The Wrens’ Charles Bissell Was Torn Hawk’s Guitar Teacher
Experimental guitarist Luke Wyatt, AKA Torn Hawk, has garnered acclaim here and elsewhere for his new Mexican Summer LP Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time, which I’d describe in a pinch as bite-sized Mark McGuire chillwave by way of Oneohtrix Point Never. But before Wyatt was making genius tracks like “Acceptance Speech,” he learned to play under the tutelage of Wrens singer-guitarist Charles Bissell. So says Bissell in his latest blog post. Here’s what the Wren wrote:
I taught Torn Hawk… probably nothing he knows.
For 10 years I taught guitar in a music store in NJ (hi, Woodside Music in Park Ridge), to mostly high schoolers w/ some adults & younger children thrown in. And in those hundreds of students there would always be a few that were better (either more talented or more accomplished, I have yet to crack that one) usually in a “hey, another perfect Led Zep solo down pat” way, which is great and as the cliche` goes, taught me a lot. But there were always a few that seemed further ahead…aesthetically, for lack of a better word, who might end up doing something really cool in the future, either artistically or just more broadly, in life etc., even if it wasn’t quite clear (at least clear to me) what that might be.
Luke Wyatt was one of those young’uns. Years later (so a few years ago), I came across these super-cool video collage things that looked as if someone had harvested all the interesting, odd or of-their-time snippets of every abandoned VHS tape ever and mashed them together in a way that in less capable hands would have been easy irony. Here though the effect was different and maybe ’cause I’ve just read the Pitchfork review below, I’ll go with nostalgic. Anyway, I bookmarked the person that seemed to making these, Torn Hawk, fantasizing, “yeah, here’s another cool thing I’ll do when our most-dread record’s done – I’ll ask this Torn Hawk person to collaborate!”.
My quickly-lengthening story short, find out later that Torn is Luke and am awed and super happy in a proud-uncle sorta way. It’s a measure of how far I’ve disappeared up my own..um, album…that I’ve been meaning to post this since the Pitchfork interview below ran (last March (brag/disclaimer: I am flatteringly shouted out here)) and that he has a new album out this week (reviewed below), finally got me in gear.
Keep up the good work, Mr. Hawk. I’m proud to know you.
Small world! Now back to work, Bissell!