Perspectives: Liner notes

"The last time Sándor and I entered a recording studio was during the 2012 European concert tour. These recording sessions produced the 2012 Greydisc album The Book of Crossings. Since then, we have both progressed, evolved, and developed. Not only as artists, but with our instruments as well. In my case, my main instrument on the 2012 recording dates was the 12-string Extended Baritone guitar. Now in 2016, my main instrument is the 36-string Double Contraguitar, and my two secondary instruments are the 30-string Contra-Alto guitar and the 15-string Extended classical guitar. These instruments represent a sea change in my own evolution and growth. I designed these instruments to fulfill a need: I was hearing and writing compositions for instruments that did not exist. These three instruments have opened the door to compositional and expressive worlds which were previously inaccessible to me. Known, but out of reach.  Given the close partnership I have with Sándor, I knew that these instruments would also have an impact on our work. Due to scheduling conflicts and the fact that we live in different countries, we were unable to schedule recording dates after those 2012 sessions until October 2015. In those three years, we had both uncovered new ground; not only compositionally, but also with our instruments. Although Sándor's main instrument for many years has been the 16-string Classical guitar, in the years since 2012, he has developed new tunings for this instrument.

In the intervening years, I have also developed new tunings for my instruments, and Sándor and I have even worked on tuning scenarios to fit together; for example, Sándor might develop a tuning specifically to fit with one of my tunings and so forth.  In this way, harmonic options and environments are further extended.

We have been discussing our next recording project since those sessions in 2012 ended. Little did we know at that time just how far we would both progress before we would have the opportunity to again enter the recording studio. The October 2015 recording sessions produced an abundance of new material; Perspectives is the first album release from these sessions with more to follow.

In this new set of recordings, Sándor and I believe that our harmonic palette has been highly extended. This extension of harmonic materials, ranges, and possibilities allows us to go to places we could have previously only imagined. Perspectives is the reality of these new harmonic and compositional levels and achievements.  The album title refers to the new and extended view we share."

-- Kevin Kastning
   Massachusetts, US
   26 August 2016


"In 2013 when Kevin started to use his extended range doubleneck carbon-fiber guitars, we started to think about an album which would present the musical possibilities of the multi-string guitars. First we had a „working title” of the project as the „52-string project” showing that Kevin composes and plays on a 36-string guitar and I use my 16-string guitar. Finally the time came in late October 2016. I traveled to Groton, Massachusetts to Studio Traumwald, and we very intensively started to record and work on the 52-string project. In the meantime, we arrived at a point when the number of strings did not matter anymore, much rather what and how we created on them. From this point, we focused on the artistic expression of the music. The guitars we play are more than instruments to play on; they are also composing tools. Kevin used his 30, 36, and 15-string guitars I used my old 16-nylon string guitar, a 16-string Contraguitar as well as a 6-string classical guitar. The combinations of these guitars, the tunings, and stringings all together gave us a never-before heard sound but mostly inspirations to get the most of our instruments. From the beginning we dreamt and created these guitars not for the sake of a strange musical instrument but for the music we always hear inside ourselves. The guitars were shaped for the music; the music was not shaped for the guitars.

When we started to compose and play together on these never-tried instrument combinations, we started to hear more music inside than we could ever imagine. In the period of the recording sessions we got to a very blessed, inspired state of consciousness and we recorded a large amount of music providing material for many albums. Perspectives is the first issue in a series where we used our instruments according to their potential and avoiding all the approaches which anybody else would use on a guitar. I do hope that this is only the beginning of a longer project, and that we can enrich the music culture of the modern contemporary guitar."

-- Sándor Szabó

   25 July 2016