Portraiture Records Official Press Release

For immediate release: Renowned guitarist, songwriter, and producer Chris Dignam will release his latest studio recording on the Portraiture Records label, titled Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemie. Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemie will drop on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 in retail outlets and online for digital downloading. Dignam’s Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemie is an eclectic body of work that incorporates many of the textured stylings Dignam has come to be known for. Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemie includes 5 vocal tracks and 8 instrumental tracks structured around a sophicated, harmonic composition of electric and acoustic guitar.

From the sonic opening of Shaman’s Tree to the final words sung in Angel with a Broken Wing, Dignam’s latest release encompasses his greatest body of work to date. Tracks such as Element Earth,  The Alchemist, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice epitomize contemporary guitar instrumentation, while tracks such as Never Enough, The Only 1, and Land of Youth, embody strong songwriting rarely heard in today’s rock music.

Dignam’s Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemie pushes the envelope for today’s contemporary rock music. The alchemie between acoustic and electric, resonance and silence, and darkness and light is truly nothing short of magickal.   


Chris Dignam: Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemie
Portraiture Records
Release date: January 19, 2011


1. Shaman's Tree
2. The Alchemist
3. Never Enough
4. Element Earth
5. Land of Youth
6. Jimmy Page
7. The Only 1
8. Il Silenzio Elettrico
9. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
10. Call Out Your Name
11. La Risonanza Acustica
12. The Philosopher's Stone
13. Angel with a Broken Wing

Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by Chris Dignam


Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemy to Feature Cover Artwork and Paintings by Artist Tammara Markegard

Chris Dignam’s upcoming release, Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemy, will feature original artwork by painter Tammara Markegard. Dignam, who recently finished mixing the new disc and sent the project to be mastered, discussed Tammara Markegard’s artwork and how her paintings relate to his latest release. “I spoke to Tammara about several of her paintings, and was extremely impressed with her work. I asked if she would consider one of her paintings for the cover of the new CD - so we discussed my project and her artwork. Tammara and I discussed the theme of the CD and several song titles that would be on the disc. You know, her work is incredible and I was truly honored when she agreed to allow several pieces of work to be included, not only for the cover, but for the packaging of the CD itself.” When asked what we can expect from the packaging and the artwork, Dignam stated, “You can expect to see several truly beautiful paintings that incorporate the feel and magick of the music. I love Tammara’s work and she is truly talented. I hope people look at her art a little more closely after seeing it on the CD cover, in the booklet, and in the promo materials.” Several paintings from Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemy are featured below.

All images are copyright Tammara 2011.

Visit Tammara’s website at:

The Necromancer Confrontation

 Dragon Keeper


To purchase Tammar's artwork, visit her website at:


New Disc’s Title: "Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemy"

With all the hints coming out over the past few months about Chris Dignam’s latest project, there was a definite sense of magic, or “magick,” in the air. Dignam’s new disc is aptly titled Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemy and is promised to feature true sonic “alchemie” from start to finish. Dignam is in the final stages of mixing the disc, which is set to be released in mid-January, 2011.  After a recent late-night mixing session, Dignam was asked about his latest effort and noted, “the music on my new record is aural alchemie – the magick between acoustic and electric… Chiaroscuro.” Dignam added, “I didn’t hold back on what I recorded. If I thought a tune would sound better by adding a dulcimer or harp guitar underneath a massive riff, I recorded it. In most cases it worked – and it worked well. I love that texture in music. I like when you can go back and have a second or third listen and hear something you never did before.” Electric Magick and Acoustic Alchemie is shaping up to be a highly textured project, and as Dignam noted, will deliver after each listen through.


Dark and Light

Dignam completed 13 tracks for his latest release, tentatively set for January, 2011. No word yet on the title of the new record but we do know that the new disc will feature 5 vocal tracks and 8 instrumental compositions. As reported earlier this fall, Chris was joined by fellow musicians Jeff Moehle on drums and Erik Martinez on vocals. One track will also include musician Domingo Castillo, Jr. on bass. When we caught up with Chris in early November, he had just finished the last night of adding guitar leads to the disc’s vocal tracks. When pressed about the direction of the new disc, Dignam stated, “I have put together 13 very strong tracks that incorporate all the elements I like in music – dark and light. That has been the theme throughout all the sessions and something I think will come across in the final product. I love the whole tug-of-war between acoustic and electric, vocal and instrumental, dark and light. There is an alchemy and art to that type of sound and that’s what I’m going for. Something magick”


Fall, 2011 Update

Chris Dignam recently completed final rehearsals to begin recording the vocal compositions that will be featured in his upcoming 2011 release. “I was joined in rehearsal by an old friend of mine, Domingo Castillo, Jr., and he played bass with Jeff and I as we rehearsed several vocal tracks for the new record. There was one track that we rehearsed that Domingo really got into and he will likely play bass when we record it this fall.” Portraiture Records has learned the track in question is called Never Enough and is slated to be included in the final project's release in early 2011. Dignam also told us one of the other vocal tracks they rehearsed features acoustic harp guitar under a massive, distorted riff that is one of the heaviest tracks on the record. “There was a song I began writing during the Luthier’s Pallet sessions that I came up with while rehearsing one day. Right when I started coming up with the riff I wrote a vocal melody and knew it would be pretty heavy." When asked, "How heavy?" Dignam laughed and responded, "Well, it sure isn’t polite" and added "I'm very happy with this track and have a bucnk of ideas about trying some stuff with the vocals that will give it a fresh sound.” We have since learned the track Dignam was referring to is called Land of Youth and has made it onto the “A list” of material for his 2011 release. "A list" material consists of songs that will definitely appear on the final release.


Dignam Teams Up with Singer Erik Martinez to Formally Begin Rehearsals and Sessions for Upcoming 2011 Effort

Chris Dignam has continued his fevered pace; wirting and recording new music to be released by Portraiture Records in early 2011. According to Dignam, “ I wrote several songs with vocals during the recording sessions of Luthier’s Pallet. They didn’t really fit the feel of that record so I’m going to work on them now. If I had added them to it, they would have changed the overall direction of the album. I really wanted Luthier’s Pallet to have a natural, aural sound, and vocal music just didn’t compliment what I was trying to do. I also purposely refrained from adding colossal riff-based guitar music on Luthier’s Pallet but I found myself coming up with ideas and riffs as I was recording and mixing it. I was able to put my ideas aside and I’m really excited to begin working on them now.”

So how does singer Erik Martinez fit into Dignam’s new project? Dignam reported his upcoming project will focus on incorporating electric guitar, effects, riffs, and solos forged with melodic, acoustic guitar. “My idea is to capture the magic of electric and acoustic guitar in instrumental and vocal music. That’s the type of sound I hear my head and what I think is missing in a lot of the music I hear today. Erik is an fantastic singer, a talented performer, and consummate musician in the studio. I want to be the Alchemist in the middle of all that vocal and instrumental magick and see what transforms."


"Magick" in 2011

It seems like Chicago's hardest working guitarist will continue writing and exploring his musical ideas through the end of 2010. After coming off of a whirlwind schedule of recording sessions for Luthier's Pallet, Chris Dignam has returned to the recording studio to begin pre-production for his next project. Dignam is said to be formalizing rehearsals with drummer Jeff Moehle on a project that will be an "alchemy" of electric, acoustic, instrumental, and vocal music. Stay tuned.


Portraiture Records Official Press Release

Portraiture Records is proud to announce the 2010 release of Chris Dignam’s latest studio project, Luthier’s Pallet. Luthier’s Pallet will become available online and in stores on September 27, 2010. Dignam’s latest release features 12 new instrumental compositions that features acoustic and electric harp guitar. Dignam’s “pallet of sound” is a present-day approach to instrumental guitar work deep-rooted ambient classical, folk, and East Indian traditions – and featuring dignam’s own finger-style innovations.

Renowned for his versatility on acoustic and electric guitar, Dignam’s Luthier’s Pallet highlights Dignam’s ability to compose and perform on harp guitar and can be heard extensively on tracks such as Tabla Rasa, Manuscript of the Angels, and Devil’s Anvil. Dignam utilized a variety of harp guitars throughout the disc, including 18-string harp guitar, 32-string harp guitar, and an extended range 20-string electric harp guitar. The extended scales and incorporation of sub-bases and deeper tone values on the instruments’ bass courses and super trebles on the lower bout of the instrument resulted in an "extended" sound pallet for Dignam to paint from. Luthier’s Pallet also features Dignam’s accomplished acoustic and electric guitar work and is featured on tracks such as La Distance Entre Nous, Amal’s Song, and Dig’s String Theory.

Luthier’s Pallet also features Dignam's signautre use of open tunings on tracks such as The World Through Norah's Eyes, When Erin Smiles, and Hope, Light, and Peace, and Tonewoods and Open Dreams. Additional stringed instruments, such as the psaltery, bouzouki, hammer dulcimer, Appalachian dulcimer, autoharp, and mandolin. Dignam’s latest effort is a musical journey that takes the listener from one landscape to another, painted by a true luthier’s artisan.  


Chris Dignam: Luthier's Pallet
Portraiture Records
Release date: September 27, 2010


1. La Distance Entre Nous
2. Tabla Rasa
3. The World Through Norah's Eyes
4. Dig's String Theory
5 Tonewoods and Open Dreams
6. Amal's Song
7. Manuscript of the Angels
8. Chiaroscuro
9. Hope, Light, and Peace
10. When Erin Smiles
11. Devil's Anvil
12. Union

Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by Chris Dignam


"Luthier’s Pallet" Release Date Set

Luthier’s Pallet is set to be released on September 27, 2010. Dignam plays several types of harp guitars on the disc, as well as his signature Taylor acoustic 6 and 12 string guitars. Luthier’s Pallet can best be described just as the disc is titled, a pallet of guitar works and colors on an aural scale. The disc is a contemporary approach to instrumental guitar playing that explores the sonic journey of stringed instruments and will be appreciated by guitar enthusiasts and aficionados. Check back for an offical press release by Portraitre Records.  


"Luthiers Pallet" Update

Chris Dignam is in the mixing phases of Luthier’s Pallet, which should conclude in late spring/early summer, 2010. Luthier’s Pallet signals a departure from the traditional structure of every other instrumental guitar release to date. The disc, which emphasizes melodic guitar melodies over rich chord voicings, utilizes a wide variety of “luthier” woodtones highlighted on nylon guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and features Dignam on a variety of harp guitars. Dignam has also complimented each track by adding additional stringed instruments, such as the psaltery, bouzouki, hammer dulcimer, Appalachian dulcimer, autoharp, and mandolin. Luthier’s Pallet features 12 original instrumental tracks recorded and engineered by Dignam at Red Cell Studios in Chicago. Dignam is joined on Luthier’s Pallet by drummers Jeff Moehle and Bob Repin, Jr.     


End-of-Year Sessions and New Year Plans

As 2009 wraps up and 2010 approaches, Dignam’s Luthier's Palle is shaping up to be his most ambitious and noteworthy project to date. Portraiture Records was provided a “sneak peak” at several tracks to be included in the final release. The tracks previewed were nothing short of spectacular. Sessions will continue after the start of the New Year. Please check back to preview mp3 samples as well as additional recording studio and Luthier's Pallet updates.

Latest News from the Recording Studio with Chris Dignam

The final phase of tracking for Dignam’s Luthier's Pallet release, slated for 2010, has begun. Dignam has settled on 12 tracks to complete his follow-up to 2009’s Greenlit. The disc will feature Dignam's instrumental guitar work centered around acoustic and electric harp guitar. Dignam has masterfully created a tapestry of melodic, lead and chordal guitar tracks fused with steel and nylon. Further Luthier's Pallet sessions are slated to continue after the New Year with post additional sessions scheduled through the spring. Post-production should be completed during summer with a September, 2010 release. Please stay tuned for future updates from the studio.


Dignam’s “Greenlit” reviewed by Michele Mussato from “Unrated Magazine.”

Wow! Guitarist Chris Dignam spun a winner with Greenlit, released in May 2009 by independent label Portraiture Records. An instrumental rock guitar work for the most part, Greenlit also has folk, classical and new age moments, and contains the most unusual, inspiring and enjoyable guitar compositions I've heard since first opening a Led Zeppelin album. His first recording in five years, Dignam broke free from the conventions imposed on him in his previous CD's and used every type of guitar, d... [Read More about Chris Dignam]

Additional Sessions for Dignam’s Upcoming Effort include Drummer Bob Repin, Jr.

Dignam recently recorded six additional tracks with Chicago area drummer, Bob Repin during the month of September, 2009. In attendance during these recording sessions was studio owner and bass player Randy Riley, who has shared the stage with other well known artists, including Ministry and Survivor. Resident engineer Dan Monahan handled the recording of these new tracks and additional overdub sessions are scheduled through the holidays.

Dignam Recording New Tracks for the Upcoming 2010 release of “Luthier's Pallet” on Portraiture Records.

Portraiture Records can announce that Dignam has re-entered the studio to begin pre-production on his follow-up to Greenlit. Dignam's latest recording is entitled Luthier's Pallet and is slated for a late summer/early autumn 2010 release. Dignam's latest material includes a variety of instrumental guitar pieces featuring acoustic harp guitar blended with Dignam's signature lead work. Please check back for continued updates once pre-production is completed.


Portraiture Records and iTunes Announce Dignam’s “Greenlit” for Sale and Distribution Worldwide

iTunes, the worlds largest online digital retailer and music player, is now offering “Greenlit” for sale through digital downloading. “Greenlit” can be downloaded in its entirety or as individual tracks. Visit the iTunes store to begin downloading “Greenlit.”


Greenlit is Now Available for Sale at

Portraiture records is proud to announce that Greenlit” is now available for sale at Amazon is America’s number one online retailer and has “Greenlit” for sale as a CD or for digital downloading through their MP3 store. Please visit Amazon for your online needs.


Portraiture Records Official Press Release

Portraiture recording artist Chris Dignam has announced details of the upcoming CD release. "Greenlit" arrives in stores on May 8, 2009. The project features 13 tracks of masterful guitar work by the skillful musician/songwriter. From the dissonant phrasing in “Hand of God” and “CoeXisT” to the melodious progressions in “Balance” and “Road to Forgiveness,” Dignam’s Greenlit will undoubtedly set a new standard for guitar instrumentalization and virtuosity. The disc contains a variety of rock-based compositions that intertwine rock, blues, classical, Middle-Eastern, and folk genre to create an original musical expression. Not only does “Greenlit” illustrate a unique musical approach and playing style, Dignam’s ability to construct imaginative and innovative guitar textures and tones is evident. Tracks such as “Greenlit,” “CoeXisT,” “Balance,” “Carpe Diem,” “The Charlie Foxtrot,“ and “Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Charm, and Strange” contain skillfully chosen guitar tones and adept layering of guitar textures to create a rich, musical landscape.

“Greenlit” includes one track with vocals, titled “End of the Line.” “End of the Line” features cellist Eric Remschneider, better known for his work with The Smashing Pumpkins both in the studio and on tour. The track is well-written and orchestrated and its deep-meaning lyrics and lead vocal work by Dan Monahan will unquestionably move any listener.

Dignam is a skilled song writer, arranger, and producer who possess an original style and textured tone. “Greenlit” demonstrates Dignam’s artistic vitality and ability to redefine instrumental rock guitar.


Chris Dignam is without question one of the most inventive and creative guitarists to release an instrumental rock guitar project in many years. Dignam is no stranger to writing and arranging masterfully produced music. A veteran of the recording studio, Dignam has released several other official projects through the years. The Looking Glass, Vivid Pictures, Winds of Change, Area 39 Project, and The Bricolage Mural are all available on the Portraiture label and catalog Dignam’s prior published work.


Chris Dignam: Greenlit
Portraiture Records
Release date: May 8, 2009

1. Greenlit
2. White Noise
3. Hand of God
4. Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Charm, and Strange
5. Balance
6. CoeXisT
7. Carpe Diem
8. Galloping in Water
9. The Charlie Foxtrot
10. Nights with You
11. Empathy
12. Road to Forgiveness
13. End of the Line

Produced by Chris Dignam
Engineered by Dan Monahan

Greenlit Official Release Date Set for Friday, May 8, 2009

Greenlit, Chris Dignam’s first official release in many years, is set to drop on Friday, May 8, 2009. Dignam is a technically-accomplished rock guitarist, versed in classical, jazz, and folk guitar. Greenlit features 12 instrumental guitar tracks and one song with vocals. The CD was produced by Dignam and includes a variety of songs that incorporate many elements of heavy rock guitar and lighter, melodic guitar timbres. All the songs on the disc were written and arranged by Dignam and demonstrate a mastery of the instrument. Greenlit does not sound like every other instrumental rock guitar disc released over the past several years. The sound is ambient and varies widely from to the thunderous riffs of Hand of God and blazing solos in CoeXisT and The Charlie Foxtrot to the more soulful playing on Road to Forgiveness. The disc also features a wonderfully written and orchestrated vocal track by Dignam titled End of the Line. End of the Line features acclaimed cellist Eric Remschneider, best known for his work with The Smashing Pumpkins on their release Siamese Dream and Pumpkin’s subsequent tour. Dignam has recorded with Remschneider in the past and Remschneider’s work on End of the Line is as haunting as Dignam’s lyrics. Dignam’s writing and production on Greenlit is fine-polished and is one of the best instrumental guitar recordings to emerge in recent times.

Carol Manila,

Edge Music reporter and free lance critic