Stein Urheim – Simple Pieces & Paper Cut-Outs (2019) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Stein Urheim – Simple Pieces & Paper Cut-Outs (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 33:28 minutes | 346 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Hubro

No-frills fingerstyle masterclass blends hard-won solo skills with superb audiophile sound on LP or download, on Stein Urheim´s new album “Simple Pieces & Paper Cut-Outs” that will be out in August. It’s so good you don’t even have to play the guitar to enjoy it. If you do, there’s a 40-page musical score and tablature to help learn or adapt the tunes. And the good news is: the score is already available!

“The main idea for the album was that I wanted to do an acoustic guitar recording without any overdubs”, Stein Urheim says. “It’s all played on one particular acoustic guitar, with all of its sonic possibilities and limitations as the centre of attention. It’s a hand-made guitar, built after a model of the Selmer jazz guitars of the 1930s, and it has a certain twangy mid-range that I thought worked well for these tunes. It’s really tempting for me, as you can probably hear on some of my previous work, to add voices and other layers of instruments and electronics and if I start going in that direction the ideas develop really fast. But here, in short, it’s just an acoustic guitar, lots of open space, no abstract concepts or huge arrangements. It can, of course, also be heard at a more technical level, as an introduction to open tunings, especially open G and D, for other guitar players and students. The accompanying musical score has a tablature as well, and it will make me happy if people use it and keep the music alive in their own way, with their individual style on their own instruments. But it’s not classical guitar, or meant to be played in a very strict or composed manner. It’s open to change and interpretation in any possible way. Most of the pieces are quite easy to play, while some have more rhythmical obstacles and challenges for players not so familiar with finger-picking or bottleneck/slide guitar technique.”

The album is also full of surprising moments and, like the Matisse, exquisite formal invention. The sound of a peal of bells precedes the piece ‘Bells’, because, Urheim says: “the sound just seemed really good for starting the ‘Bells’ tune, with the right kind of dissonances before the opening chords. It’s actually a little field-recoreding from me walking by Westminster Abbey last summer.” Similarly, the thirteen tracks (two more are available as mp3s) are often short in duration but jam-packed with incidental details that reflect an experimentalist’s regard for the value of sound as sound. “I get easily bored with very virtuosic playing, especially if you get the feeling that someone is showing off, which is very common in the guitar world.” Urheim says. “It can be fascinating for a short time but it doesn’t attract me or make me curious in a musical way. And many guitarists tend to use the same solutions to express themselves, for example by staying in the same tuning all the time. I hope this album’s score can serve as an alternative: newly written but mostly based on old and traditional styles of playing that are relatively easy to master on many levels, while the recordings are meant first and foremost as an open listening experience.” Or as Urheim’s liner note for the album ends by saying: “Do with them as you like – and enjoy.


1. Slow Reader 01:09
2. Brazilian Breeze 03:13
3. Let Out The Butterflies 01:55
4. Paper Cutouts 02:42
5. Jerven 02:45
6. Bells 02:53
7. Kongens Sorger 02:32
8. Blåvals 03:03
9. Tinnhølen 02:40
10. Weissenborn Dreams 00:58
11. Sirkel 05:14
12. Løsrivelser 01:54
13. Slow Reader 2 02:30