Introduction : Bach not Bach (or why Bach?). I basically always tried to avoid having to play any Bach music but privately (and not really very seriously until that point). I had some fugues and toccatas, all the hits, also some Barry Galbraith Transcribed for Guitar Book, and couple other Transcriptions for classical guitar which seemed really for classical guitarists which I'm not. Plus it always felt a bit displaced for me to play piano music on guitar. Bach is probably by very far the most played and known music (beyond the person himself I mean, the musician) in the world. I'm pretty sure in front of Beethoven, Mozart, Michael Jackson and The Beatles or Bob Marley. If you had to name just one person who incarnates music in our civilization since it raised up, it would no question be Bach I guess. With painting, literature and other art forms you would need at least 4,5 names, but Bach is Music.
I was really to pass my way with Bach and literally skip him (in this ongoing early and classical music series I started), until some sort of accident (as often) happened. Couple people somehow called for it now, and I my works lately I totally lost the need to decide what comes next, mostly things happen here as well in some sort of logic I only want to be the employee of. You see even here I try to push the moment I will have to say something about Bach's music (laugh).
To me Bach is somewhere too strong, too much, impossible to reach... but you can still try to play him (paradox is the thing). Bach is also like a magnet who doesn't let you any space (unless you're Glenn Gould or Albert Einstein or etc.). He wins every game, he plays you, In fact its his music plays you and clearly a unique message through this music That I still haven't undercover at all. I feel manipulated when I play Bach (laugh). I really feel he is trying to sell me some ideology, belief, but he is such an incredible architect, artisan, emperor of it that you cannot resist and you soon even stop trying to.
You can say how many times you like that you love it, that he is the master, the best etc. it doesn't change anything to his creation as a fact. Could a too strong genius have an annoying side too? Because whatever I could try to say about my own experience as a sort of ant in front of such a monument, he doesn't listen to at all, he is the Total Master Ninja, he wons each time, no question.
So Ok, I gave up, people asked me for it and I agreed on it and started doing it. Like going naked on a battlefield, and waiting it crushes you any moment. All Included (laugh).
I tried to limit the massacre of my own little practice and routine by selecting vocal music only (as I anyway do in all my early music series, only playing and recording vocal music, leaving aside for now mostly, with only very few isolated exceptions made to some Lute Music or Baroque Guitar Composers). Chorals and some Cantatas, but through all types of pieces (selected parts or complete works like Passions or Magnificat). Didn't you experience with certain unique rare genius players this feeling that there's nothing to learn from them for your own playing, but put down and listen (Django, Hendrix)? I don't play Bach, he has me all.
Noël Akchoté. French guitarist, violinist and producer, born December 7, 1968, in Paris, active in various experimental fields between drone, rock, jazz and contemporary classical music. Also music journalist and author as well as founder (together with Quentin Rollet) of the French avantgarde label Rectangle. Currently running the label Noël Akchoté Downloads. He is the brother of electronic musician SebastiAn.