RAFAELARDEN: Music of Antiquity

Rafael grew up in showbusiness during the 80s rock scene, obsessing over the music of guitar greats such as Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai and Randy Rhoads! But at the age of 13 he heard his first classical music and was hooked! By 19 he was accepted into the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music where he studied classical guitar as well as the Renaissance and Baroque lutes. 

His musical journey over the last 40 years has enabled Rafael to explore virtually every style of music, throughout every century. From the early lute music of Britain and Europe dating back to the 10th through to the 16th Centuries, to the rock, jazz, blues and funk of the 20th Century.

Finally however,  Rafael has returned to his great love of playing Bach. Combining all his skills as both a lutenist and guitarist, Rafael is using early traditional Baroque and Renaissance techniques, with modern day guitars and equipment, the results of which are delightfully surprising and exquisitely beautiful.

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German composer and musician of the Baroque period, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is considered the greatest composer of all time. Held in the highest esteem by musical geniuses such as Beethoven and Mozart, Bach took music to new heights, the likes of which the world had never heard before. Although most famous for his Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, St Matthew Passion, and his Mass in B minor, Bach composed over 1100 pieces, both secular and sacred, for numerous instruments, ensembles, orchestra and voice.

Bach was not only a prolific composer, but his works were innovative and unique, taking music, and indeed the musicians, to greater and greater heights. Stretching them beyond their limits! He introduced new techniques, of composing and playing, mastering the art of the fugue, and perfecting the intricacies of cantabile.  

One fascinating aspect of Bach’s music is that it ‘works’ on any instrument. In our modern world, Bach’s music, has traditionally been performed by classical musicians. Classical guitarists have played his works on classical guitars. However, Rafael is taking his forty years of musical training to breathe new life into Bach’s music, by recording it on the electric guitar! Some view this as utter blasphemy, others, simply brave!

However, with deep reverence, Rafael is using his knowledge of the Baroque period, traditional lute techniques, and his experience as a modern day guitarist, to explore new sounds and interpretations of Bach’s cello suites, lute suites, various dances, and violin partitas.

RAFAEL ARDEN: Music of Antiquity


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