originally publshed at Tinfoil Music
Date: Monday, March 01 2004 @ 14:54:53 GMT
Whether it's his mellow acoustic strains, his intense and screaming electric chops, his intricate compositions, his many seminars & workshops, or his countless published lessons, Baltimore native and GIT graduate Tobias Hurwitz has demonstrated himself to be an independent solo artist and educator of remarkable skill. To put it bluntly, this guy smokes!
Tobias, who carries the Phil Sudo "Zen Guitar" flame higher than all others, works with the National Guitar Workshop, has published articles in Guitar-One, Guitar, and Guitar Player magazines, directs the Day Jams rock music camp, and has authored several books for Alfred Music Publishing.
He has released a solo effort called "Painted Sky" which features amazing feats on guitar, and performs with the duo Falling Water (they have a CD in the works now). Tobias - an endorsee for Ernie Ball, PRS Guitars, and Budda Amps - was praised by Guitar-9: "...a heavy release chock full of spicy guitar licks and subtle jazz influences - definitely a good listen..." (re: "Painted Sky), and "...Get ready to dig into a boat load of cool practice material....Your playing will surely improve as you add these exciting techniques to your arsenal...." (re: "Rock Chops for Guitar" instructional book). Similar, and well-deserved, praise comes from Music Monthly, Fuse, and other publications.
One listen to "Painted Sky" will win over even the casual listener, as it features cool and mystical sounds like "Zen Guitar", rippin' covers (Deep Purple's "Space Truckin'"), electrified classical (Bach's "Invention #8"), and funky original rockers ("Plugged"). I, for one, am eagerly awaiting a new release!
When you visit Tobias' web-site, you'll find TONS of info on seminars, workshops, gigs, and personal causes, as well as several excellent free lessons. You'll also get to listen to excerpts from "Painted Sky" and other cool guitar pieces.
1) What are your current projects?
I have just finished co-authoring "The Book Of Six Strings (The Six-Fold Path Of Zen Guitar)" with Philip Toshio Sudo. This is the long awaited sequel to Sudo's first book, Zen Guitar. It's currently being shopped to major publishers, and should be available soon.
2) How does this (do these) differ from your past work?
I have recorded an album of instrumental rock music called Painted Sky and authored eight instructional books for Alfred Publications in the past, but this is the first philosophy project I have ever been involved with. I should probably point out that it equally features music and Zen philosophy, but this is still rather a departure for me.
3) Do you have one project that you are most proud of as a guitarist?
I'm very proud of my song "Zen Guitar", which is featured on my album, "Painted Sky". I'm also quite pleased with my interpretation of Philip Toshio Sudo's composition, "One Sound One Song", which I performed live on 98 Rock in Baltimore in 2003. An MP-3 of this performance is available at no cost on www.zenguitar.com
My main guitar is a PRS custom 24 and I always use Ernie Ball .009 gauge strings. For everything in Zen Guitar tuning I use my custom shop Carvin 24 fret seven string. This guitar is named Zen 24/7 in honor of Phil's book by the same name. My cabinets are either Budda or Marshall and my amps are Mesa and Marshall. I have a Groove Tubes Trio preamp for the studio as well as a whole lot of Boss and Electroharmonix pedals.
5) Who would you cite as early influences, and who are you favorite new players?
Some of my early influences include Eddie Hazel, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Montoya, Joe Pass, Charlie Byrd, Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, and Joe Satriani. Newer players I like include Phil Sudo, Carl Roa of The Magic Elf, and Dave Martone.
6) Can you give a few tips to aspiring players?
Play the music that you love and never shy away from your influences, no matter how difficult their music might seem.
7) What are your future plans?
I'm currently recording a new EP that will reflect my most recent, and most cutting edge musical ideas. It will contain new original music, a version of "The Flight Of The Bumble Bee", and also some music by Philip Sudo. I am very involved with The Zen Guitar Movement, and am planning to host an annual ZG fest in Baltimore.
8) Thanx for talking to us, Tobias!
Thank you, David.
Keep your eyes peeled for a Tobias Hurwitz give-away contest - featuring FREE autographed CDs and books...and maybe a poster or two!