How the Sándor Szabó / Roland Heidrich guitar
The recordings of the albums called On the path of Manes and The
last sunbeams of the Golden Age were recorded in 2009-2012. In this
period we met weekly. The main goal of the common improvisations and contemplations
were to achieve a special conception of creating music which is not typical
in the modern acoustic guitar music, by utilizing the hidden expressive
possibilities of our guitars. This is our concept in creating music. The
base of the method is the regular meeting with guitars in the hands, to
know each other's response in any kind of musical situations and to develop
the sensitivity of our responses. A further goal was bringing up the music
from our soul to keep the inner logic and structure of the music. This
is important to point out because we do not compose the music in the usual
way; much rather we enter the source where the music can be found in its
cleanest state and we bring it up via an intuitive channel. We believe
that the music always existed and will exist there. Someone who feels
at home in listening to improvised music will notice immediately that
no known or trendy "improvisation system" can be heard in it.
Not to mention that these pieces are not influenced by trendy guitar music.
This is natural; after all these are real improvised pieces, not a collage
of consciously collected music materials, but pieces waiting to come to
life from the depth of our soul. In this process, we do not consciously
use a tonal system or outer influences. No compromises supporting the
ambitions of career, no trends to follow; because the way we have chosen
is merely unconcerned with what happens in the outer world as improvisation.
The chords come to life in the same intuitive process as the melodies.
It was not necessary to plan or compose any parts of the music in advance.
Instead, we prepared our beings to be able to be tuned on the intuitive
channel and to explore the unknown and never-experienced domains of the
music as one soul. We utilized the knowledge which gathered by our Manes
and which is always available in the depth of our soul. We recorded most
of our improvisations in my studio. Most of them were mixed in the following
The materials we recorded rested for a few years. Time to time I returned
to the recordings and I tried to choose the strongest and most characteristic
pieces to prepare them for one or two albums. By the summer of 2012, I
managed to create a concentrated selection; however this new material
would consume two albums. At that time, there was no record label willing
to release this new material. Then, in the summer of 2014, Greydisc Records
offered to release my unpublished recordings, I and Roland met again and
we checked and selected the recordings very critically. Finally we selected
25 pieces all together and this material creates the two above mentioned
The covers of the albums are created by my friend, the photo artist László
Hutton. Our connection of work developed into a deep artistic friendship.
We created an interesting working method: I make a disc for him to listen
to the recordings, sometimes with and sometimes without titles to listen
to the music. Then he showed me some possible cover designs, and usually
the first version was the best and the final.
The technical background of the recording process is not typical. For
my guitars, I used a matched pair of Microtech Gefell M930 microphones.
For Roland's guitars, I used a matched pair of DPA 4011 TL microphones
fitted on Jecklin discs. All the microphones are cardioids, so the sound
sources in the small recording space remain separated in the stereo field.
The microphones are located in the space to provide the actual stereo
placement of the instruments in the final mix. All the guitars are recorded
in stereo, because using only one microphone per instrument gives an unnatural
soundscape. On my recordings, the guitars do not have a thin sound, as
if located in one spot; they have an aura; a dimension, and this provides
an almost physical reality and palpable presence in the stereo field.
The mastering process is very simple: I put the sound sources into an
artificial stereo space generated by a Bricasti M7 or a Quantec 2498 space
simulator. No equalization or dynamic processing were utilized. If the
microphones are properly selected and located in the recording sessions,
there is no need for tonal shaping. In this method, the recorded information
remains intact. Each sound source can be heard in every moment, can be
analyzed for the ears in every moment, the listener can focus on every
detail at all times. The result is a natural sounding and restful recording
which perfectly serves the music and the listener as well.
Vác, 1st February 2015.