dom turner & tony wheeler

Microtonal Crossroads One-Music for Slide Guitar & Guqin

Dom Turner & Tony Wheeler

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Hybrid Australian-ised blues based guitar with ancient Chinese guqin.

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Microtonal Crossroads One-Music for Slide Guitar & Guqin is a collection of cinematic sounding, original tracks (albeit one, an arrangement of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground”) melding hybridised blues slide guitar with music of the ancient Chinese guqin (a 7-string chordophone from the zither family). 

Dom Turner is best known as guitarist/ vocalist, founding member and key songwriter of the iconic Australian blues group, Backsliders. He has toured the Australian festival circuit since the 1980s and regularly appears at most major blues related music. Dom’s influences are many and varied – a hybrid blend of Mississippi hill country blues, delta blues, Piedmont blues, rock, dub and sounds of Asia. He is a highly regarded speaker on blues music and has guested on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)  radio programs (including a weekly series on ABC Gold Coast entitled 'Blues Tuesdays' and guest presenting Radio National’s ‘Music Deli’) and presented music workshops at festivals and in universities (both nationally and internationally). Dom’s other side projects, include ‘Supro’, a mix of ‘dub’ and blues and features original and reconstructed songs as well as The Angry Tradesmen, a grunge-rock project with fellow Backsliders, Rob Hirst. Dom also performs with US blues harmonica legend, Phil Wiggins, as well as Australian Record Industry Award (ARIA) award-winning harmonica player and member of ‘Backsliders’, Ian Collard, as traditional blues duets, both projects with albums released. Dom has recorded and released a cross-cultural music recording with Vietnamese stringed instrument master, Kim Sinh, entitled “Two Days in Hanoi” as well as a soon to be released album (2019) with innovative Korean Komongo musician, Jin Hi Kim. 

Tony Wheeler is a performer (clarinet, saxophone, guqin and ruan), composer and teacher. He was born in New Zealand in 1958 and has spent most of his life in Australia, as well as a considerable number of years in Asia. He studied clarinet and composition at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where he first made contact with Chinese traditional music. After graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Music, he worked as a freelance performer and teacher before being awarded a scholarship to spend two years (1985-7) at the Shanghai Conservatory studying Chinese composition, ruan (Chinese four-stringed guitar) and guqin (ancient seven-stringed zither). After leaving Shanghai, Wheeler then spent four years studying and teaching at the University of Hong Kong before receiving a Master's degree in Composition for Chinese Instruments. He studied guqin with Lin You Ren in Shanghai, and with Lau Chor Wah in Hong Kong. As well as maintaining a busy teaching schedule, Wheeler composes in a wide variety of musical genres and styles, and his compositions have been performed and broadcast in Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Europe, the USA and Canada. His study of Chinese music, in particular that of the guqin, has had a profound and enriching influence on his composition, improvisation and approach to and practice of music in all contexts. 


VIDEO: The Death of Hound Dog Taylor (Turner/Wheeler)

Dom Turner: Electric slide guitar
Tony Wheeler: Chinese guqin
Rob Hirst: Drums and Percussion

Music Turner/Wheeler 2016

Video by Tim Burke 2016

Image 'Trunk & Ash' by Reg Mombassa used with permission.