Lest I find myself in a blogging rut of Dyer-style harp guitar-playing virtuosos, here’s a 180° turn: an update on my friend, Electric Harp Guitar inventor and virtuoso Tim Donahue of Japan.
I’ve been thrilled to have him play his fretted EHG on two of the Harp Guitar Music compilations (Harp Guitar Dreams and the new Christmas Present), but I was especially excited to see that he has just added links on his site to two newly posted videos that feature his fretless EHG – an instrument he was long ago the inventor and stunning virtuoso of. These are super rare clips that show Tim in the studio playing two pieces for his 1994 Still Dreaming album. His old CDs (mostly standard fretless guitar) have long been out of print and impossible to find, though most have become newly available as MP3s on Amazon (I’d recommend The Fifth Season or Earlyworks). Still Dreaming – my favorite, and not just because it most features the solo fretless EHG – remains unreleased (and very pricey for copies). I even once explored licensing it for re-release on HGM, but the costs were impractical.
Well, now you can hear and, even better, see, some of this amazing vintage Tim Donahue solo fretless electric harp guitar music. This is what I was originally imagining from Tim for my own “Dreams” project – the harp strings juxtaposed with the silky, sliding counterpoint lines on the neck. Watch his fingers as he manipulates chords, bass and lead lines in a complex puzzle of motion, all in perfect pitch. Regardless of the extant that one enjoys the “dreamy” music, I think it’s pretty breathtaking to watch and hear. Check it out:
But back to the new fretted EHG. As you may remember, over a year ago, Tim came out with a new high-end production version of his original TD Electric Harp Guitar. He has subsequently been doing quite well with them; adding new colors and features, and getting them into the hands of a lot of new players – whom he has also added to his “Players” page (perhaps one day we’ll add them to HG.net…?!).
It’s fun seeing Tim’s trademark guitar with other faces:
Masato Wada (Japan)
Yoichi Kayama (Japan)
Jeff (Jahloon) Berg (U.K.), who runs Unfretted.com (he’s the fretless guitar version of me, it looks like)
Takumi Uchida (Japan)
Christophe Godbille (France)
And the most recent, Rick Menzel, lives in Texas – perhaps we’ll see him at HGG10?
For those less interested in Tim’s design and fabrication of his unique EHGs, perhaps you’ll enjoy his other unusual endeavor – the T-Trike!