SIMON STEEN-ANDERSEN Complete works for guitar
This recording project was born of my fortuitous encounter with Simon Steen-Andersen at the Bern University of the Arts (HKB). My first year studying in Bern coincided with Simon’s first year on the faculty and I used the opportunity to work on a couple of his pieces with him. When I first met Simon, I knew little of his approach to composing for guitar. However, his eclectic personality and unique way of thinking about music spoke to me. The more I practiced and researched his music, the more I became convinced that a monographic record highlighting his complete compositions for guitar would help bring his work to a wider audience.
I found myself in a positive, supportive environment with particularly favourable circumstances; Contrastes Records offered me the opportunity to produce an album on their label, and the HKB supported the studio recording and the post-production. My fellow musicians brought great passion and talent to the project, and two years later, this album has become a reality.
Simon was enthusiastic about the idea of this project and was a willing participant in all the phases of its production. A relationship of mutual esteem was present from the very beginning and for one year we worked intensely on the preparation of the entire repertoire. It has been a long process of experimentation involving overcoming both instrument-technical and interpretative challenges. Many works have been revised and modified, over and over again, until results were obtained that embody our aesthetic ideas and adapt to my way of playing.
The piece Drownwords has been a particularly demanding test for everyone, the outcome of which remained uncertain until the day of the recording. When Simon told me «[Drownwords] is my best title ever», it became clear what the name of this record should be.