Notes and Turned Up: Two New Releases

 

 

I have just finished two new recordings titled Notes and Turned Up. Both projects will be available for purchase on August 1. Notes is a collection of compositions that I have written over the last twenty some years. This project is recorded on my Jose Ramirez III guitar which was one of Segovia’s concert instruments. (For more about this guitar and its provenance, see: http://www.guitarramagazine.com/henderson-guitar-segovia
Creating a new recording that was personal as well as adding new repertoire to the classical guitar was my intention. Technically speaking, the compositions for Notes were very difficult and demanded more effort than anything I had recorded before. My desire was to make it sound effortless and accessible to the listener, no small endeavor with some the challenges those pieces pose. Thanks to Elliot Koenig, the recording engineer and owner of ‘Hear No Evil Studio’ I was able to get a pleasing and beautiful tone. Elliot ‘gets it’ and is a great musician himself, which is imperative in a studio setting. To make things even more difficult I was dealing with some serious health issues. I am grateful to say that I now feel healthier than I have felt in almost any other time in my life.
The record Turned Up, I am pleased to say, is the first of its kind. What makes it unique is the fact that is a solo electric guitar recording of standard classical guitar repertoire. I have not been able to find any other recordings where the electric guitar is featured as a solo instrument playing such polyphonic works as those of Bach, Tarrega, and other classical composers. There are other recordings of classical works done on an electric guitar but all of these accomplish polyphony by having other instruments accompany the guitar. There are no overdubs or multi-trackings, every piece on this album is played as a solo performance.
I have always wanted to do an electric guitar version of pieces like Bach’s ‘Prelude from Lute Suite No. 1’ or Augustin Barrios’s ‘La Catedral.’ Also, I have never felt satisfied with my previous recordings of my composition ‘Faces.’ On Turned Up, while I was in the studio, a happy accident occurred when I picked up the engineer’s acoustic steel string guitar and started playing ‘Faces.’ It seemed to sing as never before and the steel strings brought out some voices that had been elusive with my nylon string guitar. I asked if we could go ahead and record the piece right then and there, and was able to play it as never before. In one take it was done. Just a tiny bit of adjustment in the mix, then everything was just right. Frank Baker, my co-producer and engineer, really got the sound I was aiming for. Frank and I worked very hard and long to present something that has its own sound and domain. After finishing it the first time, we started over right from the beginning, as my electric guitar touch became so much better that we were able to work efficiently and as we came to really understand each other’s gifts for music and sound.
The ability to sustain the different voices of the piece that an electric guitar affords gives me a feeling of freedom and command that I have never experienced before. We worked diligently to give these albums a rich, fat and accessible sound signature that I hope will transcend genre and speak to the emotions. I hope you, the listener, will feel inspiration and joy from these two very different recordings which I have worked hard to produce. After everything is said, this music is to serve you and hopefully you will listen with an open mind, knowing that, to date, this is my best.

Notes
Release date: August 1, 2014
Engineered by Elliot Koenig at ‘Hear No Evil’ studio
Mastered by Frank Baker
Produced by Eric Henderson and Virginia Mann
9 original compositions by Eric Henderson
Performed by Eric Henderson, Spanish Guitar

Turned Up
Release date: August 1, 2014
Engineered by Frank Baker at ‘Singletrack Studios’
Mastered by Frank Baker
Co-produced by Frank Baker and Eric Henderson
Performed by Eric Henderson, Electric Guitar
Soundwise Records