1962 – 2007
Rod Poole was born on January 4, 1962, in Taplow, just outside of London, in England. Rod began his studies in guitar in 1972 and over the years, experimented with various musical idioms, including free improvisation, free jazz and live electronic music. By the mid-1980s, his primary interests were acoustic-based free improvisation and finger-picked solo acoustic guitar. He was a founding member of the Oxford Improvisor’s Cooperative and was active in the Cooperative from 1983 to 1986. Though his family moved to and lived in several places in England, it was in Oxford that Rod developed many close friendships and considered Oxford his home. During this time in Oxford, he also began his work as a music instructor, teaching both electrical and acoustic guitar.
Rod PooleAfter moving to the United States in 1989, Rod began studying just intonation with the world’s foremost theorist on the subject, Ervin Wilson, in Los Angeles. He spent the next several years developing his approach to playing the guitar using just intonation theory.
Rod released a handful of unique and highly praised CDs on the W.I.N., Transparency, and Incus labels – The Dead Adder, December 96, Iasis,and The Acoustic Guitar Trio. He contributed “Kalaidoscopic Sunday” to the Henry Kaiser-curated guitar compilation, 156 Strings, and “The Fire Left to Come” to the SASSAS two-CD set, Sound, a compilation of Los Angeles-based performances curated by Cindy Bernard. Rod also engineered the recording of all but three of the performances on Sound. He has performed with Derek Bailey, Mia Masaoka, Joseph Hammer, Kraig Grady, Nels Cline, Donald Miller, Pat Thomas, Tony Bevan, Eugene Chadbourne, and others.
In October of 2005, Rod released the CD, Mind’s Island, with Sasha Bogdanowitsch, a composer, vocalist & multi-instrumentalist whose work strives to unite East and West sensibilities by working towards a unique ‘world’ musical language.
Both Poole and Bogdanowitsch are long-time performers of just intoned music and Mind’s Island is an advanced example of the melodic and harmonic possibilities that can be created using alternative tuning systems. All of the recordings on Mind’s Island were created with virtually no prior discussion before the actual taping. Scale(s) were chosen as a basis for improvisation. Melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, and duration were spontaneous.
Justguitar Records was created in the Fall of 2005 as a vehicle for Rod to make available new and archival recordings from his sound library. Mind’s Island was its first release.
After a hiatus from live performance for several years, Rod was recently preparing to perform again. His wife, Lisa Ladaw, and his close friends will continue his legacy of music on Justguitar Records and release several of his recordings in the future.