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Harmonic Rooms guitar diary (November 2012)

Harry Wheeler of Harmonic Rooms spends a week in November in the company of some of the current greats of the acoustic guitar, and reflects on the enduring legacy of John Fahey and Robbie Basho.

Steffen Basho-Junghans and Cam Deas in OuseLast November, I spent over a week in and out of the recording studio with my trusty video camera and two explorative guitarists, Cam Deas and Steffen Basho-Junghans. Part of the appeal of getting these two guys together was the cross-over in their respective styles and approach to their instruments (primarily 6 and 12 steel-string guitars), combined with their difference in age. With Cam being in his early twenties, his playing has a youthful passion and vigour to it which also contains high energy and real sparkle, while Steffen, being in

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Steffen Basho-Junghans – Is

Architects of Harmonic Rooms and Records

There’s something tantalisingly unreal about these direct to DAT solo twelve-string guitar compositions, recorded between 2000 and 2006. Capturing almost exclusively the twang, scrape and buzz of the strings, the instrument sounds almost disembodied, a shimmering, glistening, glassy surface with barely any hint of the guitar’s resonating chamber, let alone any sense of the environment in which it was played. There’s a sense of dislocation and separation, an almost rootless unease, as though the music is caught somewhere between the transcendent and corporeal.

Steffan Basho-Junghans’ guitar style is a curiously restless hybrid, based on similar ground to Philip Henry’s synthesis of John Fahey Americana with Asian influences yet capable of incorporating a minimalism that recalls some of Tetuzi Akiyama’s more motorik excursions. The album could fairly be described as an exploration of what might link these

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