Valley resident takes the one-man band to a new level
Johnson Lane resident Todd Green began playing guitar when he was 8 years old. As a 55-year-old, he now plays more than 50 string, flute and percussion instruments from around the world.
Green is performing a concert 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Reno, to benefit the school’s recording arts program.
The 2-hour concert, with an intermission, will feature original music inspired by many different cultures in the Middle East, Central Asia, Far East and South America.
His custom-built electronic system allows him to layer instruments as he performs, in effect turning him into a high-tech one-man-band of world music.
“Every concert is unique. I can layer instruments, fade instruments in and out. I’m really orchestrating the music with my foot as I’m playing live with my hands,” Green said. “It makes it sound like a band is playing, and makes it very open-ended. I can shift directions whenever I want, but it’s still just me.”
After studying composition, arrangement and guitar performance at Berklee College in the mid seventies, Green moved to New York City and performed as a jazz guitarist.
During this time, as he was exposed to NYC’s vibrant and diverse music scene, he started developing an interest in world music.
His studies began with taking Bansuri flute and Indian Tabla drum lessons with Steve Gorn – generally considered the foremost western Bansuri flute performer.
He later moved to Montana where he began experimenting with his electronic looping system, and developing the style of music he plays in his concerts.
In 2001, Green moved to the Johnson Lane area where he spends his time recording in his home studio when not touring.
At noon Tuesday, Green will give a free lecture demonstration at the University featuring more than 20 of his string, flute and percussion instruments from around the world.
He will be relating them culturally and geographically as well as to some of our familiar Western instruments.
He will also demonstrate unusual rhythms and scales used in other cultures.
“I’m showing these amazing instruments that most people are hearing for the first time,” Green said. “It’s a broad-based exposure to a lot of music from around the world.”
When asked what his favorite instrument is, Green returns to his musical roots.
“Strings are the one’s I like the most,” he said. “It’s what I started with, and know the most. They’re more a part of me.”
Tickets to Green’s concert are $10 general admission and $5 for students.
For more information, visit http://www.toddgreen.com and see “instrument gallery.”