My talented friend Joachim Csaikl (tracks on Further Beyond Six Strings and Christmas Present) has been working hard on his harp guitar career lately and is getting some nice visibility.
Besides his continual gigs, he has made a whole slew of new videos which are up on his new YouTube channel. Production is static and simple, but you can see him in action (fingers, hands, wrists, arms and elbows) showcasing his intricate style. He plays most of the tunes of his recent CD, Crossing Borders.
Joachim knows his instruments as well, having recently written a nice piece on the kontragitarre for Concertino magazine. I like his description of how the Schrammel brothers’ quartet’s popularity made them sort of “The Beatles” of their era (at least their music was as popular!). He briefly mentions the origins (Stauffer/Scherzer) and goes into the main differences in the Viennese and German schools of the instrument’s construction and sound (like Benoit Meulle-Stef, he’s a huge fan of Viennese harp guitars). He lists the traditional tunings of 7-bass chromatically down to A and 9-bass (same but down to G), and follows with lengthy paragraphs on musical applications and techniques before answering “where do I get one and how much?!”.
Next up for Joachim is an interview in Germany’s Akustik Gitarre magazine out at the end of March.
Someone please pick me up a copy (and translate, please)!
Joachim’s added a great new tutorial video (whether you speak German or not) demonstrating all the possibilities on his instrument: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRl1hq1lDvI