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Saturday, November 5, 2011


(The CD cover image provided by William Kentridge)

Fresh from a 12 city tour of Switzerland and an intense three days of recording in Knysna with award-winning sound engineer Howard Butcher, Cape Town composer-guitarist Derek Gripper has produced his latest album, The Sound of Water.

Gripper's powerful recording juxtaposes his multi-layered compositions for solo guitar and voice with compositions by iconic Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti.

“The Gismonti tracks on this recording represent some of my all-time favourite music,” explains Gripper, “so bringing these unique and awe-inspiring works to life on a single guitar was a hugely rewarding process which challenged me to dig as deeply into the guitar's resources as I was able.”

From Joni, the expansive opening track, to the explosive Dance of the Heads, the hushed, jazz tones of Ano Zero, and the evocations of the Kalahari in Copenhagen, The Sound of Water takes the listener on a journey that transcends the accepted notions of what a guitar can do.

“...Howard (Butcher) and I spent a lot of time delving into the possibilities of the studio ... to highlight the sound of the guitar and really bring it into sharp focus,” Gripper adds. “The result is a sound that captures the whole range of light and dark, expansive orchestral textures and fragile intimacy... Listening back I would say that the musical gestures traverse an emotional range from Hendrix to Bach.”

The CD is released on New Cape Records with a cover image provided by William Kentridge and can be ordered online at