FINN OLAFSSON • Video of the Month • May 2014 • A Scent of Lavender

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

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 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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May 2014

"A SCENT OF LAVENDER" - Kehlet Folk Vintage

Click here to watch the video onYouTube

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

The music and the guitar tuning

The music

When I composed this guitar piece some years ago I had the feeling of being in Provence - in the south of France, near to the Mediterranean. And now, when I play it or listen to it, I imagine that it's in the end of May, June is soon taking over, and I'm in the middle of a huge field, an ocean, full of blue flowering lavenders. And I'm overwhelmed by the scent of them.

I guess that "A Scent of Lavender" is somewhat influenced by the music of some of the South European composers who lived during the Romanceticism - e.g. like Spanish guitarist and composer Fernando Sor (1778-1839), who was born in Barcelona and died in Paris, or Italian Ferdinando Carulli (1770-1841), who was born in Naples and died, like Fernando Sor, in Paris.

During a 3-4 year long periode in the 1970s I did some self-studying of the playing of the classical nylon string guitar.
I played a lot of music written by Sor and Carulli and found that it was really fascinating to play. To me, their music is the epitome of southern music and I'm convinced that playing their music at that time has left its marks in me.

In parenthesis I find it very interesting the way that different guitar genres shape one another - and how the music by former living composers sounds in new guitar arrangements - e.g. John Renbourn's steel string guitar arrangements of the Renaissance-lute-music of John Dowland - or Jeff Beck's electric guitar version of Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun Dorma". Jeff Beck's acoustic guitar version of "Greensleeves" on his album "Truth", which was a great inspiration for me, is another example.

You may have noticed that there is some string noise especially in the last half of the C part (2.48 - 3.00). The reason for this is that I play this part in high positions on the wound 4th and 5th strings. In order to give all the guitars I play in the 12 videos of Video of the Month 2014 equal conditions for optimal sound, I have put on a brand new set of exactly the same set of phosphor bronze strings on each and every guitar. Brand new strings and gliding up and down the wound strings - well, that makes the strings "howl"a whole lot

The guitar tuning

I play "A Scent of Lavender" in the guitar tuning of DGDGBD. This "open" guitar tuning is a G major tuning, having the key note (G) on the 5th and 3rd strings, the major third (B) on the 2nd and the dominant (D) on the 6th, 4th and 1st strings. It's a very obvious tuning for playing in the key of G major, just like this piece of music. But it is very difficult to play in other keys. As far as I remember I have only written one single tune in the key of g minor in this tuning - and maybe even one in D

When I'm composing in the G major tuning the character of the tunes becomes very major-like, open, friendly - and also very South European. Just listen to tunes I have written like "Down the Mediterranean", "The Green Parrots of Barcelona" and "The Troubadour and The Ballerina" recorded on my CD-album "Acoustic Guitar 2". Other examples are a couple of guitar pieces I wrote and recorded with Anders Roland: "Globetrotter" from CD-album "Globetrotter" and "Havblik" ("Still Water") from CD-album "DUO". If you go to the CD Gallery on this website you'll find sound clips of all these tracks. You'll also find a video version of "Havblik" ("Still Water") on YouTube.

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The guitar

Kehlet Folk Vintage

The beautiful acoustic guitar I'm playing in this video is indeed one of a kind.

It was built in 2001 by Danish luthier Ole Kehlet, Kehlet Guitars, and in my point of view it represents a new era for this very fine guitarmaker's creations.

In 2001, with the starting point at the guitar exhibition "Strøm til" ("Power On") at Danish Music Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, Ole Kehlet found a new outlet for producing acoustic steel stringed guitars, which should no longer be limited to be affordable due to the competition in the very small market of guitars in Denmark, but an outlet for guitars which were built to reach the highest possible Kehlet Guitars sound quality. This was achieved by using the very best tonewoods and by investing even more hours, energy and accuracy into each guitar. Ole Kehlet also developed his great skills for producing outstanding inlayworks as the demands for this kept increasing.

This Kehlet model is called a Folk model in Kehlet terms. The length of the body is approx. like a Martin 00-12 fret model but it is a little wider and it is 1.3 cm (approx. 0.5") deeper. This comparison is just to give you an idea of the size because the shape of the Folk model is of its very own.

It has 14 frets to the body, a rather large pyramid bridge and an open headstock. The top, or with other words, the soundboard, is made of German spruce and was vintage-toned to give the guitar the appearance of an older instrument. That's the reason that this specific guitar is called a Folk Vintage. To my knowledge it's even the one and only Kehlet Folk model in existence with such a top. The back and sides are made of a gorgeous set of quilted birds eye mable.

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In general, the Kehlet guitar is arch topped with a 15 degree arched top and a 20 degree back. In this way it differs from most American guitars - such as most Martin models - which are flat top instruments. Recently, Kehlet guitars has added a new "slap top" model with a 12 degree arched top.

I have played this Kehlet Folk Vintage from brand new and I have always been impressed by its clear, open and powerful sound. I often tune it in to the G major (DGDGBD) tuning, like I do on "A Scent of Lavender", or you may listen to the intro of "The Troubadour and The Ballerina". Or together with Anders Roland to "Havblik" ("Still Water"). But the guitar also sounds great in the Renaissance tuning EADF#BE which you can hear on three tracks on CD-album "Acoustic Guitar 2": "The Ceiling High", "Heartbreak" and "Healing Heart". Tuned in the tuning of DADGAD you can hear "The Fisherman's Hangover" on the same CD-album. In fact, as I'm writing this, I realize that I have recorded quite a few tracks with this guitar

It also sounds very nice in the ordinary EADGBE tuning - and I'm sure that most guitar players would find the Kehlet Folk model suitable for any guitar tuning.

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Finn Olafsson with the Kehlet Folk Vintage - Photos by Hans Ole Madsen