An acoustic guitar album of magic and mystery. Flawlessly performed, lyrical melodies are filled with meaning and purpose that delicately balance between lightness and dramatic power. Guitar Nova introduces a refreshing new perspective to this well known instrument – imaginative insight into the musical side of the guitar, by Erik Wollo, one of Norway’s foremost composers.
Guitar NovaErik Wøllo
It doesn't take more than a play or two for this one to get in to the psyche of the listener, with its powerful melodies and shimmering backdrops. With an uncanny ability to blend memorable themes into stirring dramatic soundscapes, his work draws additional potential from the use of masterful production techniques. This is dreamy and emotionally charged music, full of passion and peace. My highest recommendation.- Peter Thelen, Exposé Magazine (issue 23)
For Norwegian musician Erik Wollo, Guitar Nova is a return to his roots. Best known for electronic landscapes on albums such as Solstice and Images of Light, Wollo actually generates most of his music with a guitar synthesizer. For Guitar Nova, however, he returns to pure, mostly acoustic guitar in an intricate, delicately balanced set of compositions. But it's not just another solo guitar album. Wollo multitracks his instruments in elaborate designs that have the same evocative power of his more lushly orchestrated synthesizer works. Wollo's melodies ring with an open-air purity, whether fingerpicking a 6-string, strumming a 12-string, or bringing in a laconic slide as he does on ‘Rainbows.’ From the moody undertow of ‘Source’ to the interwoven minimalism of ‘Hildring,’ Wollo creates a crystalline country music, like Ry Cooder at the edge of the galaxy.- John Diliberto, Amazon.com Editorial
Guitar Nova is pretty much all guitar, but the title doesn't quite do justice to the evocative, beautifully played and subtly woven themes Erik Wollo has created. We know Wollo for his sweeping synthesizer orchestrations on albums like Solstice and Images of Light, but even those CDs largely began on the fingers of his guitar synthesizer. On this CD, however, he keeps it acoustic with layers acoustic guitars along with balalaika and kora, creating a sound that seems to ring off the mountainous landscapes of Norway where Wollo lives. He brings a laconic Ry Cooder-like slide guitar to ‘Rainbows’ and a bell-like minimalism to ‘Hildring.’ Although acoustic, Wollo's compositions and production style still suggest the same open spaces of his electronic works, but here the melodies are etched in crystalline cold air. We've had this album for a couple of years on Echoes as an import. Now it's widely available in America for the first time on the Spotted Peccary label.- John Diliberto, Echoes CD of the Month
While ‘guitar’ plus ‘nova’ may imply a cosmic explosion of six-stringed pyrotechnics, Erik Wollo's guitar nova instead offers the pleasurably slow-burning radiance of nimble fingering and serene acoustic moods. Shifting away from Spotted Peccary's traditional focus on specifically North American sounds, these intricately layered Norwegian guitar melodies mark the first excursion on the label's new Wanderings offshoot.
Short and sweet, Blue Mountain (2:12) rises on soft strands plucked with pensive resolution. Similarly low-though-spirited Summer Tomorrow dances between strummed phrases and adroitly picked stringwork. Sliding strands extend like a series of wavering Rainbows (5:43), accompanied by a lovely latticework of notes and percussive clunks.
Basking in silvers and golds, The Eagle hovers in flight which seems to rise and fall over some verdant valley. Bass pulsations and a dreamy aura emerge from Source as do a pluck-y rhythm and elastic tonal bands.
Fantasia's cross-threaded background patterns are overlain with chimingly fluid doublets and Spanish-flavored meanderings. With a lightness in its lilt, Hjallepallo struts and twirls over a persistently chugging strum-rhythm. Carefully placed pluckings part to reveal the subtly droning darkness which swelters beneath a Secret Place.
The unassuming acoustic beauty of Guitar Nova smolders with aromatic fragrances and illuminates 14 scenes of idyllic peacefulness. Erik Wollo's six-stringed magic lulls as well as excites, particularly if one isn't averse to such truly musical undertakings. An 8.4 for loveliness and warmth which can provide a perfect blanket against winter's chill.- Ambientrance
Guitar Nova’ came out in the middle of October 2000 and is the first release of the Norwegian musician Erik Wollo on Spotted Peccary’s sublabel Wanderings.
As the albums title suggests, the music on this cd isn’t that electronic, but still very well executed. All tracks on this album sound fresh and inspired, especially my personal favourite ‘Hildring’.
‘Guitar Nova’ encompasses 14 introspective, varied guitar pieces reflecting lots of emotion and creating a smooth and engaging atmosphere.
This music certainly deserves my thumb up.
Erik Wollo has composed a fine work that can be labelled within the New Instrumental Music for guitar. The 14 compositions included in this album by him have a symphonic melodic character, with romantic parts and other mysterious ones. There also appear classical and Ambient elements. The music is not static, but it flows at a medium speed. The rhythmic structure is based on the guitar and harbors the melody within itself. The music is pleasant to listen to and will no doubt appeal to those who enjoy the guitar as a soloist instrument. In my opinion, ‘Source’ is the most imaginative theme.- Pascual Jurado, Amazing Sounds