It was an honour to open the first ever European Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Festival which took place in my part of the world : Exeter, Devon, at The Phoenix Arts Centre. I decided to put together a set that shows the range of what the guitar can do (as I see it) playing instrumental pieces and songs and using standard and extended techniques. For the longest time I have been in love with the level of expression that the guitar provides for me as a composer and a player.
When I was University (Guitar Institute 2003-6) I worked on extended techniques on acoustic guitar for some time before I found others who were doing the same, so I felt very connected to the spirit of creativity and personal discovery when I was starting to play percussively/lap style. It was a very magical time for me and it was my own journey. In fact, what can be achieved on the guitar still feels magical to me and I find myself moved and astounded every time I discovered a new sound that has been hiding in the acoustic guitar perhaps for hundreds of years. In this set I use altered tunings, play in standard position and with the guitar on my lap, also play a duet with an old friend – Kevin Harding – and another with a new friend Sando Norton and South West Dance Hub. Guitarlele and ukulele also feature.
Hope you enjoy watching this performance as much as I enjoyed giving it.