FINN OLAFSSON • Video of the Month • December 2014 • Wafu Dedication Part 2

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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December 2014

"WAFU DEDICATION PART 2" - Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature

Click here to link to YouTube

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

About the music

Wafu (in Japanese: Wafuu, ??) may. at first sight, be translated as "harmony", or: "in a harmonious way".
Basically, "Wa" means "peace" while "fu" means "wind, and together Wafu means "peace(ful) wind".

Figuratively, however, the Japanese themselves use the compound to express something uniquely Japanese, or: "Japanese Style".

In the culinary world, Wafu is a term being used to describe Japanese influences and elements in a non-Japanese cuisine.

In other words: Wafu can also be used as a term for East meeting West which was indeed the reason for this tune to be entitled "Wafu Dedication".

In 2006 my brother and I were asked to play a couple of concerts at the master chefs Jan Hurtigkarl and Jakob Mielcke's gourmet restaurant in Ålsgårde in North Sealand, Denmark.
For a period during 2006, the highly recommended restaurant offered a menu consisting of Japanese elements mixed with superb delicacies of the Western culinary world.
A "crossover" menu.

Or, in Japanese: A Wafu Menu. And that did in fact become the headline and the title of the musical menu, too.

As some of you may know, Torsten was - and still is - studying Japanese culture, language, and not least, Japanese music. When he was younger he studied the Japanese bamboo flute "shakuhachi" in Japan, where he was taught the classical culture of Japanese shakuhachi music and the secrets of the playing of this exciting eastern instrument by renowned shakuhachi players like Ozawa Seizan (Kyōto Myōan Taizan-ha Shakuhachi) and Yokoyama Katsuya (Tōkyō Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi).

At some time during Mielcke & Hurtigkarl's Wafu Menu season, Torsten and I were invited by Jan to create a,
so to speak, "musical Wafu menu" which should follow the culinary menu.

And so we did: On December 2 and 16, 2006, we played Wafu concerts after having enjoyed Jan Hurtigkarl, Jakob Mielcke and their staff's excellent Wafu menu. This tune, Wafu Dedication, was played first time in public at the Wafu concerts.

I got the idea for the tune in the summer of 2006. It took shape during the autumn 2006 when Torsten and I were practicing our repertoire for the Wafu concerts.

In this quite short version I only play a very limited part of Wafu Dedications Part 1. Almost as if it was just an introduction for Part 2. But in the longer version, which we played at the Wafu concerts, Torsten plays the shakuhachi in Part 1 followed by the Indian tablas in Part 2. Then East really meets West.

The guitar is tuned in DADGAD. It is based on some 12/8 fingerpicking patterns - in the A verses mainly in the key of
d minor and D neutral. Later the key shifts between D major,
d minor and D neutral. At 3.15 there's also a part in e minor followed by some melodic lines. I play most of the tune with open, ringing tones, mainly featuring the groove and the swing, the open sound of the guitar and the rather special chords in some parts.

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About the guitar

Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature

In the last video of 2014 I play my Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature (Kehlet FOS) model - like I did in the videos of March and July. I must say that there is something special with a guitar which was created especially for me, for my playing style and for fulfilling my personal "guitaristic" wishes. Furthermore, it is a guitar that I had the experience of co-designing with luthier Ole Kehlet.

The Kehlet FOS model is a very responsive guitar. It reacts promptly and precisely. You only have to play it softly to make it sound beautifully. It's very rich on overtones and it suits most of my guitar music very nicely. It is different from the American flattop guitars, which I also love to play, because its top is arched 15 degrees and the back 20 degrees. I cannot tell if this is the only reason that it sounds somewhat differently from the flattops in general, but this is undoubtedly one good reason. It is small differences like that which makes it so interesting and exciting to play various guitars.

This leads me to a point where I would like to thank the guitar producers round the world for their abilities in building inspiring guitars - and for their passion for creating new variations and designs of guitars. I believe that it was of huge importance that C.F. Martin, Dana Bourgeois, David Musselwhite, and many other guitar makers looked back especially to the Martin guitars of the Golden Era period from 1929-1942. Most of the guitars I play in the Video of the Month 2014 videos, not to say all the guitars, were built with many of the features of these great prewar Martins. This also includes the Kehlet FOS with its scalloped braces, American sitka top combined with Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, abalone inlays, etc.

The Kehlet FOS I play in this video was built in 2004. Later, in 2006, Ole Kehlet and I decided to experience how a 12 stringed version would turn out. Not that I play 12 stringed acoustics much but sometimes I use 12 stringed for recording purposes. The bigger open headstock of it made us redesign the inlayed swan and the club rush. These appointments are also featured on the brand new 6 stringed FOS which was handed over to me at the Copenhagen Guitar Show in October 2014. You may notice, if you look closer to the inlays of it, that the swan and the club rush on the open headstock is reversed - making the two of the 6 stringed a unique pair.

Thank you so much for your attention. It was exciting to accomplish the Video of the Month 2014 project. It has been a pleasure for me not only to play in the videos but also to write on about my music and the great guitars I have the pleasure of playing.

But the project does not end with this last video:
A 26 minutes interview portrait - The Guitarist Finn Olafsson - will be presented on YouTube on the 29th of December 2014. I hope you will enjoy it.

And a DVD box set including two DVDs and an audio CD will be released in February/March 2015. The box set includes:

DVD 1: All 12 YouTube videos in a row, Guitaristen Finn Olafsson, The Guitarist Finn Olafsson

DVD 2: All 12 videos showing right and left hands simultaneously in close up

CD: Audio tracks with the music of all 12 videos

The audio tracks will also be available on a standalone CD as well as on iTunes and digital platforms.

Finally: Sheet Music / tabs will soon be published.

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Photos by Torsten Olafsson and Emil Meinild

Photo by Hans Ole Madsen

Photo by Hans Ole Madsen

Photo by Hans Ole Madsen

Finn Olafsson with the Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature - Photo by Hans Ole Madsen