Kevin Kastning | 30/36

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by Kevin Kastning

Deep and dark explorations of the 30-string and 36-string Contraguitars.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Wotruba I
6:32 $0.99
2. Bahuya I
5:37 $0.99
3. Bahuya II
9:50 $0.99
4. Wotruba II
5:59 $0.99
5. Malleus Anguli I
5:49 $0.99
6. Malleus Anguli II
3:54 $0.99
7. Wotruba III
4:04 album only
8. Aequus Nox I
2:30 $0.99
9. Aequus Nox II
7:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Reviews for 17/66, Kastning's previous solo album:

"The uber DIY guitar cat really does it all himself as he pulls three of his custom guitars off the shelf for a stunning solo excursion into a guitar world you didn't know existed. A cat can only do so much with two hands and 36 strings (that's a joke, son) and he pushed those tools to the limit and beyond. A very personal feeling private recital, this just plain takes it all to the next level of the game. Art for art's sake that never becomes precious."

-- Midwest Record magazine (US)
April 2018


"The most prolific maestro of the multi-string carbon guitar, Kevin Kastning returns in early 2018 with his fourth solo album. Entitled 17/66 the single disc, nine track CD is no doubt inspired by Kevin’s use of his 36-string Double Contraguitar, his 30-string Contra-Alto guitar and the latest addition, his 17-string Hybrid Extended Classical guitar. Speaking about connection between the album title and his performance on the 17, 30 and 36 string guitars, Kevin tells, "Yes, that is the intent behind the album title. For this record, I wanted a title that was numbers instead of words. For this record, I wanted to take that concept to a bit more abstract place; hence a title of numbers instead of words. This is the world premiere recording of the 17-string, so that certainly figured into the album title. For the 30-string Contra-Alto guitar and the 36-string Double Contraguitar, I think of them as one large 66-string instrument; it’s hard for me to locate or define mental or artistic boundaries for them, and in my mind I think of them as the 66." Kastning fans will be in guitar heaven with 17/66 as the music centers on a compositional approach that Kevin calls, 'harmonic blocks'. Interesting that in his liner notes, Kevin cites the Wotruba Cathedral in Vienna Austria as being a “visual representation of the harmonic blocks concept.” With its dense, protruding geometrical angles and jutting points of construction, Wotruba and the music on 17/66 enjoy a similar type of shared identity. Long time Kastning fans who still marvel at his ongoing creating of these 21st century, multi-string carbon fiber guitars will sit up and take notice of Kevin's recently acquired 17-string Hybrid Extended classical guitar that debuts on 17/66. Although his 15-String Extended classical guitar is replaced here with the 17-string and, while there’s no inclusion of Kevin’s performance on the Kawaii grand piano, 17/66 is a still an enjoyable follow up album to his 2017 solo album A Connection Of Secrets."

-- Music Web Express webzine (US)
May 2018

"Kastning has released nearly thirty albums on the Greydisc label since around 2000 (both solo and collaborations with folks like Sandor Szabo, Carl Clements, Michael Manring, Balasz Major, Mark Wingfield and many others), and 17/66 is his fourth solo release. His music is completely outside of all genre classifications, perhaps a bit of classical, jazz, avant, Americana and ambient figure into Kastning’s stylistic palette, but the results are truly his own. His guitar inventions are legendary (refer to his website for a complete description of his stringed instruments, tunings, etc.), and on this collection of nine tracks grouped into three suites, he uses his 36-string Double Contraguitar, his 30-string Contra-Alto guitar (36+30 = 66), both are double-neck designs, and his 17-string Hybrid Extended Classical guitar. These are all played without any effects or distortion (other than studio reverb) and are essential to his unique style. One can spend hours marvelling at all these guitar designs and other technical aspects (and believe me, I have, many times) but when these magical instruments meet the recording studio in Kastning’s hands, with his compositions and improvisations in tow, the only thing that matters is what effect it all has on the listener. All these strings have a very impressive range, but the compositions tend toward sparseness, leaving space as the one ingredient that sparks the imagination. The result is often a sense of stillness and solitude, a place where motion speeds and slows as the composer creates on the spot. The feeling one gets is sometimes reminiscent of the quieter parts of Steve Tibbetts’ Northern Song, but here there are no drums, no percussion, no beat to anchor the wanderings of the various guitars, other than what the bass and baritone registers of the guitar incidentally provide. I could go on for many paragraphs attempting to describe this sound and the resulting feeling, and would probably still fail to convey the mystery. I guess the only way to understand is to experience it for yourself, and if one hasn’t heard any of Kastning’s work before, 17/66 is a perfect starting point."

-- Exposé Magazine (US)



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