MP3 Ioannis Anastassakis - Suspension of Disbelief
An Instrumental Electric Guitar Tour de Force.
11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Instrumental Rock, METAL: Instrumental Metal
A few Technical words about this CD…
This CD was recorded between February 2006 and June 2006 at Bob Katsionis’ studio. All tracks were recorded using the following guitars:
Carvin DC 400
Ibanez 7string 4720
Produced, Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Bob Katsionis
Original Compositions by Ioannis Anastassakis
Guitars (except guest solos) recorded by Ioannis Anastassakis
Drum programming, Keyboards and Bass by Bob Katsionis
Cover and Insert Design by Vassilis Papageorgiou
Cover Photography by Stavros Tsoupas
Not-so-technical words about this recording &various (ir)relevant ramblings
After playing electric guitar for 20 years, I sincerely felt that recording an instrumental Rock/Fusion CD was seriously overdue… The fact that I KNOW this is not a “commercially viable” genre, makes things artistically much easier; there’s no real pressure to reach a certain level of sales, no demands from major record company executives… So, all I was thinking during the composing and recording process was to accurately express myself through the music and have the best possible time while doing so! Sometimes it was hard work, but most of the time it was just a lot of fun!
I really enjoy the sound of rock guitar, but stylistically I’ve always liked many different styles. I’m a big fan of Bossanova guitar and I also listen to a lot of contemporary Smooth Jazz. I have a very soft spot in my heart for traditional Flamenco guitar, but I also appreciate the beauty and harmonic richness of Jazz Chord Melody. Not to mention Salsa, Country and Texas Blues…In this recording, I decided to stay (mostly) within the “Rock” boundaries. With a few exceptions... But keep checking my future recordings; I have quite a few “surprises” in stock!
If you like my style of guitar playing, my instructional books/DVDs from Mel Bay publications include pretty much all the techniques, concepts and licks used in this CD. I strongly urge you to buy multiple copies of each one of them for yourselves and all your friends, so that I can safely retire in the Caribbean within the next couple of years! There!
Anyway, I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this CD as much as I enjoyed recording it! And make sure you check out my WWW site at https://www.tradebit.com !
Track Listing and Explanations
1. Suspension of Disbelief (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This was the last tune I composed for this recording. Bob kept nagging at me about writing something that would use my “Pick & Fingers technique”, a technique that is ideal for playing large intervals on the guitar. Then I decided to mix fusion key changes with a simple Iron Maiden-like harmony. The smooth jazz/funk bridge is one of my favorite part of the CD! And check out the drums at the ending!!!! The title was inspired by a comment of a fellow guitarist that playing distorted lead guitar using with this technique would would “defy belief” (or something like that)…
2. Caravan of Despair Suite (Ioannis Anastassakis)
Even though I definitely do not consider myself a “neoclassical” player, I really enjoy Phrygian dominant and harmonic minor melodies and harmonies. Maybe it’s all the Flamenco I’ve played, not to mention the Greek music I’ve been surrounded with, who knows! Yngwie Malmsteen was an important part of my studies when I was young and I always wanted to write something in this style. And then I “destroy” everything by adding Iron Maiden harmonies and a solo piano in the middle… Anyway, this composition was pretty much the only one that was almost completely mapped out before even my initial meeting with Bob. The music was very much “visually” mapped out in my mind, in different sections (The Caravan, Oasis, Change of plans etc)
3. Altered State of Consciousness (Ioannis Anastassakis)
Guitar Fusion has always been a favorite of mine, especially when the player was a proficient Rock guitarist with a more adventurous, jazzy, harmonic & melodic sophistication. This composition started as an example of demonstrating to my students how to play “over changes” without losing their “improvisational identity”; after a while, the initial exercise “mutated” into the main melody of this composition. The name is derived from the combination of the Altered scale, that is used a lot throughout and the fact that you have to consciously “follow the changes”!
4. Variations on Malaguena (Inspired by an original composition by Ernesto Lecuona)
arrangement by Ioannis Anastassakis
I started playing Flamenco at a very young https://www.tradebit.coms is an arrangement for solo guitar inspired by the celebrated Malaguena by the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona. Although this was originally composed for full orchestra, its inherent beauty lends itself remarkably well to the idiomatic techniques of flamenco guitar. Every flamenco guitarist has his/her own solo version of the Malaguena. This is my own. This track is fully transcribed in my book/DVD “Flamenco Journal”, available from Mel Bay publications
5. Resonance Factor 12 (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This composition started as an exercise I would give my students when it was time to learn the Lydian Dominant (Lydian b7) scale. After listening to their (endless) nagging about how this scale could NEVER be used to play anything even remotely resembling rock music, I decided to compose something that would prove my point once and for all… This tune also includes one of my favorite pet licks, an 8-finger cross-string tapping idea with open strings. The title was inspired from the intro “resonating filter” – this was initially a long natural harmonic, mangled by Bob…
6. Dos Hermanos (Bulerias) Original Composition by Ioannis Anastassakis
The rapid impetus and bouncing pulse of the Bulerias make it the most exciting form of flamenco guitar for most aficionados. It is the greatest challenge for musicians and dancers and is the most widely performed of all flamenco forms. This composition, dedicated to my brother Konstantinos, is a contemporary Bulerias, in the effect that it incorporates a multitude of non-traditional compositional and harmonic techniques. A large part of the included musical phrases are based in non-Spanish harmonies. This is a live concert recording, no overdubs. The complete concert is commercially available in my Solo Flamenco Guitar CD “Flamenco Live at Ioannina”
7. The Final Jam… (Ioannis Anastassakis)
I always though that having many guest soloists participate in a CD added a much needed breath of fresh air! This is a nice, rocking tune, where I decided to have quite a few of my many guitar playing friends share their abilities with you. The title comes from the fact that this is the “Final” original track in this CD! The composition is split into 3 parts harmonically – G dorian/mixolydian, A natural minor and E phrygian dominant! Here’s a list of the solos played by each player – all the rest are my own.
0.48’’-1.20’’ - Alex Flouros
1.36’’-2.07’’ - Lakis Ragazas
2.24’’-2.56’’ - George Emmanouel (Age 15!!)
2.56’’-3.27’’ – Ioannis Anastassakis
3.44’’-4.15’’ – Marcel Coenen
4.16’’- 4.47’’ - Ioannis Anastassakis
4.48’’-5.20’’ - Theodore Ziras
5.20’’-5.52’’ - Constantine
6.42’’-6.57’’ - Bob Katsionis
7.14’’-7.29’’ - Bob Katsionis
8. BONUS TRACK: The Final Jam… BACKING TRACK (Ioannis Anastassakis)
Wouldn’t it be REALLY cool to have the backing track from one or more of the tunes included in an instrumental guitar CD? This way the listener could try to recreate the original tune and learn many things about the way the artist writes and records his/her music! However, no one seemed to be doing it, so I decided to give it a go!
9. BONUS TRACK: Instrumental CD Project – WWW Demo (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This is the original project demo
10. BONUS TRACK: Suspension of Disbelief – WWW Demo (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This is the original project demo
What kind of gear do you use?
"My main guitars nowadays are a Steinberger Scepter, a Carvin DC 400, an ESP Kirk Hammett KH-2 and a Fender Robben Ford model. I used to use Mesa Boogie amplification, but for the last couple of years I''ve enjoyed using Line 6 amplifiers. My rack includes an ADA-MP2, a Marshall JMP-1, a Roland guitar Synth, a POD XT Pro and a POD 2. I use Ernie Ball strings for Electric guitar and Labella strings for my Classical and Flamenco guitars"
How did you start playing the Electric guitar?
"It was a combination of 2 factors: I got a new guitar teacher (Berkeley graduate Stelios Karaminas) who was equally proficient on Classical, Acoustic & Electric, so we could freely interchange between these styles during our lessons. Also, my best friend, Apostolis (who was an avid heavy metal fan since he was 10 years old) recorded for me a few tapes of Dio, Iron Maiden, Helloween and other heavy metal bands. Then I got into Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore & George Lynch and that was it!"
Is it true that you studied with the all these great famous Electric guitarists (Frank Gambale, Steve Vai, Marty Friedman etc)?
"Yes! I was not able to study for extended periods of time with ALL of them, mostly due to their performing and recording schedules, but I was taking lots of private lesson & following any group lessons or seminars they were offering, routinely driving 3-7 hours away for a lesson! With others, like Brett Garsed, Scott Henderson & Frank Gambale I kept studying almost every week for years!"
Who is your favorite Electric Guitar Player?
Honestly, there are so many of them! I was VERY impressed with Steve Vai, Brett Garsed, Tony Macalpine, Vinnie Moore, Frank Gambale, Jean Mark Belkadi and John Petrucci, in no particular order. These guys could play for hours and never miss a note, have a great sound and always sound fresh and original. There''s no way I can pick one!"
What about the latest bunch of players? Who do you like the most?
"That''s a little easier... I would have to say Stephen Forte of Adagio! The guy is a seriously scary guitarist, excellent writer, plays a mean piano and he is still in his mid-20s!!! Mike Romeo of Symphony X is another personal favorite, although he is very established and not one of the "new" guys. Guthrie Govan is also an extremely talented, excellent player!!!! Finally, as far as shredders go, Rusty Cooley kicks some serious butt!"
Is it true that you have given more than 300 recitals?
"Yes! I was fortunate enough to be in demand throughout my years in the US. During my more busy years, it was not unusual to have 15-18 performances per month! It was an AMAZING experience that really helped me solidify my repertoire and hone my technique."
What do you do nowadays?
"Mostly teaching, performing, recording and writing guitar instructional materials! I teach around 30 students per week privately. I am also Professor of Music at the American College of Greece, where I teach subjects in Studio Guitar, Improvisation Concepts, History of Pop & Rock & History of Jazz & Blues. I am also working on quite a few educational projects on both the Flamenco & the Electric guitar (Books, CDs & DVDs). "
Do you still practice technique to improve your chops? What kind of things do you practice?
"I mostly practice improvisational ideas, like using Symmetrical and Altered scales & superimposing arpeggios over various chord progressions. Technically, I am currently working on my 8-finger Tapping, as well as various ideas on String skipping, Wide Stretches and Pick & Fingers combinations."
With all these stuff going on in your life, do you have ANY free time at all?
"Sure! If you do not sleep, there is always time left!!!! Seriously, some...not nearly enough, though! I must admit I miss my early 20''s when all I would do was practice guitar! Now, even though I am surrounded by guitars, guitarists & guitar playing all day (and usually all night) the actual practice time has shrank considerably..."
Ok, so do you do anything at all that is not guitar-related?
"Well... a couple of things! I read a lot, mostly fiction. I really enjoy going to the movies. I go Salsa dancing at least 2-3 times per week. And I try to fit in some weight-training and martial arts whenever I can…which is more rarely than I should…”
Bio of Ioannis Anastassakis
Born in the Greek island of Crete, Ioannis Anastassakis studied at the Greek National Conservatory and the Nakas Conservatory in Athens. He completed his Bachelor degree at the American College of Greece, and subsequently studied at the distinguished Musicians Institute (GIT), where he was hired as an instructor, after graduating at the top 1% of his class. He continued his studies at the California State University, completing an MA in Guitar Performance, graduating Magna cum Laude. Currently (2007), he is working towards a Doctorate in Education, with emphasis in Music.
Ioannis’ list of teachers in Electric guitar reads like as “Who is Who” of contemporary electric guitar legends: Steve Vai (Whitesnake), Vinnie Moore (UFO), Marty Friedman (Megadeth), John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Frank Gambale (Chick Corea), Paul Gilbert (https://www.tradebit.com), Richie Kotzen, Brett Garsed, Joey Tafolla, Scott Henderson, Mike Stern, Jean Marc Belkadi, Darren Householder, Tommy Tedesco, Ted Greene, Ron Echete, Sid Jacobs & Joe Diorio.
Ioannis studied for several years with Juan Serrano. In addition, he has studied with Flamenco guitar legends Manolo Sanlucar, Juan Martin, Paco Serrano, Jose Antonio Rodriguez and Manolo Franco.
Ioannis has also performed and/or recorded in various settings with band members of Whitesnake, Dio, Deep Purple, Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John, Santana, Celine Dion, Sara Vaughan, Tito Puente, Julio Iglesias, Tower of Power, Chick Corea Electric Band, Jeff Beck, Steve Vai Band, Badlands, Santana, Tribal Tech, Natalie Cole, Joe Cocker, Cher, Blood Sweat & Tears and more.
Ioannis has presented over 300 solo recitals in Europe and the United States and has been a guest lecturer at several American colleges and Universities (University of Southern California, California State University Northridge, California State University Fresno, California State University Fullerton, Musicians Institute, Fresno City College, American College of Greece). In addition, he has won Classical and Flamenco guitar competitions and has been featured 12 times on American TV.
He was the 1st guitarist ever to present a solo guitar recital at the Greek National Opera House. And his first solo guitar CD, “Flamenco Live at Ioannina”, was released by Wild Rose Angel Productions in 2004.
Ioannis’ instructional materials are published and distributed worldwide by Mel Bay Publications. His 1st instructional book “The Art of Rasgueado”, achieved best-seller status within months of its initial publication date. He is also a regular columnist in Mel Bay’s Guitar Sessions magazine.
Ioannis is currently (2005) sponsored by La Bella Flamenco Guitar Strings.
In Greece, Ioannis has served as principal instructor at the most prominent International Guitar Festivals (International guitar festival of Hermoupolis, International Winter guitar festival of Volos, International guitar festival of Patras, International guitar festival of Paros, International guitar festival of Porto Heli).
At present, Ioannis teaches at the American College of Greece and maintains a busy private teaching schedule. He divides his time between recording, writing instructional materials for guitar and conducting clinics, seminars and recitals around Europe.