Aware of my age, an old man or not, my mental growth could continue for another thirty years. However, physically I can see the consequences of growing older. I strive to adapt and use the riches of this phase of life, especially in my musical life. This age asks for contemplation, a slower pace that can only stimulate the deepening and intensity.
Years ago I performed at a restaurant where the Cobra painter Constant was dining next to me. After some persistence on his wife’s part, who asked if her husband could play for me, Constant eventually played ‘Autumn Leaves’ with hands full of signs of arthritis and a hoarse, scratchy voice. Still, after having played the song myself for hundreds of times, that was the moment I finally heard what the song was really about: I felt and saw ‘Autumn Leaves/Les Feuilles Mortes’. It was the experience that the composition was merely a tool for.
‘Gentle Guitar’ is also meant to on the one hand reach the passive consumer/listener with the riches of this guitar repertoire, on the other hand, mainly to serve the amateur guitarists on their search for a new repertoire and introduce them to challenging music in which an experience is to be found.