Soulful Acoustic Guitar
This recording is a unique collaboration between one musician and four of his acoustic guitars. There are tracks on this CD where the guitar is used in the traditional way as a solo instrument; there are others which will convince the listener that an entire band is playing – yet only one, or at most two guitars, are being used to simulate the tonal complexity of an ensemble.
Alan Welsh has come up with an innovative and exciting approach that extends the guitar way beyond its normal function. In the past, on solo multi-track recordings, artists have played a range of instruments individually and these have been layered one at a time in the studio, using drums and percussion instruments, bass, keyboards, etc... In contrast, the multi-layering on Moonstone was achieved entirely by Alan Welsh using either one guitar or combining two (a Howell classical and/or L00 Gibson steel string), with all percussion sounds produced by plucking, tapping, and muting the guitar top, sides and fret-board to replicate a percussion ensemble. Bass parts were created by muting the bass strings of a classical guitar. No other instrument but the acoustic guitar has been used.
Produced live in a small private studio in Perth, Western Australia, all tracks were recorded as simply as possible without elaborate effects: most, whether percussive, chordal or melodic, are one-takes. Ensemble pieces, such as tracks 2, 5, 6, 7 and 11 were improvised in the studio and recorded live on the same day.
Moonstone reflects musical choices and directions that have defined Alan Welsh’s life. From his first gig at age 14 with the U.K.’s foremost jazz pianist, the late Duncan Swift, Alan Welsh has developed the ability to play the guitar in every possible style with conviction and passion.
Alan’s musical career has spanned the UK, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, where he currently resides as a performer, teacher and composer. These tracks epitomize Alan’s influences, tastes and preoccupation with World Music overlaid with his own ideas and signature soulful sound. Classical, Jazz, Afro-Pop, Flamenco and Contemporary styles blend with themes derived from Europe, Africa, South America, Mexico and Spain. The compositions include original solo classical pieces (tracks 1, 3, 8 and 9), original contemporary instrumental tracks (5, 6 and 7) and two fresh arrangements of previously heard pieces (tracks 2 and 11).
It is hoped that this recording will enrich the repertoire of the acoustic guitar.