This began in 2016 when I first did a duo concert together with Italian guitarist Federico Casagrande at the Akustiske Landskap Guitar Festival in Trondheim 2016. The first attempt to play music in surround was intriguing and very interesting and gave me a lot of urge to continue trying to master the movements of sound in space while improvising at the same time. The year before I had written a commissioned piece called "Surrounded By the Fortress" to Kristiansten Fortress in Trondheim and that initiated the idea to blend acoustic sound and sampler with pedals and effects together. This photo is from a solo concert I did at a Guitar Festival tour over 5 cities in Hungary in May 2016 taken by great photographer Laszlo Hutton.
This band I consider a part of my initial musical DNA. The band was conceived when I composed the piece "Moon and Sun, Clouds and Wind" and with that piece a symphonic trio blending classical and jazz was born. The trio consists of my long-time friends from the Skeisvang Musical High School in our hometown Haugesund. Kjetil Lundø - on double bass and Viola Da Gamba and Tore Jamne on drums. I play the 8-string Brahms guitar as well as piano in this group. (this is the only group where I still perform and play the piano)
Photo: Håkon Eikesdal, Tysvær Kulturhus 2007
This 8-string guitar duo was born when the two 8-string players met for the 2014 edition of Akustiske Landskap, the international acoustic guitar festival in Trondheim. We experienced a nice mutual chemistry both musically and as friends and have played together ever since. Per Olav Kobberstad is a great 8-string player that studied a lot with some of the best guitarists in South-America, and this duo draws heavily on the exciting meeting between North and South playing everything from tango to Norwegian folk music as well as our own compositions. Their debut record "Colonial Colors" - Duo Magico was released in August 2016 on Acoustic Landscapes records.
Photo: Duo Magico, Acoustic Landscapes Studio 2016
Photo: Marina Mazzonli, Teatro Della Tosse, Genova 2014
This project has been a fantastic journey in discovering the beautiful differences and similarities between Italian refinement and creativity as well as Norwegian space and raw nature. The best of both world's unite for a dream meeting between two of the most original and remarkable ensembles in Italy and Norway. It was recorded in 2014, and will be released in 2017 at the label Acoustic Landscapes following a tour in Norway and Italy.
This picture shows more or less the equipment that I am using at the moment of my Solo Surround Concept: An 8-string Brahms guitar with two AERO remote connected to TRYM tremolo, EKKO delay and a MOON from Aalberg Audio, that enables me control the Aalberg pedals and my BOSS RC-30 sampler wirelessly from my instrument without too much need for using my feet. Instead of a foot stool that classical players use, I use a volume pedal under my right foot and a distortion and multi effects pedal EX-7 from digitech under my left foot. Keith McMillens K-mix is used to make the movements of the various sound sources and effects, filling the room and travelling within the space of the venue. I use 4 DBL 10 speakers from Yamaha for doing surround concerts in churches or flat concert halls with a great natural reverb. This solo concept is my topic when taking a master at performing music at Institutt for Musikk, NTNU from 2016-2018.
I got my first 8-string guitar in February 2010 when I picked it up from luthier Martin Woodhouse's house in Cambridge, UK. This is a fantastic guitar that I used on my first solo record "Christmas Improvisations" as well as on "New Galaxy" with Norchestra. However, recent experiments and changes in tuning gave me the need to invest in another 8-string guitar so that instead of tuning the entire guitar differently during a concert I can just switch guitar. So then I bought another 8-string Brahms guitar in November 2016 from Agile Guitars, a brand that is made by Rondo Music in the US. It is not hand made, but is very well built in a factory in South Corea, and sounds very nice with a great pickup system, so I am very satisfied with my two Brahms guitars.
In December 2015 I also purchased an electric 8-string Brahms guitar from Agile Guitars and I am very happy with that guitar also, after having it set up and adjusted by Geir and Juni Falck at Falck Music in Trondheim the guitar really plays and sounds marvellous.
I also still have 6-string guitars, one from Godin called LGXT, with tremolo, built in midi, acoustic piezo as well as seymor duncan pickups, really great guitar as well. And my first handmade classical guitar is made by Maldonado in Malaga, Spain, where I purchased it in 2007. I have also a 6-string acoustic steel-string guitar made by Rainsong, it is made completely out of carbon-fiber and graphite, even the fingerboard. I use it for experimental custom tunings in major seconds mainly, to achieve those dense cluster chords that you can do on a piano, but has always been hard to do on a guitar no matter how many strings.