The Art of the 16-string Guitar III
In 1981 in Debrecen, Hungary I saw Egberto Gismonti playing 10-string
guitar, and I felt that concert was a sign showing me my new direction.
The tonal possibilities of the multi-string guitars set my imagination
on fire and I committed to playing guitars with more strings than the
standard 6-string guitar. First I started with a 10-string classical,
then later a 16-string guitar.
At that time I was not interested in making transcriptions of known pieces
for 16-string guitar; instead, I wanted to compose, to create something
new and special. I started to exclusively compose my music for 16-string
guitar which brought me success and recognition in abroad .
I had a clear concept how to use the 16 string guitar: to extend the polyphony
of the guitar and to discover the hidden possibilities. This is possible
only if the guitar is shaped to the music which I imagined. My aim was
to explore the unused potential of the 16-string guitar and express the
deeper domains of the moods and emotions.
In 2004, the album called The Art of the 16-string Guitar I, then in 2006,
The Art of the 16-string Guitar II was released. After these releases,
I introduced the 16-string guitar music on several guitar and jazz festivals
in countries like Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, and USA.
In 2015, the third album, The Art of the 16-string Guitar III was released.
Compared with the first two CDs, this album is a step ahead in many aspects.
I used nylon strings with a special string setup, some new intervallic
tunings, and a refined picking technique.
My 16-string guitars were built by the very talented master luthier Tihamér
Romanek. Using his experiences in lute building, he built some extended
range 16-string guitar for me in a new way and as a result they sound
unique. In these albums, I attempt to express my honor for his craftsmanship.
The pieces on this album were born in clear intuition. I let the music
flow from its source and I did not let it be shaped by outer influences
and trends. In the beginning of my career, I influenced by Oriental and
European classical music, folk, and jazz music, so all these influences
built up a filter in my musical being; working in the moment of inspiration
to make my music so personal.
Vác, Hungary 10. December 2015 Sándor Szabó