14 string guitar master comes to Sound Control.
There are times when six strings can feel complicated enough. Contorting your hand to strike that perfect chord, moving up and down the neck with the speed of cheetah’s hind legs to perform that perfect rock riff. But for some that just isn’t enough. For some, six strings just won’t do it. They need more.
Felix Martin is one of those people. A left-handed Venezuelan-born (now LA –based) guitar prodigy, he needs more than six strings. And so he performs on his remarkable self-designed 14 (yes 14!) string custom guitar (but if that’s not enough it can also be set up for 16 strings). Now he’s bringing his 14 / 16 strings to Sound Control on 7th July.
It was as a child, that he became taken with the idea of creating new ideas, and at the age of 13 he started experimenting, playing with two guitars simultaneously, one on a stand and one on a strap. Whilst it was functional, it wasn’t really what Felix was seeking – the have different sounds and touches. What he wanted was one guitar with 14 strings and so he set about creating this. He contacted luthiers in the USA and Canada with a vision of creating an instrument with one guitar body, two fretboards with the exact same sound, gauge and tuning, and two outputs. After a lot of time and effort, his vision became a reality as did his dream of eight-fingered chords and slap-tapping techniques.
The former student at the prestigious Berklee School of Music (his skills resulted in him being awarded a scholarship) is now signed to Prosthetic and has released a live album ‘Live in Boston’ as well as studio albums ‘Bizarre Rejection’ and ‘The Scenic Album’. With a sound which combines instrumental prog-metal and fusion, it is ideally suited to his innovative guitar style and helps to produce an eclectic, exhilarating show for guitar lovers and just musical lovers in general. It’s fascinating to watch, awe-inducing and leaves you marvelling at his ability, and musically it’s not found wanting either!
Felix Martin plays at Sound Control on 7th July. Tickets £6 plus booking fee. Also playing are Disperse and Aeolist.