medieval guitar - distant stone castle - contrapuntal fingerstyle free jazz

Fingerstyle Medieval Guitar Music – “Distant Stone Castle” – Polyphonic Free Jazz Improvisation 13

Medieval meets Jazz

So how is it medieval, and how is it jazz? This free improvisation performance, like most of the ones I made, shows a measurable amount of polyphony. It, however, shouldn’t scare you, the listener, away. On the other hand, it’s far from being something that follows the exact structure of a well known Ars Nova piece, even if the influence is present. It’s quite hard to label something that’s influenced by so many different things, even sub-consciously, when those things kept aggregating in my memory for long decades.

Jazzy Chords, Odd Moves

There are chords and intervals that certainly wouldn’t show up in any known music originating from the middle ages. Not because they didn’t know these chords, more like they weren’t in fashion back then, at least not among the composers we get to know today. At some points, I took odd turns that (hopefully) weren’t expected by you. Heck, many times they weren’t expected by me either. But that’s the nature of improvising freely, with no premeditation.

Ibanez JTK2 “Jet King” and the EMG HA pickups

The combination of the Jet King, the EMGs and the medieval counterpoint is a rather lucky one. I usually use the center position of the pickup selector switch, and the two HA pickups in parallel emphasize the high end of the audio spectrum. This is where interesting (to me) sonic details reside, and it can result in an almost acoustic-like sound, even when the high mids are tamed. The challenge of it is that such a sound tends to highlight mistakes as well. Oh well.
Sometimes it’s worth the challenge not to drench the guitar sound in chorus, reverb or long delay. You can hear plenty of such examples, so why not be different. And that’s about my take on the fusion of jazz and classical + early music.

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