I was excited to receive Butterfly Dream and Other Guitar Works, the debut guitar album by Japanese multi-instrumentalist, TOMO. This would be the first work by a Japanese player I’ve written about; I was curious to hear how TOMO’s technique and approach to composition might vary from his American and European counterparts.
That being said, TOMO is no stranger to American guitar traditions, having lived in Missouri during his teens, where he learned finger picking and absorbed a variety of pre-war musical styles. He cites a long list of American guitarists and composers as influences, in addition to Medieval and Renaissance lutists, Hawaiian slack-key players, Middle Eastern and Indian instrumentalists, all of which are paid homage on Butterfly Dream. Continue reading