In ‘Ghost Stories’, Gareth Koch creates an ethereal sound world, blending the aesthetic nuances of medieval chant with rock psychedelia. The mood of the album is defined by chiming cathedral-like textures, as if the monks themselves are playing guitars, percussion & lyres.
This record could perhaps be described as prog-rock, yet it effortlessly manages to be much more than that. The listener will discover the album’s unique identity & subtle references to music past & present. This is a refreshingly new recording which deftly sidesteps easy characterisation.
‘Ghost Stories’ could be seen as an evolution of Gareth’s duo albums ‘Songs From Another Life’ with Steve Kilbey , and ‘Music in the Afterlife’ with Martin Kennedy. While the previous albums might serve to shed light on the preoccupations of this one, it is very much a standalone & distinctive creation.
The titles & ambience of ‘Ghost Stories’ guide us on an otherworldy journey. We are led variously through imagined states of being to experience Catacombs, Unblessed Spirits, Longing & Redemption via this shimmering & beautifully crafted recording.
Recorded in and inspired by the mystery and wilderness of Tasmania.
The first track from the album is uptempo and has a fully formed rhythm section underpinning the many layered trademark guitars. By no means his usual classical/world offering, although some elements remain. This song has a more rock orientation featuring electric guitars and big drums.
A melodic and hypnotising bass line underpins this modern instrumental rock track. The drums are powerful and help to drive the tune along, while layered guitars and keys keep the interest even without vocals. His lead guitars offer a crisis section to the song before resolving into a fine outro section.
Dance Of The Unblessed Spirits
Another short and sweet frenetic full band instrumental rock piece with plenty of breakdowns that remind the listener of his classical roots. A fascinating piece of music by a master of his craft at the top of his game.
The title evokes a monkish, monastic vibe and from the beginning you can hear this in the piece. It’s not rock, it’s not classical but it is certainly superb instrumental guitar. This tune is a break from the first few on the album, dispensing with drums and sticking with guitars.
About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a sizeable repertory across multiple genres spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects, rock & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Born in Milan, Gareth began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning scholarships for advanced guitar study at The Royal Madrid Conservatorium & the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music & has lectured in music across Australian & European universities.
In 2002 Gareth formed the first guitar supergroup with Karin Schaupp & The Grigoryan Brothers, Slava & Leonard. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to #1 on the Classical Music Charts and even featured on ARIA pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums & was Australia’s biggest selling classical act for several years.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & has released a succession of collaborative albums with Martin Kennedy & with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church). His recent release ‘The Guitar Player’ received a coveted 5 star review from The Sydney Morning Herald. Gareth’s current output has a strong rock bias with classical overtones & his writing is increasingly focussed on the ethereal nature of music.
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