Heaven is all around, translated to sound.
- Michael Hedges
This album is the result of a long cherished dream to record my music. When I was in my twenties, studying classical guitar, I thought I'd be recording my first Cd before I was thirty. However, I had to wait more than a decade for this project to take wings. And now it's here!
Stargazing consists of instrumental tunes which depict images, scenes or situations that I found inspiring or funny in some way. I'll explain a few of the titles:
- Stargazing, the title track of this Cd, depicts an imaginary scene of a lone traveler. He plays his harmonica (here performed on guitar) at a campfire in the deserted wilderness under a wide, star speckled sky, with the accompaniment of crickets in the background.
- Lofzang op de tuinkabouter (Ode to the Garden Gnome) originated when I visited a garden center with my then girlfriend. We saw a stand with typical Dutch garden gnomes, and laughed at how they might come to life at night to conduct all sorts of mischief.
- With A Last Goodbye, I commemorated the atmosphere of a funeral I attended. Although it can be a sad occasion, I also found a certain beauty in it.
- A New Suit originated from the fact that my brother got married in 2009, and I had to go out and buy a proper suit for the occasion. I had never bought a real suit before, so it was quite a memorable event.
- Mazungumzo is Swahili for “dialog”. This piece is written as a dialog between the melody and the accompaniment, much like the singing that occurs in African tribes, where one person sings a phrase, and the whole group responds in unison.
All tracks on this Cd are written and performed by Emiel Stöpler. This album was recorded at Studio Forte in Zwolle, the Netherlands during 2012 and 2013. Most tracks feature solo guitar, but a number of tunes are played with overdubs of a second guitar, piano, double bass and/or marimba.
A big thank you to A.V. for her generosity, to Christiaan for his advice on the design, and to Studio Forte for making this such a fun project.
Emiel Stöpler, March 25 2013.