Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – Guitar Poetry (2024) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – Guitar Poetry (2024)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 32:54 minutes | 324 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © ACT Music

The album Guitar Poetry by Mikael Mani is a captivating musical journey that showcases the artist’s exceptional talent and creativity. Released by Act, this album features a collection of mesmerizing guitar compositions that are sure to captivate listeners.

Mikael Mani, an acclaimed guitarist and composer, has crafted a truly unique and evocative musical experience with “Guitar Poetry.” Each track on the album is a testament to his virtuosity and ability to convey emotions through his instrument. From delicate melodies to powerful riffs, Mani’s guitar playing is both technically impressive and emotionally stirring.

One of the standout features of Guitar Poetry is the diversity of styles and influences present throughout the album. Mani seamlessly blends elements of jazz, classical, rock, and world music to create a sound that is distinctly his own. This fusion of genres adds depth and richness to each composition, making for an engaging listening experience.

The production quality of Guitar Poetry is top-notch, allowing every note and nuance to shine through. The clarity and balance in the mix highlight Mani’s intricate guitar work while maintaining a warm and inviting sound. Whether listened to through headphones or played on high-quality speakers, this album offers an immersive sonic experience.

With its introspective melodies, intricate harmonies, and masterful guitar playing, Guitar Poetry by Mikael Mani is a must-have for any music lover. Whether you’re a fan of instrumental music or simply appreciate exceptional musicianship, this album will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.

“I love the music of Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan,” says Icelandic guitarist Mikael Máni. “I think that’s the main reason why I often write songs for the guitar that could just as easily be sung.” Those words bring us to the core of what “Guitar Poetry”, Máni’s debut release on ACT, is all about. This album introduces an instrumentalist who brings passion and expertise not just to his refined and subtle compositions but also to his vivid and fluent improvisation, and who combines all this with a highly skilled singer-songwriter’s clarity and directness. His multilayered music functions well, and on many levels. Mikáel Mani calls it a mixture of jazz, rock and impressionism. Yet he never loses the idea of being both accessible and sophisticated. He doesn’t just stimulate listeners intellectually, he also knows how to cut straight through to the emotions.

From the very first song of “Guitar Poetry”, “She’ll Arrive Between 10 & 11”, Mani gives a pointer to the expressive range which listeners can expect throughout the album. The guitarist makes a strong initial impression with the warmth of his acoustic sound: fine, brilliant, spacious. From this, a simple folkloristic melody emerges, a few sparse harmonies – a musical idyll. And then, in the middle of the song, everything turns into noise, becomes gloomy, threatening, almost despairing… and finally finds reconciliation by returning to the calm of the original theme.

Mikael Máni’s mastery of presenting contrasts and of springing musical surprises is exceptional for one so young. And he is also a guitarist with his very own signature style, one which does not lend itself to categorisation within the usual spectrum of the instrument in jazz. His jazz leanings are more evident in his approach to playing than in any obvious affiliation with the genre or the canon. In fact, folk-derived techniques such as finger-picking, or echoes of the blues, Americana and Nordic songs and a unique, cinematic quality are more in evidence. But perhaps most importantly, whereas Máni plays purely instrumentally, his music – always and unmistakably – sings.

Here is an artist for whom the shallowness of competitive virtuosity or instrumental vanity are completely alien. Mikael Máni lets his music flow and creates intensity, sometimes through calm and relaxation, sometimes through energy and small outbursts that can explode briefly from any tonality into noise, only to either find their way back or discover completely new ways out. And sometimes you imagine that there must surely be two or more guitarists playing, such is his skill in creating parallel layers of sound. But, with the exception of two numbers recorded in multi-track, it is always and only Mikael solo: he has the talent to play harmonies, melodies and fragments that then live on and grow in the listener’s mind as essential parts of the fascinating tapestry which he weaves.

The concept of story-telling in music may have been desperately over-worked and become a cliché, but that, quite simply, is what Máni does: all the songs on “Guitar Poetry” tell stories, open up spaces and land-scapes, draw pictures. And they are the reflection of a guitarist who is as unconventional as he is musically approachable, an extroverted introvert whose whole way of being is to assert the primacy of expression and emotion.

Tracklist:
01. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – She’ll Arrive Between 10 & 11 (03:53)
02. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – Katie, Not Klara (03:15)
03. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – What Once Was (03:19)
04. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – Next Time (02:03)
05. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – Tvær Stjörnur (03:49)
06. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – Arachne’s Magical Weaving (03:22)
07. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – The Whole Story (02:43)
08. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – You Know How This Will End (02:26)
09. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – Waiting for the Tram (03:40)
10. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – Maturing Backwards (02:38)
11. Mikael Máni Ásmundsson – Closing the Book (01:40)

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