The first album I released under my own name was "Hapless Days", in 2005. This was an album of songs, created through studio overdubbing (most elements performed by me, but also featuring some guest violin and flute on a few tracks). When it came to performing these songs live, it seemed neither practical nor interesting to attempt to recreate the elaborate arrangements featured on the album, and I set about working out ways to peform versions of the songs on just guitar and voice. These solo versions in turn became the basis for the repertoire of the band Alex Ward & The Dead Ends, where they were expanded back into guitar(s)/bass/drums arrangements. Subsequent songs have tended to be written on guitar as solo vehicles and then turned into full-band arrangements by the Dead Ends, and future albums of songs will be released under the AW/Dead Ends moniker. Work has begun on a second studio-based solo album, which will be entirely instrumental, and is likely to feature a greater range of guests. An archival release of solo overdubbed/studio-created material from the years 1986-1995 is also planned.
My solo performances are currently of three types:
1) Solo guitar/vocals performances. As with performances by Alex Ward & The Dead Ends, these feature a mixture of my songs, cover versions, and improvisations, balanced according to the whims of the moment.
2) Solo clarinet performances. These are entirely improvised. In 2008, Treader released the second album to come out under my own name, "Cremated Thoughts", an album of solo clarinet free improvisations.
3) Guitar (live) with pre-recorded accompaniment. In these performances, I play a single 20-minute composition entitled "Serpent's Turn", which will form part of the aforementioned forthcoming instrumental studio album. It is possible that other pieces from the album may also be performed in a similar format at some point.