“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” — Henry David Thoreau
I love simplicity. As a songwriter I enjoy working with words, voice and the classical fingerstyle guitar. My motivation is minimalism. Like a painter captures the essence of a landscape in a black and white sketch, I paint the essence of a song with just voice and guitar.
The classical guitar is a warm and expressive instrument. The nylon strings give it a harp-like quality. When played fingerstyle, using the classical techniques, the guitar offers a rich musical tapestry. I’m intrigued by the guitar, exploring its potential as a songwriter’s companion.
Latvia native. New Zealand national. I grew up in Denmark. For years I’ve lived in the USA and Canada. Now I live in New Zealand and Denmark.
A songwriter. A student of the classical guitar. My mission is to explore the classical guitar techniques and apply them to modern songwriting.
An experienced guitar teacher, I specialise in tuition for kids and in fingerstyle and classical guitar for adult learners. I teach private Skype lessons, develop teaching methodologies and compose online guitar courses. To learn more about my guitar lessons, visit gentleguitar.com
What I’m doing now — Teaching & Recording
Gentle Guitar™ for Kids
Gentle Guitar™ was born in New Zealand. During the 5-year course development and testing phase I established 3 private teaching locations around Auckland. Over 100 kids benefited from our in-person private tuition. Today, Gentle Guitar™ is an International online tuition service for kids (and adults). I’m on a mission to bring the benefits of early childhood music tuition to families around the world.
Gentle Guitar™ for Adults
I am developing a course called “Fingerstyle Accompaniment Techniques”. This course is for songwriters and any guitarist who accompanies songwriters. The program is NOW taught via Skype, and in the near future will be available as an online video course. I have also developed, and now teach a course called “Simple Classical Guitar for Beginners”. This course makes the classical guitar repertoire easy and accessible to beginners of all ages and levels.
Recording an Album
Excited by the idea of applying classical guitar techniques to songwriting, I’m deliberately stripping my album off everything but the essential. In my case that’s telling lyrical stories with only vocals and the classical guitar. I’m working to showcase the character of the instrument and explore minimalism in composition and production. I’m hoping that more people will fall in love with the classical guitar!
The Classical Guitar
‘Classical Guitar’ is an instrument (nylon strings, body type) a style of playing the instrument (special fingerstyle techniques) and a repertoire (a collection of music by classical guitar composers). The instrument and the techniques are fun to explore for modern songwriting.
The classical guitar is used in Bossa Nova, Latin and some Flamenco music. (Flamenco players use a slightly modified classical guitar). It can also be heard in pop music, particularly in ballads and slower romantic songs. However, it’s the steel string guitar that enjoys the spotlight among acoustic songwriters. I’m on a mission to explore the potential of the classical guitar for songwriting, and demonstrate that the songwriter has much to gain by enriching his or her repertoire with the classical fingerstyle techniques.
The Liveaboard Dream
Being around boats makes me happiest. Living aboard a sailboat is a lifestyle choice and an experience. Living so close to nature you never miss a sunrise or a sunset. You are affected by the passing storms and you rejoice and are reborn in the following calm. Time ceases to fly and instead gently flows from one day to the text. Living on a boat means that you have fewer possession and you cherish people, and the things in your life, that much more.
I’m not a full-time liveaboard yet. I’ve been working towards this dream for the past decade. Recently I met Ben, my soulmate, together we are building a life that will enable us to move onto the boat full-time. It’s fascinating how this lifestyle transforms me and sets me free. Each one of us needs happiness and love, some people spend a lifetime in confused longing and suffer empty hearted. Yet these things we so seek and desire are not “luck” or “fate”. They are WHAT REMAINS when we strip away the nonessential. Fear holds us back from letting go and falling into ourselves and into nature. Yet it’s this single act of bravery that has brought me the understanding, happiness, and love I longed for.
Eventually, I’d love to share some of my sailing insights and adventures through a dedicated blog. But for now, if you are curious to follow Ben and I as we work our way towards living aboard, you can befriend me on Facebook