A Connection of Secrets :: Reviews, Press, + Quotes
Kevin Kastning - A Connection of Secrets
New England based Kevin Kastning is on a roll these past few years. Having released a number of collaboration albums with a range of musicians, Kevin is back with his third solo album in as many years with the 2017 CD release of A Connection Of Secrets. Like many of the classic ECM albums recorded in Europe, Kevinís solo music is ripe with a unique sense of guitar exploration that he fulfills thanks to his recording with a range of peculiar looking instruments, including his 36 string Double Contraguitar. Much of the music he records is quite experimental and improvisational and on A Connection Of Secrets, Kevinís use of pioneering instruments like the 36 string Double Contraguitar, the 30 string Contra Alto and the 15 string Extended Classical guitar fills in all the sonic spaces. Also of note is the inclusion on a track here of a nine foot Kawai grand piano, which shines a light on Kastningís famous, though lesser heard keyboard skills.
Even though thereís a corresponding line of sonic reasoning running through much of Kastningís work, on A Connection Of Secrets, his sound remains unique and inspired. When asked about the title of his new album, Kevin adds, ďIf I give that away, then itís no longer a secret! Iíll say it had to do with how some of the pieces are connected.Ē Also speaking to mwe3.com about why he chose to also feature his piano work on A Connection Of Secrets, Kevin explains, ďI played a little piano on a record with Sandor Szabo that was recorded during the 2012 European Tour, called The Book Of Crossings, but it was very little and mostly in the background." As is the case with the three Kevin Kastning solo albums and his various group-related projects on Greydisc, A Connection Of Secrets benefits from excellent album artwork and liner notes that indicates what guitars were played on what tracks. Also of note on his 2017 album is that the album also features mixing and mastering by Greydisc recording artist SŠndor Szabů, done in his studio in VŠc, Hungary. The latest album of groundbreaking, often startling fretboard magic by Kevin Kastning, A Connection Of Secrets is a sonic joyride from start to finish.
Web Express (US)
Kevin Kastning - A Connection of Secrets
"Itís been a good while since Iíve listened to Kevin Kastningís music. I have been so busy listening to some amazing music both old and new. Iíve always wanted to delve into the pool with Kevinís music, and now I have with the release of his 24th studio album released on the Greydisc label entitled, A Connection of Secrets. He has never disappointed me with his sound. And with a title like that, it fits well with its themes. Alongside of the collaborations between working with Mark Wingfield, Sandor Szabo and Carl Clements to name a few, he's never done me wrong.
The themes which have ten compositions he wrote, deal with finding the deep and darker side of someoneís personal life on what they are going through their dark and troubling times. What Kastning does, is going through an ominous journey that takes us towards to which is not a pleasant scenario, but knowing it is a connection of what the person has become. The tones is a combination of neo-classical, surrealism, and avant-garde classical music. Believe me, it is a heavier atmosphere.
And with the instruments by using the contra-guitar, contra-alto guitar, piano, and the 15-string extended classical guitar. Heís been a very, very busy man. The album was recorded in three days at Studio Traumwald in Northern Massachusetts. And you can feel the pin drops in the different moments as if something terrible has just happen with its harsh chords, bright sounds, and mysterious atmosphere.
You can imagine walking through the looking glass and imagine going into this parallel universe of what was, has now become an eerie twilight zone scenario. Understand, Kevinís music is not easy to get into, but the way he uses these themes, you can imagine him doing a score for one of either Alejandro Jodorowsky, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick or Luis Bunuelís films, itís quite an astonishing and at times scary piece of music Iíve listened to.
A Connection of Secrets is another mind-boggling release that Kastning himself has unleashed this year and I hope he will continue to release more and more music to come in the years to come."
Music From The Other Side of the Room (US)
KEVIN KASTNING / A Connection of Secrets: "His 24th album finds the world's most adventurous and unclassifiable guitarist checking in with only his third solo album and he launches himself into his self devised, multi stringed world in a trip that reaches from the inner world to the cosmos in a mere pluck of the string. If this accomplished, left leaning date doesn't take you to all the places hippies inspired by Wes have taken guitar over the last 50 years and leave you on shores you can't imagine, you better go back to the gift shop. High octane killer stuff for anyone that every wanted to hear the possibilities guitar can offer and where the fearless can take it."
-- Midwest Record
Well, I have to say firstly, I adore your new album. When I first read the back of the CD, the track titles, immediately I read them all together as if it were poetry Ė and that was my first initial feeling before I heard any of the music. More than any of your other albums this one has (no pun intended) struck a chord with my nature. This is my absolute favorite album of yours. I must say, that your style of music, was a challenge to my ears at first, as it was not the kind of music I was used to hearing Ė over time, the more I have listened to your albums, I have become far more attuned to the feelings within the albums and really appreciate the incredible arrangements. A Connection of Secrets this one for me is an absolute treasure! It conjures all kinds of images in my mind, and feelings. I canít choose a favorite track, because to me, it is like one flowing piece of musical poetry that fits with the poetry of your track titles. wow.. those track titles, for me, its poetry ..and the music brings the whole poem to life. A true masterpiece of work Kevin! I love it! It is by far my favorite album of yours!"
-- ZoŽ Ehinger
(UK radio host)
Illustration of A Connection of Secrets by ZoŽ (click to see a larger version)
"Kevin, A Connection of Secrets is another sonic triumph. The recording, the mix and the mastering are each outstanding. And of course your performances, as always, are provocative, pristine, and delivered right from the soul. Great job, man. This is one more CD you have every reason to be very proud of."
-- Mike Metheny (US)
" This is a fine album Mr. Kastning! I hear your voice clearly and with confidence. A new classical voice!"
-- Billy Sheppard