guitarist Max Goldston struck guitar gold with his 2009 Emancipation
album and likewise, he once again serves up a fine album of acoustic
guitar instrumental wonders with his 2011 CD Awakening.
Played and written in the spirit of his earlier Will Ackerman
assisted releaseand produced by long time accomplice Toni
Colomaron Awakening Goldston once again does a masterful
job entertaining listeners with just his acoustic guitar. Like the
windswept prairies of America from which he draws his musical inspiration,
Goldston is truly a most promising American guitar master. Flowing
with meditative guitar-based ideas, Awakening just sounds better
with each repeat spin. Fans of Windham Hills Ackerman and Hedges,
as well Leo Kottke and Tommy Emmanuel should get a buzz from Goldstons
impeccable finger style solo acoustic guitar sounds. www.MaxGoldston.com
MWE3.COM presents an interview with
mwe3.com: Can you say something about the events leading up to
recording the Awakening album?
returning from Will Ackermans Imaginary Road Studio, having
recorded my Emancipation CD there, I was highly motivated.
Just meeting Will and working with Corin Nelsen gave me inspiration
and provided the momentum to create another entire CD. I was at the
drawing table pouring out my emotions almost as soon as I got back.
I worked diligently on the pieces, rewriting and recording them several
times over a period of a year and a half. By the time I was ready
to get the pieces mixed and mastered I had no money, so I turned to
my long time friend and partner from my 2007 Aurum collaboration
in Barcelona, Toni Colomar, who was completely willing to do all of
the work for free. When I had the tracks ready I sent them to him
over the internet and in September of 2010 he started mixing and mastering.
The process took a few months as we wanted to do the best job we could.
During the year I had been in contact with a long time friend from
Ibiza, now living in Virginia, Tom Provo, who created the painting
La Chica con Guitarra which I had used for my Emancipation
CD cover. Tom and I had met over in Ibiza years ago when the island
was still an artist colony. We both ended up back here in the States
at different times in our lives and somehow found a medium that could
combine both our talents. His paintings can be found at the Art Pannonia
Gallery in Blacksburg, Virginia. His main inspiration has been Joan
Miro and his paintings have been compared to Dali and Picasso. He
had posted some pictures of old paintings on facebook. As I rummaged
through them I spotted one with a giant eye and long hair that I fell
in love with. Tommy told me it was a much older painting called The
Musician and that I could have it. He would send it to me. In
awe I told him I could never pay him enough for something like that.
Tommy said well, just send me your next CD. I then realized this was
a perfect cover for Awakening. It all amazingly just fell into
place. The graphic design was done by Angeles Diaz, Tonis wife,
former journalist, now a professional graphic designer and the photography
by another professional friend Taylor Power. The photos were taken
at the Old Atlanta Cotton Mills. We spent a whole day taking photos
How about the differences in the creative process between your last
two albums and how does the Awakening CD compare in sound,
recording and style wise with your 2009 Emancipation album?
MG: The creative process for this CD was pretty much the same as for
all the rest of my work. The setting is always important, late morning
with a cup of coffee or late night with a candle and no-one around,
maybe a beer or glass of wine. Creating is an eternal experimentation.
To break the boundaries and make it more interesting I have always
retuned my guitar to nonstandard tunings. There is no limitation set
here. I do not look to see what might be correct or what others do.
My tunings can be wacky and then on top of that I might put my capo
on the bottom 4 strings or use a Spider capo to bar 2 strings only.
If I like the open sound I start to make up chords. Even though it
is the open tuning sound and the experimentation that inspires me
to create my tunes I have at least two thick folders full of pieces
that I know have potential and yet did not make the cut. This is usually
when I sit down and try to create rather than the creating calling
me. When I hear the calling it just happens and it comes out naturally.
Once I am satisfied with a progression I will work on the chorus or
bridge if it needs. Then I will record it. My leads are played in
standard tuning and once I have the tune down to my liking I am ready
to start playing my leads over the piece. Generally the leads just
come out pretty naturally. The beauty of punch in punch out recording
allows me to guide myself through the lead playing until I get the
feel for what I am saying exactly right and this can take time. Unlike
my Emancipation CD, which is mostly finger style solo work
with a few leads, I have leads on every piece on the new CD Awakening.
mwe3.com: Are you still using the Martin D16 GT guitar on the Awakening
album? Any other guitars featured on the new album and can you describe
the way you record the guitars on the Awakening album? Any other guitar
news or updates you'd like to share?
MG: I used my Martin D16 GT for the recording. My set up is very simple.
I record using my Rode NT2 condenser microphone straight into my Mackie
1402 mixer, which was just stolen from my studio, to my Tascam 2488.
My room is literally a room within a room already so the sound for
acoustic recordings is right on. I do not do any tweaking or panning
while I record nor do I add any effects,
not even a reverb. I leave this to the mixing process. My mic is normally
about 12 inches away from the 12th fret of my guitar but sometimes
I will move it slightly. It all depends on the sound. The only thing
I worry about while recording my guitar tracks is really making sure
my volume levels are all the same for each tune and that I record
in the same position and distance from the mc. I use Martin light
strings (.012s) to get a fuller sound and for my leads I use Dunlop
.88 nylon picks.