Hot on the heels of the success of 2007’s
“Suspension of Disbelief”,
comes the latest instrumental tour-de-force by Greek guitar virtuoso Ioannis Anastassakis –
74 minutes of amazing guitar playing, with guest solos by
Kiko Loureiro (Angra) and
and the epic keyboard work of Bob Katsionis (Firewind).
A variety of styles and textures of Contemporary Guitar music - Fusion, Progressive, Metal & Solo Flamenco!
CD also includes 2 BONUS tracks and BACKING track
packaged in a see-through CD case, complete with 8-page full-color insert including detailed track info and detailed performance notes!
CD Duration Time: 74 Minutes
Produced by Ioannis Anastassakis & Bob Katsionis
Mixed & masterd by Jim Voutsas, Chris Mikes, Aris MArkogiannakis & Bob Katsionis
A few Technical words about this CD…
This CD was recorded between May 2007 and January 2008 at Bob Katsionis’ Sound Symmetry studio and George Emmanuel’s The Inn studio. All guitar tracks were recorded using the following guitars:
Parker Fly Classic
Ibanez Prestige RGT 2020
ESP Eclipse II
Schecter Hellraiser (7-string)
Caparison Dellinger 7-string
Ibanez Prestige 1527 (7-string)
Original Compositions by Ioannis Anastassakis
Produced by Ioannis Anastassakis and Bob Katsionis
Guitars by Ioannis Anastassakis
Bass by Ioannis Anastassakis and Bob Katsionis
Bass on “The Promised Land” by Vaggelis Yalamas
Keyboards by Bob Katsionis
Drum programming by Bob Katsionis
Engineered by Bob Katsionis
CD Cover Design by Gustavo Sazes & Stathis Ridis
All Photography by Stavros Tsoupas
A few words about this CD recording &various (ir)relevant ramblings
I have to admit I NEVER expected the incredible fan reception I received for my 2007 instrumental electric recording, “Suspension of Disbelief”. The CD appeared to almost “fly” off the (mostly virtual) shelves overnight and seemed to even become something of a cult hit, spending quite a few weeks in the Top 5 of Guitar9 Overall sales charts, even reaching #1 for some time! An unexpected twist of fate, for sure, it really helped in strengthening my resolve for a prompt follow-up CD recording – “Orbital Attempt” which you are now holding in your hands! So, what differentiates this recording from “Suspension of Disbelief”?
For a start “Orbital Attempt” is a much heavier sounding album! This was not really pre-planned, it was not an “executive” decision based on projected sales and musical trends – as is usually the case, the tracks just took on a life of their on, dictating the final form and function of the completed recording!
Another major difference is that, I assumed the role of the producer to a much greater degree than “Suspension of Disbelief”. Bob was always there to “gently” let me know when I was “seriously messing up” the tracks (his exact, wise words :-)) but, for better or worse, I had decided to follow my personal artistic instincts and inject my own “style” as much as possible in this recording…
In this CD recording, I am deeply honored to have as guests soloists two AMAZING artists! Brett Garsed and Kiko Loureiro – they were both VERY kind and graciously accepted my invitation to trade solos with me in a couple of tracks! Needless to say, I enjoyed this extremely much, I was totally humbled by their brilliant playing and I will do my very best to attempt to reiterate this collaboration in upcoming recording projects!
Finally, for those among you that enjoy my “style” of guitar playing, I am currently preparing a VERY extensive series of instructional books/DVDs in collaboration with Mel Bay Publications – these will be a series of several publications and will include pretty much all the techniques, concepts and even a very large assortment of the specific licks used in this CD! Therefore, I strongly urge you to buy multiple copies of each one of them for yourselves and all your friends, so that I can safely retire a multi-millionaire in the Caribbean within the next couple of years! Thanks!
Meanwhile, If you want to find out more about my Flamenco playing, check out my last 2 recordings: “Flamenco Live at Ioannina” and “Flamenco Journal”, both by Wild Rose Angel Productions, available worldwide through CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes .
I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this CD as much as I enjoyed recording it! And make sure you check out my WWW site at www.ioannis.org and my ever-growing and almost-daily updated Myspace profile at www.myspace.com/ioannisanastassakis
Track Listing and Explanations
1. Weird Thing (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This is one of my favorite tunes on this CD! The intro is a series of flowing sweep-picked arpeggios that set the mood for the melody that follows - The Latin-influenced rhythm at 2.00 was definitely inspired by all those Al di Meola 70s fusion tracks.
Highlights: Trading solos with the AMAZING Kiko Loureiro from Angra !!! Enough said!!
2. Astrochicken’s Victorious Attack (Ioannis Anastassakis)
A melodic, driving rocker, that builds up relentlessly! Based on a very simple melodic idea, this track soon became one of my favorites. Probably 80-85% of the lead guitar was done on a single take, (while Bob was shamelessly devouring a warm pizza), using an Ibanez 7-string with the notable exception of the final guitar/keyboard duel!
Highlights: The final guitar/keyboard duel was one of the MOST fun parts to record in the whole CD!
SHRED ALERT: The last couple of seconds of the track (just before the tremolo “crash landing”) were alternate-picked 16th note triplets played at 170 bpm – that is 1020 notes per minute or 17 notes per second! Finally, I can pick (kinda) fast!!!
MANY thanks to my talented good friend and former electric guitar student Tasos Varkas for the original idea of the tune and for coming up with the amazing title!
3. The Promised Land (Ioannis Anastassakis)
I always has a soft spot for well-crafted AOR songs by “hair metal” bands, like Tyketto, Dokken, Fifth Angel and Danger Danger. As a result, I always wanted to write an AOR instrumental! “The Promised Land” started as a dead-simple-but-pretty-catchy improvised main riff, but developed very quickly! The guitar solo/Interlude at “4.50” was done in one take and then harmonies were added. The idea of having a “break-up” solo just before the harmony interlude was “lifted” from all the famous 60s & 70s British classic rock bands!
Highlights: The “fake-George-Lynch” solo at “3.42’’-3.58’’”. I really would have loved to have the real George play in the track with me, but I knew I would have no luck getting him to commit something to (virtual) tape – so, instead, as an homage to his amazing talent, I decided to play a solo in his early (mid 80s) style!
SHRED ALERT: The solo immediately after the “fake-George-Lynch” solo features an extreme sampling of the techniques I use in my playing, in just a few seconds! Probably the most characteristic mini-snippet of my “guitar-style” in this CD.
4. A mi Madre (Soleares) (Ioannis Anastassakis)
The Soleares is considered the “mother of Flamenco”, a very “deep” form of song & dance that deals with loneliness... This is one of my original compositions, based on the traditional format of this tragic flamenco form of Cante Hondo. This track is fully transcribed in my book/DVD “Flamenco Journal”, available from Mel Bay publications.
5. Progressive Minds Suite (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This is the “obligatory” really-lengthy instrumental suite – the title refers to the different music styles and personal influences that are outlined throughout the track!
Highlights: The main melody was improvised in one take - after we decided to keep it I had to learn it and play variations of it throughout the track. I must admit I was VERY happy to have the opportunity to “flex” my country chops a little – had not done that since my GIT days, so it was certainly a challenge! In this track, I had the honour to trade solos with Brett Garsed, one of the MOST amazingly scary guitar players in the world! Brett was my teacher for almost 2 years when I was in the US and he is the main influence and inspiration behind my Pick & Fingers technique.
OFFICIAL WARNING: Small “snippets” of this suite WILL DEFINITELY remind you of specific influential guitarists – this was done on purpose and is an “homage”, a tribute, if you will, definitely NOT an attempt at plagiarism! See if you can spot elements and phrases influenced by Eric Johnson, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore and quite a few more!
6. Orbital Attempt (Ioannis Anastassakis)
A very melodic, neoclassical-influenced track. The intro and the open string riff were written more than 12 years ago, originally composed on keys, back in my keyboard-playing days! The rest of the track was composed for this CD. The main idea was to present a neoclassical influenced tune where there was an intentional interplay between contemporary fast & elaborate shredding and very tuneful, almost romantic, passionately played melodic ideas. Having spent a considerable part of my youth listening to early Vinnie Moore and Tony Macalpine, I wanted to record a neoclassical shredding tune that I would be proud of. I think their influence is obvious in this track!
Highlights: The slow, romantic melodies are reminiscent of those used by Gary Moore. Also, the various pedal-point fills
SHRED ALERT: WAY too many too mention! I REALLY let loose on this one! I am SO happy Bob is not getting paid by the note…
7. Veridiana (Rumba Flamenca) (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This is one of my favourite original Flamenco compositions, which I composed in late 1997! The pulsating rhythm of the rumba, as well as the countless variations of the Rasgueados and the percussive Golpes, make this a joy to play live. It is based on the key of Em, and this track is taken from a live concert recording, with absolutely no overdubs!
8. Power Core (Ioannis Anastassakis)
A strong metal track, fast and exciting - the main riff is played using open strings and the whole thing is doubled on the keyboards! The Symphony-X influenced second half of the tune includes some of my favourite Harmonic minor soloing!
9. The Greek Guitar Power Jam… (Ioannis Anastassakis)
After receiving literally HUNDREDS of (mostly) positive comments about “The Final Jam” from my previous CD, I definitely wanted to record another Jam Track –this time, however, with an IMPORTANT difference! All the amazing guitarists participating are very young (at MOST in their very early 20s) and they are ALL my own guitar students and either full-time or part time members of the Greek Guitar Power team! The composition is split into 3 parts harmonically – G minor, D phrygian dominant and E phrygian dominant! Here’s a list of the solos played by each player –the rest are my own.
2.24’’-2.56’’ - George Emmanouel
2.56’’-3.27’’ – Ioannis Anastassakis
4.16’’- 4.47’’ - George Emmanuel
5.20’’-5.52’’ - Constantine
10. BONUS: The Greek Guitar Power Jam… BACKING TRACK (Ioannis Anastassakis)
What’s the point of having a Jam track if you cannot JAM over it? Wouldn’t it be REALLY cool to have the backing track from one or more of the tunes included in an instrumental guitar CD? Now you do!!
11. BONUS TRACK: Guest Solos form Various Recording (Ioannis Anastassakis)
Almost as an afterthought, after the constant nagging of many of my students, I decided to include some of the most fun guitar solos I recorded for various friends’ CDs during 2008. The solos, in order of appearance are
0.00’’-0.17’’ - Alex Flouros
0.18’’-0.28’’ - George Emmanouel
0.28’’-0.57’’ – Marianna
0.57’’-1.25’’ - Descending
1.25’’-1.57’’ - Greek Guitar Power Jam
1.57’’-2.43’’ - Greek Guitar Power Jam
Bio of Ioannis Anastassakis
Born in the Greek island of Crete, Ioannis Anastassakis studied at the Greek National Conservatory and the Nakas Conservatory in Athens. He completed his Bachelor degree at the American College of Greece, and subsequently studied at the distinguished Musicians Institute (GIT), where he was hired as an instructor, after graduating at the top 1% of his class. He continued his studies at the California State University, completing an MA in Guitar Performance, graduating Magna cum Laude.
Ioannis’ list of teachers in Electric guitar reads like as “Who is Who” of contemporary electric guitar legends: Steve Vai (Whitesnake), Vinnie Moore (UFO), Marty Friedman (Megadeth), John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Frank Gambale (Chick Corea), Paul Gilbert (Mr.Big), Richie Kotzen, Brett Garsed, Joey Tafolla, Scott Henderson, Mike Stern, Jean Marc Belkadi, Darren Householder, Tommy Tedesco, Ted Greene, Ron Echete, Sid Jacobs & Joe Diorio.
Ioannis also studied solo flamenco guitar for several years with the legendary Juan Serrano. In addition, he has studied with Flamenco guitar legends Manolo Sanlucar, Juan Martin, Paco Serrano, Jose Antonio Rodriguez and Manolo Franco.
Ioannis has also performed and/or recorded in various settings with band members of Whitesnake, Dio, Deep Purple, Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John, Santana, Celine Dion, Sara Vaughan, Tito Puente, Julio Iglesias, Tower of Power, Chick Corea Electric Band, Jeff Beck, Steve Vai Band, Badlands, Santana, Tribal Tech, Natalie Cole, Joe Cocker, Cher, Blood Sweat & Tears and more.
Ioannis has presented over 400 solo recitals in Europe and the United States and has been a guest lecturer at several American colleges and Universities (University of Southern California, California State University Northridge, California State University Fresno, California State University Fullerton, Musicians Institute, Fresno City College, American College of Greece). In addition, he has won Classical and Flamenco guitar competitions and has been featured 16 times on TV, in Us, Spain, Germany and Greece .
Ioannis was the 1st guitarist ever to present a solo guitar recital at the Greek National Opera House. His first solo guitar CD, “Flamenco Live at Ioannina”, was released by Wild Rose Angel Productions in 2004 and became a best-seller within weeks. His first electric instrumental recording “Suspension of Disbelief” was released in 2007 and immediately reached the Top 10 in Instrumental guitar Charts, climbing as high as #1 for several weeks!
Ioannis’ instructional materials are published and distributed worldwide by Mel Bay Publications. His instructional books have, so far all achieved best-seller status within months of their initial publication date. His published instructional projects include “The Art of Rasgueado”, “The Art of Tremolo”, “Flamenco Journal” , “60 Tapping Licks for Contemporary Rock Guitar” and more
Ioannis is also a regular columnist in Mel Bay’s Guitar Sessions magazine as well as Rock Hard Greece magazine.
Ioannis is currently (2008) endorsed by Elixir Electric Guitar Strings & Instrument Cables, LaBella Flamenco Guitar Strings, Parker USA guitars, Randall Amplifiers, EMG Pickups, DR Guitar Straps, Schecter USA 7-string guitars, T-Rex effects, Visual Sound Effects and George-L Studio Cables.
Ioannis also manages Greek Guitar Power, a performing/teaching instrumental electric guitar performing project that tours around Greece performing and teaching in Electric guitar Festivals. He is also the organizer and is the artistic director of the annual Athens Inernational Electric Guitar Festival and has helped organize the Electric guitar part of the Volos Winter Guitar Festival since 2002. He has also served as principal instructor at the most prominent International Guitar Festivals (Athens International Electric guitar festival, International guitar festival of Hermoupolis, International Winter guitar festival of Volos, International guitar festival of Patras, International guitar festival of Paros, International guitar festival of Porto Heli).
At present, Ioannis teaches at the American College of Greece and maintains a busy private teaching schedule. He divides his time between recording, writing instructional materials for guitar and conducting clinics, seminars and recitals around Europe.
Brett Garsed and Kiko Loureiro – for honoring me with their participation in this CD!
Juan Serrano - for being a never ending source of inspiration. Thank you, maestro!
William Bay - for demonstrating a lot of faith in my writing abilities and trusting me!
George Emmanuel & Theodore Kalantzakos – because sometimes students can be just as much an inspiration as teachers!
Dimitris Periharos – for being a great friend and always helping me find AMAZING gear!
The 2008 Greek Guitar Power Team – GEM, Theodore, Sinnik, Jim, Constantine & Gus!
Gustavo Sazes, Aris Markogiannakis & Stathis Ridis for their excellent Graphic designs and creative ideas!
Bob Katsionis – for creatively pushing me all the time and for injecting his magic touch everywhere in this recording!
Stavros Tsoupas for taking awesome photos and making me look (even more) handsome (!)
Pantelis Gkertsos & Nikos Panagiotakis at RGT for all the great collaborations with the London College of Music.
My colleagues Dimitris Toufexis & Tatiana Papageorgieou for inspiring me (and challenging me) with their example.
Yiannis Rigas – for his help, support and constructive criticism
Tasos Zambetakis, Anastassis & Vaggelis Kagmakis, Dimitris Dimou, Alex Abravanel for their support and professional help.
MySpace.com! The most amazing place to meet people and collaborate with musicians from all around the world!
All my sponsors for supporting my musical efforts and giving me loads of amazing equipment to play with – keep the gear coming, guys! It’s really appreciated!
All my guitar students that do an excellent job of both keeping me on my toes with their inquisitive spirits and making me feel thankful for having such a wonderful job!
For all the years of listening pleasure and endless inspiration, I’d like to thank Gary Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, George Lynch, Paul Gilbert, Michael Romeo, Al di Meola, Guthrie Govan, Brett Garsed & T.J.Helmerich, Shawn Lane, Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robben Ford, Vinnie Moore, Chris Brooks, Paco de Lucia, Juan Serrano, Paco Pena, Vicente Amigo, Sabicas, Gerardo Nunez.
This CD is respectfully dedicated to my grandparents, Konstantinos and Maria Anassis
Ioannis Anastassakis - Personal Discography
• Live at the Greek National Opera House (2000) (limited edition DVD)
• Flamenco Live at Ioannina (2004)
• Flamenco Journal (2005) (CD & DVD)
• Suspension of Disbelief (2007)
• Orbital Attempt (2008)
Ioannis Anastassakis is officially endorsed by Parker USA guitars, Elixir Electric Guitar Strings & Instrument Cables, Randall Amplifiers, EMG Pickups, DR Guitar Straps, Jim Dunlop Effect Pedals, LaBella Flamenco Guitar Strings, T-Rex effect Pedals & Pedalboards, George-L Studio Cables and Visual Sound Effects.
Contact & Info
Official WWW site: www.ioannis.org
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/IoannisAnastassakis
Myspace profile: www.myspace.com/ioannisanastassakis
Contact email: email@example.com
Management Email: firstname.lastname@example.org