CULTURE

Guitar-magic lender has his own voice, too

His name may not strike a chord at first, but a quick glance at the man’s track record reveals a rich and creatively interesting rock music history. Moris Tepper, who will be in Athens for one performance this Friday night at the Small Music Theater (33 Veikou, Koukaki, tel 210.924.5644), has worked with such legendary music luminaries as Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits, Frank Black and Robyn Hitchcock. Most recently, Tepper has toured with PJ Harvey. His guitar sounds have proven to be an intrinsic part of their material. Groundbreaking artist This impressive run of collaborations began early. Tepper was only 18 when he joined the second lineup of the unorthodox and ground-breaking Captain Beefheart’s combo, the Magic Band, one of the most commonly cited influences of younger acts. He ended up playing guitar on four Captain Beefheart albums: «Shiny Beast,» «Bat Chain Puller,» «Ice Cream For Crow,» and «Doc At The Radar Station.» Captain Beefheart, born Don Van Vliet, recently reappeared after retreating to the desert in the early ’80s to focus on his painting. The old master – a guru for many younger musicians, including PJ Harvey, who apparently visits his desert home – co-wrote a song with Tepper for the latter’s most recent album, «Head Off.» It was preceded by two albums, «Mouth to Mouth» and «Big Enough To Disappear.» Besides his work for others, Tepper also has a repertoire of his own. His solo work reflects a deep and genuine love of blues, folk and ethnic music, which explains Tepper’s unique instrumentation and arrangements. Early start His eclectic palette includes tubas, banjos, penny whistles, mandolin, bagpipes, African marimba, bihuela, hurdy-gurdy, and accordion, all of which appear regularly in his songs. For his show in Athens, Tepper will perform as part of a trio. As a band leader, Tepper is renowned for his unique choices. He opts for risk-taking musicians with extraordinary prowess. Besides music, Tepper explores other artistic fields as well. More recently, he has gained notoriety for his artwork through exhibitions in the US and Europe. He also makes videos. «Paintings should be the documentation of beings, events and places that one cannot see anywhere else. The artist should strive to remove everything from his canvas that can be found in the ordinary world,» Tepper notes on his website. «I am just trying to pull the shapes, beings and emotions that exist just out of the reach of our senses up to the surface of the canvas. The canvas is a veil that separates us from the other side.»