This CD was recorded between February 2006 and June 2006 at Bob Katsionis’ studio. All tracks were recorded using the following guitars:
Carvin DC 400
Ibanez 7string 4720
Produced, Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Bob Katsionis Original Compositions by Ioannis Anastassakis Guitars (except guest solos) & Bass by Ioannis Anastassakis Drum programming & Keyboards by Bob Katsionis
Not-so-technical words about this recording &various (ir)relevant ramblings
“After playing electric guitar for 20 years, I sincerely felt that recording an instrumental Rock/Fusion CD was seriously overdue… The fact that I KNOW this is not a “commercially viable” genre, makes things artistically much easier; there’s no real pressure to reach a certain level of sales, no demands from major record company executives… So, all I was thinking during the composing and recording process was to accurately express myself through the music and have the best possible time while doing so! Sometimes it was hard work, but most of the time it was just a lot of fun!
If you like my style of guitar playing, my instructional books/DVDs from Mel Bay publications include pretty much all the techniques, concepts and licks used in this CD. I strongly urge you to buy multiple copies of each one of them for yourselves and all your friends, so that I can safely retire in the Caribbean within the next couple of years! There!
Anyway, I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this CD as much as I enjoyed recording it! And make sure you check out my WWW site at www.ioannis.org!”
Track Listing and Explanations
1. Suspension of Disbelief (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This was the last tune I composed for this recording. Bob kept nagging at me about writing something that would use my “Pick & Fingers technique”, a technique that is ideal for playing large intervals on the guitar. Then I decided to mix fusion key changes with a simple Iron Maiden-like harmony. The smooth jazz/funk bridge is one of my favorite part of the CD! And check out the drums at the ending!!!! The title was inspired by a comment of a fellow guitarist that playing distorted lead guitar using with this technique would would “defy belief” (or something like that)…
2. Caravan of Despair Suite (Ioannis Anastassakis)
Even though I definitely do not consider myself a “neoclassical” player, I really enjoy Phrygian dominant and harmonic minor melodies and harmonies. Maybe it’s all the Flamenco I’ve played, not to mention the Greek music I’ve been surrounded with, who knows! Yngwie Malmsteen was an important part of my studies when I was young and I always wanted to write something in this style. And then I “destroy” everything by adding Iron Maiden harmonies and a solo piano in the middle… Anyway, this composition was pretty much the only one that was almost completely mapped out before even my initial meeting with Bob. The music was very much “visually” mapped out in my mind, in different sections (The Caravan, Oasis, Change of plans etc)
3. Altered State of Consciousness
Guitar Fusion has always been a favorite of mine, especially when the player was a proficient Rock guitarist with a more adventurous, jazzy, harmonic & melodic sophistication. This composition started as an example of demonstrating to my students how to play “over changes” without losing their “improvisational identity”; after a while, the initial exercise “mutated” into the main melody of this composition. The name is derived from the combination of the Altered scale, that is used a lot throughout and the fact that you have to consciously “follow the changes”!
4. Variations on Malaguena (Inspired by an original composition by Ernesto Lecuona) arrangement by Ioannis Anastassakis
I started playing Flamenco at a very young age.This is an arrangement for solo guitar inspired by the celebrated Malaguena by the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona. Although this was originally composed for full orchestra, its inherent beauty lends itself remarkably well to the idiomatic techniques of flamenco guitar. Every flamenco guitarist has his/her own solo version of the Malaguena. This is my own. This track is fully transcribed in my book/DVD “Flamenco Journal”, available from Mel Bay publications
5. Resonance Factor 12
This composition started as an exercise I would give my students when it was time to learn the Lydian Dominant (Lydian b7) scale. After listening to their (endless) nagging about how this scale could NEVER be used to play anything even remotely resembling rock music, I decided to compose something that would prove my point once and for all… This tune also includes one of my favorite pet licks, an 8-finger cross-string tapping idea with open strings. The title was inspired from the intro “resonating filter” – this was initially a long natural harmonic, mangled by Bob…
6. Dos Hermanos (Bulerias) Original Composition by Ioannis Anastassakis
The rapid impetus and bouncing pulse of the Bulerias make it the most exciting form of flamenco guitar for most aficionados. It is the greatest challenge for musicians and dancers and is the most widely performed of all flamenco forms. This composition, dedicated to my brother Konstantinos, is a contemporary Bulerias, in the effect that it incorporates a multitude of non-traditional compositional and harmonic techniques. A large part of the included musical phrases are based in non-Spanish harmonies. This is a live concert recording, no overdubs. The complete concert is commercially available in my Solo Flamenco Guitar CD “Flamenco Live at Ioannina”
7. The Final Jam… (Ioannis Anastassakis)
I always though that having many guest soloists participate in a CD added a much needed breath of fresh air! This is a nice, rocking tune, where I decided to have quite a few of my many guitar playing friends share their abilities with you. The title comes from the fact that this is the “Final” original track in this CD! The composition is split into 3 parts harmonically – G dorian/mixolydian, A natural minor and E phrygian dominant! Here’s a list of the solos played by each player – all the rest are my own.
0.48’’-1.20’’ – Alex Flouros
1.36’’-2.07’’ – Lakis Ragazas
2.24’’-2.56’’ – George Emmanouel (Age 15!!)
2.56’’-3.27’’ – Ioannis Anastassakis
3.44’’-4.15’’ – Marcel Coenen
4.16’’- 4.47’’- Ioannis Anastassakis
4.48’’-5.20’’ – Theodore Ziras
5.20’’-5.52’’ – Constantine
6.42’’-6.57’’ – Bob Katsionis
7.14’’-7.29’’ – Bob Katsionis
8. BONUS TRACK: The Final Jam… BACKING TRACK (Ioannis Anastassakis)
Wouldn’t it be REALLY cool to have the backing track from one or more of the tunes included in an instrumental guitar CD? This way the listener could try to recreate the original tune and learn many things about the way the artist writes and records his/her music! However, no one seemed to be doing it, so I decided to give it a go!