Andreas Kapsalis Trio
Not only is Andreas Kapsalis quickly building his reputation as the most important torch bearer in the tradition of the one-man guitar army since Michael Hedges left his legacy with the music world, hes also raising the bar for the 21st century film score; a composer who uses his idiosyncratic style to create an impressonable perspective on the silver screen. With the release of the Andreas Kapsalis Trios self-titled album, Kapsalis consummates the alliance between eight-fingered guitar virtuosity and outstanding melodic theme and variation. This album also helps to tell the story of an unusual musical journey. For Kapsalis, this journey began by accident.
When he was 18 years old, the self taught musician severed a tendon in his left hand, while working as an apprentice to a luthier. It was during this time that he decided to turn that accident into an advantage. I started to experiment with playing chords and scales and relearning the guitar while I was in the cast, Kapsalis explains. I had no use of my left hand, so my right hand was all I had to produce sound. I just started writing songs and reworking songs I had composed earlier on with my new found (eight-finger) technique. All of a sudden, I was doing things I couldn't dream of doing before the mishap - I could harmonize with myself."
For the next six years Andreas continued to champion the two handed guitar technique, gaining inspiration from keyboard players like Jimmy Smith and Dave Brubeck, alongside modern composers including Copeland, Prokofiev, and Steven Reich. There are so many things that you can do with the technique. It enabled me to learn how to play scores and piano pieces that I previously had trouble with earlier on, due to the lack of available digits - to fill out the range. You cant play more than six notes at once, but some of the harmonies and scale runs that were impossible before are now possible. So the advantages keep opening up.
By 2001, two-time Grammy award-winning producer, Jim Tullio, caught wind of Andreas Kapsalis and his unique approach to guitar, and pressed him to record. Under the supervision of Tullio, Kapsalis recorded a handful of original compositions, in addition to a version of Dave Brubecks Blue Rondo a la Turk, which won Kapsalis acclaim from Brubeck who wrote: I am very impressed that Andreas could cover on guitar what I had written for piano. Tullio was also instrumental in helping Andreas realize that his true potential as a pure acoustic guitarist, encouraging him to utilize his talents to cover the melody, harmony, and bass lines simultaneously, with the support of two percussionists.
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