Like fellow Briton Derek Bailey, Fred Frith is one of the guitar's foremost deconstructors. For over 30 years he has explored demolition-style methods for evoking nonconventional sounds out of the standard rock 'n' roll axe. His successful collaborations include stints with John Zorn, Tom Cora, and Henry Cow (an infamous beyond-rock unit he co-founded in 1968 with noise-maker Tim Hodgkinson). Basically, by applying all sorts of "found" objects to the six-string, Frith explodes the limitations of the instrument by using its components (strings, pickups, nuts and bolts) to make music. Like an iron-pumping roughneck, his improvs are burly, and can punch you in the gut. Because he's also a skilled composer, Frith's off-the-cuff noises cohere with a sculptor's logic, as if building new forms from wreckage.
-- Sam Prestianni
Fred Frith appears with Larry Ochs (sax) and Miya Masaoka (koto) on Monday, March 24, at 8 p.m. at Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell. Tickets are $10; call 885-0750.