To find a unique voice on so ubiquitous an instrument as the acoustic guitar is quite an achievement: to do so within a centuries old idiom where the instrument has no real history is truly remarkable. In little over ten years as a professional musician Tony McManus has come to be recognized throughout the world as the leading guitarist in Celtic Music. From early childhood his twin obsessions of traditional music and acoustic guitar have worked together to produce a startlingly original approach to this ancient art. In Tony’s hands the complex ornamentation normally associated with fiddles and pipes are accurately transferred to guitar in a way that preserves the integrity and emotional impact of the music.
Self taught from childhood, initially through listening to the family record collection, McManus abandoned academia in his twenties to pursue music full time. The session scene in Glasgow and Edinburgh provided the springboard for gigs around Scotland and a studio set for BBC Radio, frequently rebroadcast, began to spread the word.
In a relatively short time Tony’s music has come to define a new role for the guitar in Celtic music. He has come to represent Celtic music in the guitar world, making regular appearances at guitar specific events where just a few years ago jigs and reels would be unheard of. He is now invited annually to the Chet Atkins Festival in Nashville, has appeared at Guitar Festivals in Soave and Pescantina, Italy; Frankston, Australia; Issoudun, France; Kirkmichael, Scotland; Bath and Kent, England; Bochum and Osnabruck, Germany and has taught at five of Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamps in Maryville, Tennessee. He recently appeared at the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in the “All Star Guitar Night” featuring Steve Morse, Bryan Sutton, Muriel Anderson, Béla Fleck and Victor Wooten and headlined by the legendary Les Paul.
His ability to reach audiences unfamiliar with traditional music is remarkable- he is quite comfortable at predominantly classical events such as the Dundee and Derry Guitar Festivals (appearing six times between the two) and even The Bogotá International Guitar Festival where he followed virtuoso Eduardo Fernandez.
Today his live work ranges from intimate solo performance through various duos with friends.
"On this DVD I have collected some tunes that have one thing in common- are all a regular part of my performance repertoire. Some, like The Sleeping Tune, La Que`teux Trembley and Sandizan have been staples of my live work for many years and some, like Kalyana and Le Tourment, are more recent additions. All of these are tunes that speak to me as a musician- loudly enough that I'd want to arrange them for solo guitar and as such they are not exercises or technical studies. They are destinations, goals set with musical value in and of themselves. These arrangements involve the techniques I have been using for years to articulate traditional tunes and while some of these are new compositions they are all within the traditional idiom.
In this collection we'll use the well-known DADGAD tuning, hopefully showing why it's so popular in Celtic and traditional music. We will also use CGCGCD
or C Sus2 tuning for some of the tunes. This tuning gives rise to some beautiful chord voicings that suit the essence of this music. We will look at
triplets with ring middle and index fingers, my thumb technique for playing triplets on the wound strings and many other ways of bringing the guitar
to this music in an authentic way.
These are not pieces for beginners but neither should they be out of the reach of an intermediate player with a bit of dedication to bringing these pieces to life." - Tony McManus
A detailed tab/music booklet is included as a PDF file on the DVD. Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split-screen
Titles include: The Sleeping Tune, Roslyn Castle, Kalyana, Le Tourment, Will You Come Home With Me, La Re`ve Du Que`teux and Sandizan
115 minutes - Level 3 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD