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Andrey Popovsky: electric guitar (1), semi-acoustic guitar (2)
Denis Sorokin: classical guitar (2), electric guitar (3)
Alexander Markvart: acoustic guitar (2)
杉本拓は東京在住のギター奏者 / 作曲家。即興演奏家でもあるが、現在は作曲と、(他の作曲家の作品を含む) 作曲作品の演奏がメインの活動となっている。特にヴァンデルヴァイザーと関係の深い世界中の作曲家や演奏家と、グローバルで密な交流を続けている。グローバルで密な交流を続けている。Ftarri はこれまでに、杉本の単独名義アルバムを『Septet』(2015年) と『Quintets: Berlin, San Diego』(2017年) の2枚リリースしているが、どちらも杉本の作曲作品を他のミュージシャンが演奏している (『Septet』では、杉本も演奏に参加)。
今作の『Guitars』はこれらに続く杉本名義のアルバムで、彼が作曲したギターのための3曲を収録。1曲目と3曲目は20分前後のギター・ソロ、2曲目はギター・トリオ (10分)。演奏家はロシアの3人のギタリストで、2017年と2018年にサンクトペテルブルクで録音された。ソロ演奏は Andrey Popovsky (1曲目) と Denis Sorokin (3曲目) が担当、トリオ演奏はこのふたりと Alexander Markvart がおこなった。いずれも、非常に簡潔な演奏でありながら複雑で豊かな響きを感じさせる。いかにも杉本の曲らしい、素朴な中に独特な深い味わいをたたえた名品。
All the tones of these 3 compositions for guitar(s) are played only with open strings ["solo for guitar 2" and "trio (for three guitars)"] or natural harmonics ("solo for guitar 1"), and all the tunings are respectively irregular.
The score of "solo for guitar 1" (2014-2015) shows 17 fragments or sections consisting of one or two melodies or bars. These fragments are played in any order and the number of repetitions of each melody or bar would be up to the performer: one person can play only one fragment throughout the performance. This composition has been played or recorded by Cristián Alvear, Denis Sorokin, and myself, and the interpretations are all quite different from one another. Denis's interpretation is wild and raw, and nevertheless very fascinating to me.
The tuning required for playing "solo for guitar 2" (2016) is so anomalous that it is impossible to play with a normally-tuned guitar. The interval between the 6th and 1st strings is a perfect fifth (G and D) and the other 4 strings are tuned to all different minor or major thirds (Bb or B): 1, 7/6, 6/5, 5/4, 9/7, 3/2.* The string used for the 6th string is the one which is normally used for the 3rd string. I chose a rather high register, because it is easier for me to tune the strings to pure intervals. While it is hard or troublesome to tune the strings for the composition, it is not difficult to play it. However, the performer's concentration is required. Andrey Popovsky's interpretation is plain, serene, and slow, which is surely what I intended.
"trio (for three guitars)" (2016) was composed for the concert that Tetuzi Akiyama, Cristián Alvear, and myself were to have. I never thought of writing a composition which needs anomalous tuning like "solo for guitar 2," since we had to play 2 or 3 other compositions besides mine. Then I got an idea that "it must be interesting to write a composition which is very simple to play but sounds similar to a solo piece like 'solo for guitar 2,' because there are three of us." Every guitarist plays only the 5th, 4th, and 3rd open strings, but each guitar is tuned differently, though all the 5th strings are tuned to A (see the score). I asked Denis if it would be possible to record the composition with electric, acoustic, and classical guitars, the same combination I did with Tetuzi and Cristián, or with three different types of guitars. The recording played by Denis, Andrey, and Sasha (Alexander Markvart) reminds me of something like imaginary folk music.
*All the tones of the recordings of "solo for guitar 2" and "trio" are almost exactly a semitone lower than written in the score, while the intervals between tones are alright. I thought I had suggested to Denis that he make the tuning a semitone lower to solve some practical matters, but Denis said that wasn't the case. What happened?