Thursday, 19 November 2015

Art meets music in a limited edition print disc celebrating the alto guitar

Altgitarr Nils Klöfver
Until I received an email from Swedish guitarist Nils Klöfver, I had never heard of an alto guitar. The instrument was developed 50 years ago in Sweden by luthier Georg Bolin and guitarist Per-Olof Johnson. It is an extended range guitar with eleven strings (though Bolin sometimes made 13 string ones as well). It arose because Per-Olof Johnson was looking for a way to play lute music using guitar playing technique. The design introduced two main elements, to provide conventional lute tuning by tuning the first six strings a minor third higher (hence the name "alto guitar") and to add five extra strings to accommodate low notes. The name for the guitar in Swedish is Altgitar.

This is the name that Nils Klöfver has given to his new disc of music for the alto guitar. Recorded to celebrate the instrument's 50th anniversary, the disc includes music by Bach and Weiss, including Bach's Lute Suite.

But the album has another twist too. It is produced in vinyl and Nils Klöfver has collaborated with artist Jenny Svenberg Bunnel who has produced drawings of Nils and the disc comes with one of three prints of the drawings as its cover. These are produced on a batch of art paper which was produced in the 1970's. The discs are limited edition, individually numbered and signed by the artist.. Something for the wall or something for the turntable. Don't worry, you get a digital download as well.

There is an introductory video on YouTube, with full information from the Altgitarr website.

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