It was 1979 during my Freshman year at U.C. Berkeley that I went to a campus guitar concert and fell in love with a very new sound coming from the hearts and guitars of Alex de Grassi, (the late) Robbie Basho and Will Ackerman. I was enchanted and completely captivated that evening. I met Robbie Basho that first year while at Cal and began studying with him for the next several years. Robbie was a dear and gentle man and he reminded me of a Scottish Santa Claus. Robbie had the longest finger nails I have ever seen (man or woman) and he had a kind of sweet fumbliness about him that made you want to take care of him. I learned from Robbie so much about deeply seeing and feeling music. When Robbie would teach a song, or when he would introduce a song in concert, he would often poetically describe in very visual terms the song's story that was about to unfold: maybe horses running through a stream or a lover calling for a lost mate or a dove flying into an open church window. Music started to become much more visual for me, which I really enjoy. One of the most memorable times at Cal was when I played a duet with Robbie in a local concert. Around this same time I met Alex de Grassi backstage at a concert in San Francisco. I was fortunate enough to have a few lessons with Alex here and there, all the while studying regularly with Robbie. As I recall, I didn't tell Robbie about these lessons for a while...I didn't want him to feel that I was 'studying behind his back'. Robbie absolutely adored Alex's music and had once told me the following: 'John Fahey added a horse to the cart and got it rolling, Robbie added wings to the horse so it could fly, Alex came along, left the horse and took the wings.' I've always enjoyed the imagery and the respect within those words. Alex's music for me was rich with colors and mystery, intricacy and delicacy. I wanted to crawl inside of it and try to understand how and why it touched me so. Many years passed since studying with Robbie and Alex and it was in 1996 that I began to feel a musical deepening within me. I met my dear friend Fred Carlson who let me borrow his amazing Sympitar and I was in love. Fred built Zephyr for me, and a few years later Kali. Twilight's Path was soon born out of my dance with these two wood beings. So to Fred, Alex and Robbie: I am forever grateful. :) -Marc.
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