Van Stiefel: Solaris


Van Stiefel's Solaris explores the fragile and delicate world of electric guitar played with a classical technique. Featuring performances by guitarists Daniel Lippel, David Nadal, and the composer himself, violinist Nurit Pacht, vocalist Holly Nadal, and flutist Ed Schultz.


"Solaris, the first piece on this CD, employs computer-generated sounds and loops triggered by MIDI/electric guitar; however most of the pieces simply use a clean, finger-style electric technique. Recalling classical guitar music, these pieces explore an inward, fragile soundworld inherent in a simple physicality; fingers plucking amplified strings. With or without interactice technology, they embrace a wired reality of the electric guitar as amplified and electric, while referencing the intimacy of the instrument in chamber music - or as simply, a guitar."

- Van Stiefel, from The Liner Notes

Producer: Van Stiefel
Recorded at Soft Landing Studios
Engineered and Mixed by Stephen Griesgraber
Mastered by Ryan Streber
Cover image: installation by Caroline Lathan Stiefel
Photo: Adam Blumberg

Van Stiefel

Composer-guitarist Van Stiefel has collaborated with many leading guitarists including Sergio Sorrentino, Benjamin Verdery, Eliot Fisk, Daniel Lippel, Bryce Dessner, Steve Mackey, and the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. “Beyond space and time, deceiving in its simplicity” (BigThink) his music has synthesized classical forms and techniques with electric guitar, digital, and interactive technologies. Noted performances include those by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), PLOrk, Ron Gallo, the Nash Ensemble, Thamyris, Macon Symphony, Nurit Pacht, Amanda Miller, David Dorfman, and Orchestra Sinfonica Carlo Coccia. Featured performances at festivals and venues include: Festival de Musica Contemporanea de La Habana, Kimmel Center, Lagonegra International Guitar Festival, EMPAC Filament Festival, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, New York Guitar Festival, Società del Quartteto di Vercelli, TEDx Phoenixville, and the Yale Guitar Extravaganza. Stiefel’s music has been supported by the Augustine Foundation, the Georgia Council for the Arts, Mid-Atlantic Arts Council, Met-Life Composer Connections, and the American Composers' Forum. Recordings available on Mode, Innova, and New Focus labels. He is a professor of music composition at the Wells School of Music of West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

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