FINN OLAFSSON • Video of the Month • February 2014 • For Maria

The Double-DVD/Audio CD Set
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The Audio CD
Finn Olafsson - New double DVD+CD set


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The Printed Music Book
Video of the Month 2014

The Sheet Music/TAB PDF Files Online
Hamlet's Castle sheet music / TAB


Video of the Month 2014

• Portrait Interview

• Double DVD+CD set

• Video of the Month 2014

• January 2014 Video

• February 2014 Video

• March 2014 Video

• April 2014 Video

• May 2014 Video

• June 2014 Video

• July 2014 Video

• August 2014 Video

• September 2014 Video

• October 2014 Video

• November 2014 Video

• December 2014 Video

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About "Video of the Month 2014" - in general

"Video of the Month 2014" is the headline of a unique activity by Danish composer and guitarist Finn Olafsson.

Every month in 2014 a new "live in the studio" recorded video was uploaded to YouTube featuring Finn Olafsson's acoustic guitar music and acoustic guitar techniques.

In 7 of the 12 videos Finn Olafsson plays brand new tunes which have never been published before while Finn Olafsson plays tunes known from his CD-albums in 5 of the videos.

In two of the videos Finn Olafsson is assisted by his brother Torsten Olafsson on tablas.

We used three cameras: One focusing on Finn Olafsson's left hand, another on the right hand and the third filming the "total" of Finn Olafsson playing the guitar.

The setup was engineered by Kim Ingemann Erichsen, Peak Production ApS, who was also in charge of the editing of the videos.

An exciting and interesting feature for many acoustic guitar fans is that Finn Olafsson plays on different Danish Kehlet Guitars and American C.F. Martin Guitars and David W. Musselwhite guitars from video to video.

In order to give all the guitars that Finn Olafsson plays in the videos equal conditions for optimal sound, a new set of exactly the same brand of phosphor bronze strings was put on on each and every guitar.

The guitars were recorded by sound engineer Ronnie Bille with a pair of DPA 4041 microphones "directly" through an AD stereo converter to a digital recording system.

The audio recordings were edited and mixed by Tobias Folting and Finn Olafsson in Folting Studio engineered by Tobias Folting.

For every video there is an individual, dedicated webpage here on Finn Olafsson's website where you can read in much detail about the background for each of the guitar pieces, the story about each of the guitars he is playing in the videos, the different guitar tunings used and some 'how to play it' advice. The essays are extensively illustrated with photos.

In Spring 2015, a double-DVD set including an audio CD, "The Audio Tracks", with all the 12 videos and some extra specials, was released.

In April 2016 the double DVD/CD set was followed up by a music book including all 12 acoustic guitar pieces presented as sheet music / guitar TAB.

All the music pieces are also available online for purchase and download as separate sheet music / TAB PDF files.

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February 2014

"FOR MARIA" - C.F. Martin Custom Hide Glue 000-45 12 fret Madagascar/Italian Alpine

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

LINKS:      Buy sheet music / TAB online      Buy "For Maria" on iTunes      Buy "For Maria" on DVD/CD

The music and the tuning

One day, in the summer of 2012, when I was practicing in my kitchen, I asked my daughter Maria a somewhat cryptic question:

"Which one of my new tunes do you like best"?

Among several new compositions which had not been recorded at that time she answered that even though it was difficult to choose, she thought that this one was her favourite.
She liked the intro, the verse and the different parts a lot. But she had the feeling that something was missing and needed towards the end of the tune. She said that she "heard" some higher tones after the "deep" part before the outro.

I worked with that thought for a couple of days and found out that the "deep" part could be repeated in a slightly different way - an octave higher.

Maria was very satisfied with the added part - and so was I. Some months later, in 2013, after Maria had been given up by the doctors due to incurable cervical cancer, I told her that I had entitled the tune "For Maria".

I cannot describe how happy she was.

Maria was born on the 26th of February 1982. She would have turned 32 on the day when this video was published on YouTube.

"For Maria" is played in the EADF#BE tuning. The renaissance tuning. The same as the January 2014 video "Dark Patterns". It is played in the key of A major with parts in b minor which is easily played in this tuning.

In the normal EADGBE guitar tuning you would usually avoid playing in B at all, and even when you are playing in the E major or e minor keys I guess most players also have experienced how kind of boring it is that the B7 is the common choice to use for the dominant chord for the E key.

In this "renaissance" tuning you just tune down the 3rd string G to F# which is the dominant for B and on top of the very nice middletone-sound you achieve you also get the option of playing in the key of b minor as your main key. As an extra achievement it's also a nice tuning for playing in the keys of E, A and D.

I don't remember any specific reason why the idea for this tune came up. It just happened while I was practicing. The different parts appeared during the summer 2010 and little by little until the summer 2012 where it was finally formed and Maria's part was added.

This is the first recording of "For Maria".

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Screen shots from the video

The Guitar

C.F. Martin Custom Hide Glue 000-45 12 fret Madagascar/Italian Alpine

The guitar I play on the February Video of the Month 2014 video is a 2010 C.F. Martin Custom Hide Glue 000-45 12 fret Madagascar Rosewood/Italian Alpine Spruce.

As you may know the history of Martin Guitars goes way back to 1833 when Christian Frederick Martin started the production of Martin Guitars in New York City after having emigrated from Europe where he had been trained as a guitarmaker by Johann Stauffer in Vienna.

The first 000, often pronounced as "triple 0", 12 fret Martin model appears on the Martin production lists in 1902. The sizes of the Martin guitars are described by the numerals - on this guitar by the three zeroes.

Before the mid 1850s, where the size 0 model had its entry on the sales ledgers, the Martin guitar had numerals starting with size 5 and - somewhat odd or the opposite of what you would expect: The larger the size the lower the numeral. Meaning that size 4 was larger than size 5, size 3 larger than size 4, and so on up to size 0 which was the largest size until the even larger size 00 was introduced in 1873 due to the claiming of more volume. When an even more powerful model was claimed in the beginning of the 20th century it was then numbered a triple 0 (000).

The type designation for a Martin guitar consists of the numerals for the size and the two-digit numerals for the style. The "style" is the degree of ornamentation and the degree of the tonewoods. Or, as they call it at the Martin factory: The "number of quality". The numerals 45 tell that it is a very high degree of quality, in fact the highest quality produced until the beginning of the 21th century where style 50 and the three-digit style 100 were introduced.

May I recommend the Companion Books to Martin Guitars "A Technical Reference" and "A History" by Richard Johnston & Dick Boak. In these books you'll find lots of very interesting info about Martin Guitars. It's a great help for the understanding of the Martin "system" of sizes and styles, the history etc.

The very first 000-45 12 fret in the luxurious 45 style was listed in 1906. I think it's very interesting - and exiting - that the model 000-45 which I'm playing on "For Maria" originally was built by the Martin craftsmen 104 years before mine was built in 2010. It's quite unbelievable that such an innovation can survive for so many years.

This specific 000-45 has back and sides made of premium Madagascar Rosewood and an Italian Alpine Spruce top. With "short scale" (635mm/24,9") like most Martin 12-fret models. It has a modified V-shape Mahogany neck and is decorated on the body with abalone in the 45's style with extras such a floral inlay on the pickguard, six point snowflakes on the belly bridge, the "Alternate torch" - a.k.a. the "Fern" - on the headplate, and snowflake and diamond pearl inlays on the fingerboard.

The sound? Well, it's always difficult to describe sound in words and I hope it speaks for itself when you hear it in the video - but as I experience the sound myself it has a very deep, warm and powerful sound which I really like.

Buy CDs & DVDs featuring Finn Olafsson online at:

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Finn Olafsson with the C.F. Martin Custom Hide Glue 000-45 12 fret Madagascar/Italian Alpine - Photo by Kim Ingemann Erichsen, Peak Production ApS