward to hearing more."
Marco Oppedisano

"Your sound is totally sunkissed Cali psych mysticism. That sound is classic and cannot be faked."
- Andy Rantzen of Pelican Daughters

"Michael Garfield has some absolutely amazing chops...the musicianship on this album is truly wonderful."

"Don't jump to conclusions based on 'acoustic guitar improv'...this sounds more like some of the sonic explorations that came out of the Robert Fripp/Brian Eno collaborations than some hippie 'jamming' on an acoustic in a park somewhere. [It's] full of odd timbres and textures, but the occasional splash of melody erupts and there's a strange, sci-fi psycho-Western feel to a lot of it – let's just say if they'd ever done a psychedelic drug sequence on Firefly, this would have worked perfectly as the accompaniment. It's occasionally beautiful, frequently evocative and never less than interesting."

"The twisting braids of sound he can generate with such a simple rig is incredible, as is the simmering energy that comes through even the quietest moments, a feeling of suspense that something you don't want to miss is about to happen.  The inventiveness and the passion that drives all of the meticulous work that goes into such projects is evidence of a deep and interesting well of ideas...memorable and beautiful."
- Caeli La for LostInSound (on The Body Electric)

"The only reason this album might not be appreciated is if you don't have a musical ear."
Scene Magazine, Fort Collins CO (on A Million Anniversaries)

"Michael Garfield's extraordinary acoustic work...finds the ears captivated and entranced in a dance of delightful sonic textures. A gifted instrumentalist, Garfield's vocal prowess should not go unheard either, resonating in haunting fashion, full of chills and thrills. This is wonderful, simple music for the listener's ears to feed on."
Performer Magazine (on Double-Edged Sword)

"'Golden Hour' slides into my veins and spreads its claws deep, holding me with unrelenting insistence and a funk groove plowed clean, deep and dangerously direct."

"A Million Anniversaries has put me in a more spiritual place than I have been in quite some time...I highly suggest grabbing this album. It will make your day."

"Amazing. I have not seen that before...you obviously put some hours in. I was hypnotized."

"While I MEAN to give helpful, rational feedback, all I want to do is run around and throw copies of your CD at people, photograph their faces upon listening, and give THAT to you instead. The music makes me FEEL too strongly to be able to THINK about it enough to speak on it in a way that would be useful to you."