David Fiuczynski

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Guitar shredder, researcher, composer, and winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, David Fiuczynski explores the microtonal universe like few others. A recent project is Jointly dedicated to 20th century classical composer Olivier Messiaen and innovative hip-hop record producer J Dilla. Over the last ten years Fiuczynski has explored music widely with the goal of furthering guitar language, technique, and technologies by incorporating foreign music traditions, harmonies and styles to create a unique idiom that transcends them all.

Career Highlights
  • Guggenheim Fellow 2011
  • Massachusetts Arts Council Fellow 2009
  • Leader of the Screaming Headless Torsos
  • Performances with  Stewart Copeland, Dennis Chambers, Jack DeJohnette, JoJo Mayer, Marcus Miller, and Bernie Worrell
  • Recordings with Billy Hart, Hasidic New Wave, Hiromi, John Medeski, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Ronald Shannon Jackson
  • Performances at festivals in Argentina, Canada, Europe, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, South Africa, and the United States


In Their Own Words

"I'm interested in students finding their own voice. I start with teaching chord scale theory in the style that the student is interested in playing. It doesn't matter to me if it's death metal, jazz, or electronica. I want players to be able to analyze a composition, figure out what modes they can use to solo over or generate parts with, and learn how to comp with chords, riffs, or counterlines. I find this really stimulates creativity and helps students approach the music from a fresh perspective."

"Once we cover the basics, I want players to use simple melodic development ideas to generate new ideas in their soloing or new melodies and parts in their compositions. This is easy. We just work on taking a phrase and moving it around in a chord or scale, then through a set of chord changes. The motif is played forward or backward; the intervals are augmented or diminished. Also, the rhythmic or melodic shape of the motif is emphasized. This trains the students' creative reflexes and helps them express themselves in their own voice, because everyone will use these ideas in a different way."

"I've performed, toured, and/or recorded with my bands Screaming Headless Torsos and KiF, as well as other artists such as Meshell Ndegeocello, John Medeski, Dennis Chambers, and Hasidic New Wave among others, so I've had a chance to play a wide variety of music with some of the most inspiring musicians in the world. This has not only helped my own musical development, but has really given me the tools to work with students with a range of interests. I am able to appreciate where they are coming from because I genuinely enjoy all styles of music myself and use them in my own music. I firmly believe that although all the essential musical knowledge needs to be learned, students are best served by working on what really excites them."