Colin Bragg is a composer and guitarist specializing in improvisation and creative sound design. His latest album “Entropy” harnesses an array of experimental tones and textures that radiate with blissful energy.

Colin shares some of his favorite songs in this weeks edition of “Five For Friday”. Get “Entropy” and all of his other releases here.


Tôru Takemitsu: Waterways

Tôru Takemitsu’s music is a beautiful balance of eastern and western influences. Paradoxically, he started his musical journey solely with western music, but John Cage’s Zen-influenced indeterminacy and Bunraku puppet theater awoke in him an appreciation for his own tradition.

This piece is so cool – it has an “Impressionist” vibe, but is even more spectral. Technically, the harps are tuned in quarter tones, there are various aleatoric looping sections, and the players are often simultaneously playing in different tempos. These elements create a gossamer-like sound, and I really like to play with similar ideas.


Terje Rypdal / Miroslav Vitous / Jack DeJohnette : “Sunrise”

Terje Rypdal’s music has a luminescent glow that sounds exactly like where it comes from – the land of the midnight sun. He sometimes channels guitarists John McLaughlin, Jimi Hendrix or David Gilmour, but he transforms idiomatic electric guitar sounds for his own compositional ends – just check out the slow motion pick slide and the end of this track that sounds like a jumbo jet flying overhead.


Éliane Radigue: Triptych

I remember goofing with the huge ARP 2500 modular synthesizer in the UGA School of Music electronic studios, and with a lot of effort and focus I would happen upon really interesting, pulsating sounds. That sort of play would inspire what I wrote for acoustic instruments, and what I do now with my humble synth setup.

Radigue recorded and released material solely realized with her 2500 for much of her career. Her music unfolds over long stretches of time and completely puts me into a trance, and gives me the confidence to let a sound exist for a long time before reaching for the knobs.


Miles Davis: “Go Ahead John” from Big Fun

Already an awesome performance, the fantastic production turns it into science fiction. Producer Teo Macero worked with looping, overdubbing, and other studio effects to create really wild, disorienting funk soundscapes for Miles. Whenever I think about manipulating a track’s stereo field when recording, I automatically think of this track.


Suzanne Ciani : Buchla Concerts 1975

This album inspired me to start working on a live technique with analog synths. I’m often fishing for a sound to keep me going creatively, and after years of guitar playing the synthesizer offered a new path. Also, Ciani’s story is truly inspiring, and it’s heartwarming to know that although she has had a successful commercial music career, she was able to return to her musical love, tweaking the Buchla synthesizer.