Chiel Zwinkels

Glass Figures

Glass Figures is a collection of 8 short compositions for solo acoustic guitar. It came about as a kind of antidote to the previously recorded Monochrome. After spending many hours trying to impose my will on uncooperative electronics, I felt I needed a change of pace, so I temporarily discarded all fancy technology in favour of a sparser setting.

The style of playing I used on this album is called plectrum guitar, also known as ‘flat-picking’, and of all possible guitar techniques this might just be the one that’s least suitable for solo performance. Essentially, this technique allows the playing of only one note at a time, which means that any coincidental bass/chord/melody playing requires all kinds of trickery. I’ve tried my hand at various thumb- and fingerpicking techniques that might make more sense in this context, but plectrum playing turned out to be the only way to get the guitar to sound just right for me. So I decided to embrace it, technical difficulties be damned, which led me on an interesting journey to which this album provides a kind of travel journal.

I wrote these songs over an extended period of time: some are recent, some go back more than a decade. The older pieces were reworked for plectrum style playing and I recorded everything in quick succession at the end of 2021, when I had the opportunity to borrow a most excellent set of microphones (thanks Marc!). All songs were performed without edits or overdubs on my lovely 1939 Gibson Kalamazoo KG-14 acoustic guitar.