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Further Beyond Six Strings

by The Harp Guitar Collective

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    In 2004, history was made when Stephen Bennett, John Doan and I (Gregg Miner) produced Beyond Six Strings – the first-ever compilation of new music for the contemporary harp guitar. Two years later, BSS became the inaugural release of the Harp Guitar Music label, representing the “state of the art” in harp guitar music. Much has happened since, and I’ve been anxious to follow up with a presentation of the current state of the art. And here we are! I think you’ll agree that this 2011 album indeed takes us further beyond six strings…with more instruments, more strings, more imagination, more chops and more exciting music than ever before.
    For the players on this new compilation – part of the growing collective of today’s best and brightest harp guitarists - the request was simple: Create or submit their most impressive piece ever, with just one ground rule: The tunes could be fast, slow, virtuosic, or unusual; but they must be cool. And so they are.
    Presenting the state of the art in harp guitar composition and performance in 2011 - the long-awaited follow-up to Beyond Six Strings!
    Notes on the tunes and pics of the instruments are in the fully illustrated, full color booklet (free PDF download).
    ... more
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"When I listened to "Further Beyond Six Strings", it just blew me away. The music is incredible, both in playing and in composition, the sound quality is superb, and the range of style(s) and moods leaves nothing to be desired. What on earth are these people doing with these instruments? They really take the harp-guitar idea to a completely new level. What an album! Sheer genius from the first note to the very last." - Michael Lohr, writer for Akustik Gitarre

"On this much anticipated sequel to the compilation "Beyond Six Strings" (which spawned the record label Harp Guitar Music) over a dozen virtuosic guitar players perform instrumental pieces on the rare and beautiful harp guitar. This CD lives up to its title, taking the listener "Further Beyond Six Strings" with even more ambitious harp guitar arrangements than the original, as well as tracks that flesh out the instrumentation with everything from wood winds to drum set. For those unfamiliar, the basic idea of a harp guitar is a standard acoustic guitar with several sub-bass strings strung above the conventional neck and attached to a separate head stock. Imagine a giant, hollow bodied ancestor of the double-neck Gibson SG that Jimmy Page famously played. "Further Beyond Six Strings" begins with a swift, descending sweep of notes that lands on one of those wonderful sub bass strings, and from there it quickly induces an involuntary head-bob with its busy, melodic groove. The first impression is of at least two instrumentalists performing, if not three. However, a quick Youtube search verified for me that yes, Mr. Don Alder is playing all those parts simultaneously. On "Tipping Point", noted harp guitarist Stephen Bennett carries us into a deep and beautiful piece. Bennett composed this track at a time in his life when he faced a kidney transplant (the operation was successful). As it builds its musical themes, one can hear melancholy but also a sense of awe and beauty that feels at once immediate and sublime. Gregg Miner, the producer of this compilation and an expert on the harp guitar and its history, takes over for the song "The Friends I Finally Met", which changes up the tone by featuring a harp mandolin instead of guitar. Michael Manring fills out the bottom on fretless bass. This piece is a touch whimsical, evoking a light, satisfied feeling. It made me think of that first day in Spring when it's warm enough for yard work; a day where every third sweep of the rake is interrupted by an involuntary deep breath that pulls in the smell of the new season. The album goes on to feature many more harp guitar greats. Stylistically, this collection of music is wonderfully varied, and every piece brings something new to the table. From the Michael Hedges flavored, to Baroque, to Eastern, to Spanish, to jazz inflected pieces. This album is most definitely a musical journey. The unifying threads are virtuosity, musicality, and of course, that unique and beautiful voice of the harp guitar. A great listen." © Jared Fiske. Minor7th.com


released August 28, 2011

Produced by Gregg Miner exclusively for Harp Guitar Music.


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Gregg Miner Los Angeles, California

Gregg Miner is a plucked stringed instrument collector, scholar, recording artist and performer, best known for his work with harp guitars. For more, visit his 3 web sites!

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