WALTER ABT & SOL Y SOMBRA
The ensemble "SOL Y SOMBRA" stands for light and shadow. It reflects the cosmopolitanism and melange of contemporary Flamenco, which today, as a free style of art, easily and almost endlessly oscillates between orient and occident. In its compositions, the ensemble therefore merges the global worlds of Flamenco with those of Jazz and Classic, a fusion that is unique until now. This proves that Flamenco is able to reinvent itself over and over again even outside of Spain.
The current project "Out of Spain" fits in no previous category. Arabesque Flamenco rhythms from Andalusia with their original oriental strangeness connect with contemporary Jazz and the occidental construction of Classic. On this foundation SOL Y SOMBRA shows itself in a favourable light (SOL): together with the current Flamenco styles with their wilful Fandangos and Bulerías, rhythmic-groovy shadows (SOMBRA) fall on the pieces of even completely different masters. The melodic fragments of Bach's Goldberg Variations or Vivaldi's G-minor Sonate are being unleashed in highly virtuosic Falsetas on original instruments like the Spanish vihuela or the oriental lute.
The members of the ensemble are:
Walter Abt (guitar, lute, composition)
Jürgen Seefelder (soprano saxophone)
Ken Weinzierl (Rhythmic guitar)
Markus Wagner (Bass)
GITARRE, LAUTE & VIHUELA
The current solo program embraces the original sound of old music and contemporary lute, between film music arrangements and contemporary Flamenco even on guitars with six or eight strings and is influenced by the delight for unaccustomed and innovative sounds:
MUNICH GUITARS CONDUCTED BY WALTER ABT
As the first award winner of the orchestra competition held by the Deutscher Musikrat, the Munich guitarist and composer Walter Abt leads the experimental ensemble MUNICH GUITARS. This ensemble is a mirror for the global adaptability of contemporary music. Explosive- rhythmical forms of improvisation create an interactive relationship between every single instrumentalist. Important is the creation of a personal sound identity.
In 1987 Walter Abt already founded the Munich Guitar Orchestra which was filled with 10 young competition award winners and dedicated musicians. At this time there were just a few qualitative appealing original pieces available. So for the moment self-arranged pieces, especially of Spanish literature came into being and caused a furor in concerts and festivals. Also composers like Gianfranco Grisi, Leo Brouwer, Heinz Benker and others dedicated their works to the 10 person guitar ensemble which were produced by Bayerischer Rundfunk and KOCH Classics. Many concert tours into neighbouring countries like Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, a.o. followed. The ensemble received a special prize for the best interpretation of contemporary music.
In the current program of the Ensemble MUNICH GUITARS are predominantly personal pieces by Walter Abt. Demanding sounds and rhythms try to wean human habits through tonal effects. In a pure acoustic sound level conventional guitar techniques are replenished with preserved instruments.
BETWEEN STRINGS & MATCHES is a piece by Walter Abt which was composed in 2009 and premiered in the same year at the Gasteig concert hall in Munich. It bears its name because all 8 guitars (+1 bassguitar) are prepared with matches which create an unfamiliar sound. This sound reminds of percussive chirps of Caribbean steel drums. The idea of composing such a piece came into being during a conversation between Walter Abt and Leo Brouwer who inspired him deeply. Free tonal contrapunctal dialogues partly played with bottlenecks between a few solo guitars develop over an ostinato.
Strings are the most fundamental elements of nature. They can create up to 10 dimensions with their characteristic pattern of oscillation. Strings of an instrument are related to them. These strings can generate countless patterns of oscillations, resonance etc. The fundamental strings create different masses and charges. Our universe is full of these tiny strings whose changing resonances resound the composition of evolution. Human beings who always try to realise the world look minute and shadowy.
KHARA KHOTO is a piece that tells about the ordeal of camels through the Gobi Desert into the "Black City", which became enormously important for trade on the Silk Road in times of Marco Polo (12th/13th century). This atonal piece lives on spontaneous exposure of improvising interpretations. In the introduction every guitar plays solos with a different effect (crossed strings, tapping, percussion, strings on the nut, bottleneck, matches, etc.). Later on the different effects are mixed into interactive dialogues.
Furthermore a wide-raging and tonal panorama is offered by soloists of the Ensemble.
The members of the Ensemble:
MUNICH GUITARS play strings by SAVAREZ
(CORUM Alliance red)
The ensemble D.I.F. is - as the name already reveals - the result of friendship: it is the result of the long-term personal and musical relationship between the two guitarists Walter Abt and Nicola Puglielli. The German is known as a virtuoso of classical music, the Italian as a jazz guitarist. The musicians have converged in their instrument, which can look back on a long tradition in both of their countries, and met somewhere between Classic and Jazz.
JAZZ MEETS WORLDMUSIC
The duo's musical versatility goes far beyond the idea "jazz meets classic". The connection of own compositions with contemporary styles of music creates a so far unique fusion. Both musicians bring the sounds of the so-called world music, by which they have been influenced, into the ensemble. They expand their borders towards the south, by comprising South American guitar music and Flamenco and even towards the east with the rhythms of the Balkans and Gypsy Swing. Abt and Puglielli therefore do not only see their project as a German-Italian connection but as an example that for guitar music too a new, global era has begun.
Walter Abt is guitarist, composer and arranger. His concert repertoire as a soloist and his large discography, for which he received several awards, show his affection for innovative musical ways. They comprise classical studies, renaissance music, South American guitar music (Leo Brouwer and Giora Feidmann, amongst others) and Flamenco. Abt is founder and director of the "Münchner Gitarrenensemble" and the Flamenco ensemble "Walter Abt & Sol y Sombra".
Nicola Puglielli is a guitarist, composer and arranger. His concerts and recordings are an unorthodox mixture of classical techniques, Jazz improvisation and European tradition, for example Django Reinhardt. As a soloist as well as with his group, the Nicola Puglielli Trio, he upgrades the acoustical guitar as a jazz instrument. During the last years, he appeared with international musicians like Kirk Lightsey and Philip Catherine and the orchestra of the Roman Accademia di Santa Cecilia.
WALTER ABT AND OTTO NEUDERT
CLASSICAL GUITAR DUO
With his long time musical partner and friend Otto Neudert, Walter Abt creates music from the renaissance up to today in a classical guitar duo. They go beyond classical repertoires by playing arrangements by Walter Abt and invite their audience to a musical journey through Europe and on to South America, on which they also resort to unusual instruments like the Spanish vihuela, the English renaissance lute and the 13 choral baroque lute.
The repertoire encompasses various musical styles like ancient music, classical, ethnic music and film scores.
GUITAR AND ORCHESTRA
WALTER ABT & CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
CONCERTO DEL BENACO
CONCIERTO DE ARANJUEZ
Concerts featuring Walter Abt and I Virtuosi di Praga - the classic "Concierto de Aranjuez" as much as the contemporary 5th Guitar Concert by Leo Brouwer "Concerto de Helsinki" - are always highlights of chamber music, especially in the cross-over area between Classic, Jazz and World Music, of which the stilistic enormously versatile guitarist and composer Walter Abt is exceedingly fond. During the last years the continuous work with Virtuosi di Praga and also the Georgian Chamber Orchestra of Ingolstadt for CD recordings and concert tours created a broad repertoire.
The main composition of these works is one by Walter Abt himself, the
CONCERTO DEL BENACO
for guitar, string orchestra, nine wind instruments and Jazz-Percussion - a symphonic anthem for the Lago di Garda, or "lacus benacus", as it was called in old Venice. Inspired by the landscape around the lake of Garda and the people of the region, by wind and water, colours, light and sounds, Abt has written a multifaceted, atmospherically dense piece of music, which is still somehow entertaining or even popular. Different ways of expression - Minimal Music, Jazz, Neo-Classic, Baroque, South American rhythms and Flamenco complement each other in a playful way.
The premiere, which was produced under the name
SAILING IN THE MOONLIGHT
at the shore of Garda Lake and many other continuous concerts showed that the CONCERTO DEL BENACO as an atmospheric open air presentation appeals to classically orientated listeners as well as young spectators.
Argentine Tangos & Klezmer
Walter Abt, Gianfranco Grisi
As a tribute to the nostalgic charm of the shady Tango bars of Buenos Aires, Los Tangueros excavate almost forgotten tracks from the turbulent 1920s of Argentina and discover the diligently restored melodies from "El Choclo" and the "Milonga de mis Amores". The interpreters intend to pursue the original forms of Tango and to present them in a contemporary way of playing.
The concertina and the guitar are virtually merging, as the interpreters confidently combine the different styles. The concertina, that has been developed into the Bandoneon by Heinrich Band in 1846, is melodiously quite similar to the Bandoneon. The German-Italian virtuosos Los Tangueros combine the hexangular harmonica with the guitar and delightfully bring together traditional Tangos and Milongas as well as modern, partly own compositions with Yiddish Klezmer music and the Italian film scores by Morricone (Cinema Paradiso; The Mission). The record "Los Tangueros" (VMS/Codaex 151) received excellent critics from the international music press.