B i o g r a p h y
Carl Weingarten is an American guitarist, photographer and founder of the independent music label Multiphase Records. Described as "one of the best indie musicians working today" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Carl is best known for his atmospheric sound and use of the slide guitar and Dobro. Weingarten has played a significant role in the progressive independent music
scene since the 1980s, recording numerous solo and collaborative instrumental albums.
Before acquiring a taste in music, Weingarten gained an interest in photography early on; atseven years old, he received his first camera as a Christmas gift. By junior high, Weingarten moved on to shooting Super 8 films and as a junior, was recognized in The Kodak Teenage
Movie Awards. In high school, he also aspired to teach himself how to play slide guitar after his
first exposure to blues.
Weingarten later earned a degree in cinema production which would go hand in hand with the atmospheric music he would later become known for. According to Weingarten, "The cinematic tone in my music comes from my visual arts background. I paint in sound." However,
living in the Midwest, breaking into the film industry proved difficult, and he began writing and recording his own film scores and other music for modern dance companies. This led him to join the indie label movement.
Weingarten founded Multiphase Records in St. Louis in 1980. The following year, he released its first album, Submergings, in collaboration with Gale Ormiston and Phil Neon. That same year gave birth to Weingarten's instrumental electronic rock band Delay Tactics. An early
practitioner of the recording/performing technique called Looping, the group featuring Walter Whitney on synths and guitarists David Udell and Reed Nesbit, took heavy influence from Brian Eno and served as more of a recording unit than live act. They were, however, among the first of such indie groups to use digital delays in both studio recordings and live looping performances. The group produced two albums, Out-Pop Options (1982) and Any Questions? (1985). In the 1990s, Weingarten moved to the San Francisco bay area and continued producing his own solo and collaboration albums. He reunited multiple times with Walter Whitney among other musicians in producing a broad catalog of studio recordings.
In 1993, a group of Western and East Indian musicians were brought together by producer Kavi Alexander of Water Lily Acoustics under the Court Musicians moniker to record an album At The Court of The Chera King, fusing various cultural styles; two of such tracks featured Weingarten on guitar, and his experience with the project's Indian themes had a profound influence on him musically.
Carl has since toured nationally as both a soloist and session guitarist, adding his unique atmospheric guitar in rock, jazz and ambient music settings. Carl currently performs with the group Blue Eternity, an ambient-jazz trio featuring Michael Manring bass and Jeff Oster trumpet. He has continued releasing new music throughout his career, with his latest recording This Is Where I Found You (2018) on Multiphase Records.
Weingarten's records have received praise by media outlets such as All About Jazz, Billboard, Musician, Keyboard, Guitar Player, Muze.com, Music Web Express, Exposé, and Allmusic among others. With influences spanning jazz, blues, rock, soundtracks, experimental
and world music among other genres, his albums have often been described as sounding more akin to a thematic scores than a more formal collection of songs, and his innovative style blending and experimentation have been widely commended.
In 2002, Weingarten released one of his most critically acclaimed works, escapesilence. The record would become an NPR staple and the winner of the "Listeners Choice Award" from the syndicated PRI program Echoes.
In 2012 Carl’s CD Panomorphia, was honored by the
Zone Music Reporter during an awards ceremony in New Orleans as ZMR’s best “Chill/Groove” CD of the year. Carl’s follow up CD Life Under Stars was nominated in 2015 by Zone Music Reporter in the Best Instrumental Album category. Several of Weingarten's early Multiphase releases are being reissued in the United Kingdom by Emotional Rescue/Juno and Azure Vista Records.
In addition to his success in the music industry, Weingarten is an avid photographer and filmmaker. Carl's short video documentary The Rocket Movies was featured in Adobe Creative Magazine in 2017. Today, a gallery of photos can be viewed at his website focusing on subjects like aerials, urban landscapes and architecture, natural landscapes, concerts, and nightlife. The site also offers digital restoration of old photos, and his work has been featured in exhibits such as the Frank Bette Center for the Arts.
"Carl Weingarten is the quiet subversive who applies his guitar experiments within unassuming New Age digs." --S. Victor Aaron
"Honing his art over three decades has produced a singular voice that honors the slide’s history while pushing it into the future.” --Guitar Moderne
"Carl Weingarten, a great, unheralded and underrated, often experimental guitarist." --John Diliberto - Echoes