stateside by the prodigious MVD label, Equilibrium is the 2008
CD from Canadian guitarist Erik Mongrain. Tastefully backed up by
Michael Manring (bass) and Bill Plummer (synth), Equilibrium
is an acoustic guitar classic that borrows its sense of
direction from the ECM label and, more specifically acoustic guitarists
such as Steve Tibbetts. Like Tibbetts, Mongrain uses wild tunings
and combines sparse yet scenic instrumental guitar tracks with slapping
and tapping guitar percussion. Equilibrium is too jazzy to
be called New Age, and as such falls more into the World Beat camp
of guitar instrumental music. Track by track liner notes by Mongrain
provide insights into his unique guitar sound.
MUSIC WEB EXPRESS 3000 presents Guitars Center Stage
an interview with ERIK MONGRAIN
Guitarists making waves in the music world, their new recordings and
I have been playing for 15 years more or less. I started when
I was around 14. As far as musical background goes, it varies widely.
I was into grunge music, metal, industrial and then classical music,
movies soundtracks, acoustic instrumental. I have no musical training
as I've always been an autodidact. It's all about willpower I think.
My new album is called Equilibrium. It is basically
the 2-3 last years of my life. Mainly observations of life, personal
experiences, stories I've lived... It was recorded at PRS studio's
Dragon Crossing with Bill Plummer as sound engineer. It was recorded
with a couple mics well placed by Bill with no effects whatsoever
and we just did it as natural as possible. I like authenticity, that's
just how I am!
I've only used 1 guitar on the CD and it is the Kingslight
guitar. Best guitar ever made, I love her so much ! Her name is Elora
and she is the first I've ever named. My guitar setup is mostly focused
on low-action and playability. I use light gauge strings (12-53 Elixir
Nanowebs only). I do have 2 x AER compact mobile at home to play plugged
in whenever I feel like it but I do not use them live anymore. As
far as preamps and pedals go I am currently using a D-Tar Equinox
parametric EQ, a 2 channel preamp/mixer D-Tar Solstice, a Boss GE-7
bass EQ, a Boss RV-5. Planning to switch to the Pendulum Sps-1 dual
parametric soon though. I use a combination of a Sunrise and Fishman
pickups wired in stereo. It's a custom fiddled pickup really.
J.S. Bach, Michael Hedges, Don Ross, Preston Reed... Too many
to list but Hedges certainly wins it by far. My favorite composer,
musician, guitarist. All of his albums were influential really. Aerial
Boundaries, Taproot, Oracle, Breakfast in the Field...