FINN OLAFSSON • Video of the Month • October 2014 • Hamlet's Castle

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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October 2014

"HAMLET's CASTLE" - David W. Musselwhite OM-45 Deluxe

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

About the music, the tuning and a little about how to play it

About the music

North of Copenhagen - on the point overlooking Øresund, the sea between Denmark and Sweden - you will find Hamlet's Castle, Kronborg. The castle set the scene for William Shakepeare's "The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark".

One of my greatest experiences as a musician has been playing at Kronborg Castle. From the outdoor stage you can see right over the fortress wall to Øresund when you are playing. It is in fact "A Stage with a View".

This hymn to the legendary renaissance castle was recorded for my recent CD-album (link:) "Music From North Sealand" - and was also later released in a remixed and remastered radio-single edition. In the recorded version the acoustic guitar was supported by electric guitars, keyboards, bass and percussion. But that arrangement was based on the acoustic guitar part which I play in this video.

I wrote "Hamlet's Castle" back in March 2010 on the C.F. Martin OM-45 Custom 1833 Restricted which I play in September's video "Tango in Heaven". For one or another reason I had in mind to make a piece of music with a Celtic approach to it - a Celtic hymn so to say. It became the "grand finale" of a Castle Suite - a suite consisting of six pieces entitled by some of the historic and beautiful castles and monasteries in North Sealand, north of Copenhagen, in Denmark - the place where I live, surrounded by nature, culture and history. It is indeed a very inspiring place on earth.

About the tuning and a little about how to play it

"Hamlet's Castle" is played in a rather special guitar tuning: DADGAE. At first sight it appears to be close to a DADGAD tuning - but the 1st string is tuned to E, not to D - which makes quite a difference. As obvious it is to play in the key of D, when you tune in DADGAD, it is to play in the key of A, when you play in this tuning. When you play in DADGAE you'll find the tonic on the 5th string while the subdominant, D, and dominant, E, are on the 6th string - underneath the tonic.

Some other things to notice:

In the A verse the theme is starting on the 1st and 2nd strings but the theme continues in the lower octave on the 4th and 5th strings. The first part of the B verse is also in the lower octave but is moving up during the B verse. The "trills" occur as a variation in the 2nd and 4th A verses.

The right hand: Many of the chords are played arpeggios - but not all of them.

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About the guitar

David W. Musselwhite OM-45 Deluxe

I play C.F. Martin OM-45 models in the video of April 2014, "Playful Springtime", and in the video of September 2014, "Tango in Heaven". An OM-45 1933 GE, Golden Era, in April's video and an OM-45 Custom 1833 Restricted in September's video.

In this video I'm completing a trilogy by adding even one more video in which I play an OM-45 model. But this one is an OM-45 Deluxe - and besides this difference it is not a Martin guitar:

The guitar was created by a craftsman who in every detail knows as much about guitars, especially C.F. Martin guitars as anyone can learn during a lifetime: The legendary David W. Musselwhite, luthier and former master repairman at the Martin factory's repair department - a specialist in repairment and restoration of vintage pre-war Martins.

In 1993, when David W. Musselwhite built this OM-45 Deluxe, he put all his knowledge of these great guitars into it - and it confirms his skills and experience with original Golden Era Martins. In 2011, I came in touch with David and he told me the following:

"I built a D-45 Deluxe guitar at the same time! It took a year to complete them. When I started building them they were just going to be style 28's. I thought with the wood quality they should be a little more fancy than that! That's when I got a little carried away. Ha..Ha".

David built the OM-45 Deluxe and its twin, the D-45 Deluxe, for himself - not as a commercial product for Martin.

"They were not for sale in the beginning, and then a Guy in New York City saw them at a guitar show and had to have the D-45. I wasn't going to sell the OM either and a friend fell in love with it and I gave in. I always thought I would build another one, but it hasn't happened yet!"

In 2010, Rudi Bults at The Fellowship of Acoustic in The Netherlands stated:

"David Musselwhite's repair and restoration skills at the Martin Factory where he is employed are very highly regarded. Over the years he probably earned his place in the Martin history books for his restoration work on many fine vintage Martins, Dave is regarded as the Guru of repair and restoration of vintage and pre-war Martin's, among them a good number of pre-war 45 models.

The Guitar is considered of historical importance being made of old Martin stock and build in the Martin Premises by one of Martin's most experienced craftsman. That's why the guitar is featured on Page 222 of the book "Celebration of Martin Guitars" by Jim Washburn, were you see David playing this guitar."

Rudi Bults continued:

"David Musselwhite will be remembered for his influence and importance in Martin's second golden era in a similar way say Dick Boak and Mike Longworth are, being one of the brains behind the Golden Era series, and of course the person that personally build the 29th and most luxurious of all OM-45 Deluxe ever, exceeding any model in existence."

Yes, this guitar really is very luxurious. Basically, it is an OM-45 Deluxe but it features more stylish inlays: the pickguard inlays are different, and the "tree of life" on the fingerboard and the side inlays on the neck and headstock are also somewhat different. Another spectacular feature is the three-piece back. I haven't ever seen a Martin OM-45 with a three-piece back.

How it sounds? Well, it sounds very, very fine. However, it sounds differently from the Martin OM-45s that I have played. You cannot talk about "better" or "worse" when talking about guitars of this kind. Only about differences - and there is no doubt that David W. Musselwhite has put his very own personal touch into this guitar.
But the sound of a guitar is so difficult to explain in words. Therefore, I would be pleased if you will watch the video instead and listen to the sound of it in the video.

On the pages about (link:) "Playful Springtime" and (link:) "Tango in Heaven" I have written in more general terms about the Martin OM-45s.

Pictures of the guitar courtesy of The Fellowship of Acoustics, The Netherlands.

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David W. Musselwhite with the OM-45 Deluxe in 1994

Finn Olafsson with the David W. Musselwhite OM-45 Deluxe - Photo by Hans Ole Madsen