Kevin Kastning | Skyfields

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Classical: Contemporary Classical: Twentieth Century Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Skyfields

by Kevin Kastning

Modern classical solo compositions for 36-string Double Contraguitar and 15-string Extended Classical guitar.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Skyfields I
12:52 $0.99
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2. Skyfields II
12:41 $0.99
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3. Skyfields III
14:08 $0.99
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4. Skyfields IV
9:22 album only
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5. Skyfields V
13:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Reviews from "Otherworld," Kevin Kastning's previous solo album (2015):

KEVIN KASTNING/Otherworld: "Is Kastning's first solo record after 19 others really a journey through the past? Our fave experimental guitarist seems to be dialing it back a notch and turning in in a set that would have been right at home as one of Windham Hill's tent pole solo guitar releases 30 years ago. Leaving us wondering just how a face off between him and Michael Hedges would have come out, the playing here is far more intricate than it sounds and shows another side of Kastning in expected fine form. Guitar fans have to put this on their must have list. Killer stuff."

-- Midwest Record (USA)
September 2015
*****
"Those who thought they knew everything about the guitar in general and especially guitarists will have to reopen their books and make new notes in the shadow of Kevin Kastning. Kevin Kastning made an impression. What's striking about this guitarist, originally from Kansas but now living in Massachusetts after going through the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, is his almost infinite imagination and inventiveness.This record gives me the impression of a painting by Mark Rothko or Frank Stella: the artist has gone beyond to unreachable levels, reaching the point where one might wonder if he is still able to make a design within the reach of everyone. With Kastning, one wonders whether this artist ever played the riffs of "You really got me" or "Louie Louie," as he has now reached a stratospheric level in creativity. His song titles themselves are full of mystery: "No Light, but Rather," "In stillness defined," "Arc Rotation Shadow", "Veiled Silent Overturn," "No Abstraction of Perhaps," "Corridors Therefrom Within." This corresponds to the somewhat abstract musical art that comes inside from the guitars of Kevin Kastning.

All this may not seem very approachable, but shows that imagination and creativity have no limits. Kevin Kastning takes us into a new dimension of the art of the guitar and we remain free to follow or not."

-- Music in Belgium magazine (BELGIUM)
September 2015
*****
"Massachusetts based Kevin Kastning continues breaking new ground for the art of the guitar with his 2015 solo album, Otherworld. When I say breaking new ground, I don’t take that term very lightly as not many albums of solo acoustic guitar music feature a guitarist playing 36 string Double Contra-Alto guitar, 30 string Contra-Alto guitar, 15 string Extended Classical guitar, 12 string Soprano guitar and 6 string classical guitar—all on the same album. Not only that but Kevin is actually the inventor of many of these guitars and to say he’s masterful at coaxing the best sounds possible out of them would be an understatement. Kevin’s Greydisc music imprint has already established itself as one of the most highly regarded experimental music labels in the world today. Earlier releases featured albums with modern music masters like Mark Wingfield, Michael Manring, Carl Clements, Sandor Szabo and other collaborators, yet on Otherworld, the focus is solely on Kevin’s moody and atmospheric guitar work. Once again superbly recorded, Otherworld lives up to its name as the sound is dense and raveled, dark and insightful. Back in the day, Kevin studied with modern day guitar masters such as Pat Metheny, yet his music takes you to places Metheny has yet to visit. In some respects, Kevin’s music owes more to experimental music makers such as Phillip Glass and even Harry Partch, who experimented with musical timbres that people hadn’t even dreamed of yet. Yet, even with this air of otherworldly experimentalism, all 16 tracks on Otherworld are quite easy on the ears—Kevin’s picked notes flying out into the sonic atmosphere with unparalleled ease. It’s to his credit that he’s earned his reputation by working and recording with other guitarists and musicians yet, on Otherworld, guitarist Kevin Kastning raises the bar for 21st century musical experimentalism as well as expanding the horizons for the art of the acoustic guitar."

-- Music Web Express Webzine (US)
November 2015
*****
"The 16 pieces comprising this album were “composed in the moment” and performed solo on 6-string classical guitar and four unique guitar-like instruments conceived and realized by Kastning and Alistair Hay of Emerald Guitars: 12-string Soprano, 15-string Extended Classical, 30-string Contra-Alto, and 36-string Double Contraguitar (the latter two being double-neck instruments constructed of carbon fiber).

The extended ranges of the instruments and the uncommon tunings Kastning devises for them combine to produce luxuriously rich sonic worlds replete with intriguing new harmonic relationships—worlds that were skillfully recorded and mixed sans processing other than for touches of reverb.

Otherworld has been warmly received within classical circles, which perhaps isn’t surprising given the music’s sometimes orchestral sensibilities and the fact that Kastning is himself an accomplished classical composer—but this music has no direct parallels in the classical repertoire, or, indeed, any repertoire. While Kastning does occasionally introduce more familiar-sounding material into his improvisational flow (most notably on the two classical guitar pieces), the touchstones of this music are its unprecedented harmonic juxtapositions, mesmerizing melodies, and adept deployment of the sheer sonic gravitas provided by the instruments themselves.

This aptly titled album does, in fact, provide the listener with a portal into a wondrous new musical world that is at once alien and strangely familiar."

-- The Lodge webzine (US)
November 2015
*****
"The American guitar player Kevin Kastning’s name is familiar for our readers, after all we have introduced several of his albums in the last few years, which were made with his collaboration with such artists like Mark Wingfield, Carl Clements, and Sándor Szabó. We cannot know that Kevin’s recently released new solo album is the beginning of a new era in his artist career, or only a single solo album which is the very first album in his artist life. Before I would write about the album it is worth to introduce the instruments he used on the recordings. The American musician used a double neck 36- string Contraguitar (2x18 strings), a double neck 30- string Contraguitar ( 12+18 strings), an extended range 15-string classical guitar, a 12-string soprano, and a 6-string classical guitar. All these guitars are made of carbon fiber, except the 6-string classical guitar.
A new kind of consciousness can be observed in the world not only in the music but in the entire field of the life. In certain circles of people there is a deeper and a committed interest for spiritual things. This kind of way of thinking brings up a new kind of arts and music, as well. After many listenings to the Otherworld I feel that Kevin Kastning’s album was born in such a spiritual atmosphere and as such it is very special and shows something absolutely new from the future. We can hear abstract music forms on the album and it demands more openness and attention from the listener to make a closer contact with the music. This music will open for only the listeners who are able to concentrate their full attention to it.
I think the main driving force of this special guitar player/composer is the curiousness: how is possible to create an inner order of the notes and intervals which does not remind to anything.
The Otherworld album is the result which consists of 16 pieces. All compositions by Kevin Kastning. At least the half of the pieces are longer than 5 minutes, though the shorter pieces like the Autumn Movement Speculation and the last piece of the album called Corridors Therefrom Within contain a very dense essential content. In my feeling these two pieces summarize the most important musical thoughts. On the other hand, Otherworld's rhythm and harmony world suggests something new from the future.
All in all every notes and licks are deliberate and played on a high level on this album. Nothing is over played and over explained so the themes are gradually unfolding in the consciousness of the listener."

-- HiFi Portal magazine (HUNGARY)
February 2016
*****

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