Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Artist Jameson Swanagon
Title Desolation Happiness
Label Self Produced -
Released On 11/24/2010

Solo guitar compositions celebrating the instrument's quiet, rapid decay. Each composition strives to be taken over by improvisation but always ends with a concise, pre-concieved conclusion.

"The tracks on Desolation Happiness (all instrumental) shift moods frequently, moving from melodic finger-picking to eerie avant-folk at the drop of a hat. The album successfully exposes Swanagon’s deftness with his craft, both as a performer and a composer." ~ The Bay Bridged

"Unlike so many modern guitarists who seem hell-bent on proving that they can do the work of three or more players regardless of the cost to the music, there is a distinct lack of Boom-Chick, Slap-Tap or flashy Widdley-Diddley stuff on this record, and it’s a refreshing change. The performances conjure impressions of conceptual skeletons being explored and fleshed out through improvisational experimentation. Although this music will not intrude as background fill at your next dinner party, it pays substantial dividends if given a little attention and time to enter into the atmospheric space that it creates. At times tentative and perhaps self consciously awkward – then confident and bold, the pieces are mostly always engaging." ~ Work and Worry

Desolation Happiness collects pieces written for the New England Conservatory ensemble Everything's A Little Glorious (2007); the David Patton Gallery show "Ground Works" (May 31, 2008); the Grand Lake album Nevermint (2009); and the short film "The Big Feet" (2009).

Jameson Swanagon: acoustic guitar and harmonica. Recorded February 7, 2010 in San Francisco by Sebastien Richard, except Sad Fish, recorded at home and performed on a guitar built by Jeff Jamieson. Mastered by Myles Boisen. Snail by Danae Swanagon. Design by Priscilla Wilson.