Background: The Kastningsiegfried Duet Project was formed in 1990, and is an ongoing artistic collaborative between Massachusetts-based multi-instrumentalist/guitarist/composer Kevin Kastning, and Siegfried, a guitarist/composer based in Maine. The Kastningsiegfried compositions are written in open score, but are performed and recorded by us for acoustic guitar duets. Compositionally, the works fall into one of three basic categories: pieces composed by Siegfried, pieces composed by Kastning, and pieces collaborated upon and composed by both. The music defies easy categorization. Instrumentation consists of Siegfried on acoustic 6-string guitar, and Kevin Kastning on 6-string and 12-string acoustic guitars, baritone guitar, classical guitar, fretless classical guitar, and mandolin. These compositions are almost impossible to describe. The music has been described in the following terms: Abstract paintings. Expressionist extrapolations. The thing itself; an analogy of nothing. Groping for words in the dark; meanings just out of reach. Lost to all but oneself. Translations of places, of landscapes, of nature. Of atmospheres; both celestial and planetary. An artistic currency untranslatable. Art imitating life imitating art imitating abstraction. Sounds which do not directly translate into words. Sounds evoking mental imagery. Non tangible. The music of winter landscapes; stark and mute tree branches and limbs sketch tracery against an etherized sky. A photographic sound world existing only in black and white. Asymmetry. Grayscale. Abstractions.
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