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Album at a Glance

Tonal and ConsonantSomewhat Atonal or DissonantChamber Music
Tall Poppies Record Label - Tall Poppies: "Australia's premier independent Record Label specialising in new and classical music by Australian composers and performers."
Release date: 2012-12-11

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Six Fish: Guitar Trek Celebrating 25 Years – works by Australian composers

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Six Fish from the Australian guitar quartet Guitar Trek is a completely original, fresh and compelling album. It's on the Tall Poppies record label (also Aussie), coming to us from out of left field (which is our decidedly preferred field here at Expedition Audio).

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, Guitar Trek has dramatically expanded the possibilities of the traditional guitar quartet. They have done this from the beginning with their pioneering guitar family project, which saw the creation of a set of instruments somewhat analogous to the family of classical string instruments comprised of the violin, viola, cello and double bass. In addition to the standard classical guitar, Guitar Trek performs on treble, baritone and bass guitars - all acoustic instruments. They also make use of nylon or metal strings, 12-string instruments and the resonator guitar which is commonly associated with blues and bluegrass. The resulting, already rich palate of possibilities is further expanded by colorful techniques borrowed from flamenco and other guitar performance including string bending, sliding and rasping, and a variety of percussive sounds created by thumping and knocking the bodies of their instruments (if there are some guitarists out there who can correct the terms I've applied here, please leave a comment - for now, I'll have to call it "thumping").

The album takes its name from the set of short pieces, Six Fish by Nigel Westlake which endeavors to evoke in sound, qualities of six aquatic animals. Westlake is Australian, as are all of the composers represented here. The four musicians who make up Guitar Trek are Timothy Kain, Minh Le Hoang, Daniel McKay and Harold Gretton. Give a listen to our sample tracks. This is very interesting, often beautiful and powerful music. It's an absolute must for any player or fan of the acoustic guitar.

Nigel Westlake's Six Fish - Sling Jaw Wrasse (movement 4)