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MP3 Marc Dorsa - Twilight's Path

Original compositions performed on unique instruments (18-string Sympitar and 14-string guitar), Twilight''s Path invites you to close your eyes, feel the gentleness and journey to a place you may never have been to before...

9 MP3 Songs
NEW AGE: New Age, FOLK: Gentle

I remember my first guitar teacher...Mary Baker. She taught me how to strum and to play chords. I was 12. Soon after, I began studying classical guitar with a neighbor, Ken Schroder, who was a classical and jazz guitarist. My guitar idols at the time were Andres Segovia and Christopher Parkening, though I remember enjoying Chet Atkins and Roy Clark and thinking that they sure had a lot of fun with their music.

My first year at U.C. Berkeley was filled with lots of new music for me. A friend took me to my first Leo Kottke concert and I was hooked. Leo''s 12-string playing was really exciting...there was so much sound coming out of that instrument, such a rich melodic flow. I began devouring Leo''s albums and learning to play some of his tunes (6-string tunes...I couldn''t afford a 12-string yet :).

That same first year at Cal I went to a guitar concert on campus...some record label that I had never heard of called "Windham Hill" featuring Alex de Grassi, (the late) Robbie Basho and Will Ackerman. I was enchanted and completely captivated that evening. This was music that spoke to me on a very deep level, and something began to awaken in me. I think I floated back to my dorm room that evening and was in kind of a daydream for the next few days.

I used to hang out at Jim Lundberg''s guitar shop in Berkeley after I had heard that Jim worked on one of Leo Kottke''s guitars. Jim had some wonderful vintage instruments in his shop, as well as antique furniture and in the background would be playing old music from the 30''s and 40''s. So one day I''m in his shop and we''re talking and Jim mentions that Robbie Basho lives in the area and is probably in the phone book. Wow! I never thought to just look in the phone book. Didn''t guitar idols live in domed houses at the tops of mountains?) And yes, Robbie''s number was listed so I gave him a call.

Robbie was not your average bird (and neither is his music, fortunately), and I liked him from our first meeting. He was a sweet and gentle man and he reminded me of a Scottish Santa Claus. Robbie had the longest finger nails I had ever seen (man or woman) and he had this kind of a sweet fumbliness about him that made you want to take care of him. And so began my regular studying with Robbie.

What I learned from Robbie...hmmm...Robbie taught me about feeling...feeling the music and seeing the music. When Robbie would teach a song (or when he would introduce a song in concert), he would often poetically describe in very visual terms the song''s story that was about to unfold: maybe horses running through a stream or a lover calling for a lost mate or a dove flying into an open church window. Music started to become much more visual for me, which I really enjoy. I studied with Robbie for about a year before he asked me to play a song with him in a local concert...I was honored and very excited. The performance went well and my schoolmates were there to support me...it was a good time. :)

Around this same time I finally got to meet Alex de Grassi. I mustered the courage to go backstage at one of Alex''s concerts at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. I asked Alex about private lessons and he said that he was open to the idea, though his schedule was pretty busy. I had some lessons with Alex here and there, all the while studying regularly with Robbie. As I recall, I didn''t tell Robbie about these lessons for a while...I didn''t want him to feel that I was "studying behind his back". Robbie absolutely adored Alex''s music and had once told me the following: "John Fahey added a horse to the cart and got it rolling, Robbie added wings to the horse so it could fly, Alex came along and took the wings and left the horse." I''ve always enjoyed the imagery and the respect within those words.

What I learned from Alex (and am still learning)...I''ve probably played, both on my guitar and on my stereo, Alex''s tunes more than any other guitar music. My all-time favorite piece is "Turning Back" and I listen to the "Slow Circle" album more than any other. The music for me is rich with colors and mystery, intricacy and delicacy. It is always a treat for me to, late at night, put on the ol'' headphones and take a journey with Slow Circle. I think it was simply watching Alex during the lessons I had with him (and since then during the workshops I''ve attended)...watching how he got those amazing colors...or how he played that arpeggio...I wanted to understand his music. I wanted to go inside of it and understand how and why it touched me so.

Many years passed since studying with Robbie and Alex and it was in 1996 that I began to feel musically inspired once again. I wanted to have a guitar, a custom guitar, made for me and I started looking around and talking to guitar builders. A friend introduced me to a local luthier named Fred Carlson. Fred had this instrument he called a sympitar, and he was generous enough to let me borrow it for a week or so. Needless to say, I fell in love with this creature and realized that I had found what I had been searching for. So Fred built "Zephyr", and a few years later "Kali", and the four of us have become dear friends.

So to Fred, Alex and Robbie: I am forever grateful. :)


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