Von 1968 bis 1971 leistete David Qualey seinen Militärdienst in der US-Armee ab und spielte anschließend bis 1973 in kleinen Clubs in den USA. Im Mai 1973 kam er nach Europa und hat seit langem seinen Lebensmittelpunkt im Weserbergland. Seine erste LP produzierte er bei Stockfisch Records. David Qualey ist ein Vertreter des so genannten Fingerstyle. Das wohl berühmteste Beispielstück heißt „Santa Cruz”. In seinem Buch Only For Guitar finden sich weitere Gitarrenstücke wie zum Beispiel „Opus 20”.
Als Komponist der Gegenwart für klassische Gitarre werden seine Kompositionen in den deutschen Musikschulen und Musikhochschulen akzeptiert und als Musik für klassische Gitarre unterrichtet. Sie eignen sich für fortgeschrittenere Gitarristen. Mittlerweile sind 17 Tonträger veröffentlicht. 1986 wurde „A Winter's Solstice”, ein Gemeinschaftswerk mit anderen Musikern, für den Grammy nominiert und mit der „Goldenen Schallplatte” ausgezeichnet. This is the one and only true biography of David Qualey because yours truly is writing it! I will try and dq 9 years oldkeep this short, but there are a few myths I would like to clear up once and for all such as the story that Iwas a childhood musical genius writing my first guitar pieces at six years of age. That story put out in the internationalmusic press is not true! Or the one says I failed the entrance exam to the music university.
So now on to the true story of the way things really happened! When I look way back in time to my childhood I can see a musical genius..., no, no, no! What I really see is ...a little kid sitting on the couch at our new home in Sacramento, California taking a music talent test from a door to door salesman representing a guitar school that was just opening up in the area. When I'd finished the fellow said I was a natural talent and I soon found myself taking Hawaiian-steel guitar lessons. The year was 1956 and I was 9 years old. About a year later the Palmer family that was running the school had sold most of the students an over-priced steel guitar and amplifier, and figuring no more easy sales were in sight, left town in the middle of the night. dq 10 yrs.
old Although I wasn't particularly keen on learning to play the steel guitar my folks decided I should keep on with lessons being they had just bought one for me. My next teacher was a concert violinist who taught both plectrum guitar and Hawaiian-steel guitar. With her I started to learn plectrum guitar, but my interest in practicing my lessons began to waver and after about a year I was finally able to talk my parents into letting me quit. It was about 1958 then, and the end of my guitar studies, but the beginning of an infatuation.
From that point on I was on my own to learn at my own speed and in my own way! It was sometime in 1957 at a friend's house that I first heard a Chet Atkins record of solo guitar, and boy was I excited, overwhelmed, and frustrated all at the same time! I thought this guy must have 35 fingers and at least three hands! My family finally bought a record player and I was able to buy my first of many Chet records. I used to sit for hours listening to him play the bass, chords and melody ALL at the same time, but unable to figure out how he did it. It wasn't until I was about 14 that I finally saw him play on TV and was able to see for sure that he really had only 10 fingers like myself, and with this visual reassurance by midnight I was playing, more or less, the piece he had just performed on TV. For me the puzzle had been solved and my interest in trying to play pieces of Chet's soon started to fade to be replaced by a desire to try and arrange my own pieces in a solo style.
Somehow the idea of copying something that had already been done did not really interest me once I had understood how it was accomplished. paisley shirtBetween 1962 and 1965 I played electric guitar with a small quartet of school friends. The piano player was a real whiz-kid and taught me a lot about chords and improvising during those three years. Although we started off playing old standards and jazz tunes for adult dances, we soon realised the money was to be made playing rock&roll! The result of our decision to change music directions was that a year later in 1965 we won the "Battle of the Bands" contest at the California State Fair. Shortly after this success though I had had enough and left the group to pluck away again at my solo guitar efforts. In June of 1966 I graduated from High School and started practicing as lead guitarist with a folk-rock group called Fourth and Main, later dq 18yrs old renamed Aerial Landscape, which had big plans, a manager etc., and was getting ready to turn full-time professional in Los Angeles come 1967.
The reason I got the job was that I had been slowly but surely developing my own finger-style electric-guitar playing together with my improvising skills, both of which were not very common back then. In order to keep from being drafted into the Army one had to continue his education, so in September 1967 I enrolled at Sacramento City College. Deciding to be a music major but having had no official formal music education up to this point I was required to take elementary music at college. It was in my Music 101 class that I had the good fortune to meet Dorothy Noonan, a classical pianist and an excellent musician and teacher. At the beginning of the course she asked all of us who played an instrument to bring it along and play something for the class.
I brought along my newly purchased classical guitar and performed my own arrangement of Greensleeves and Girl From Ipanema. A few days later Miss Noonan walked into class, and without saying a word, put an LP on the record player. For the second time in my guitar career I was knocked out! This time though it was not Chet Atkins, but the classical guitar duo of Ida Presti and Alexander Lagoya playing Claire de Lune from Debussey. I had never heard sounds or harmonies that were so beautiful!! As I left class Miss Noonan gave me the LP as a present.
I can still remember sitting all afternoon and into the night in my room in the garage with the lights out playing this piece over and over again. It was on this day that I realised for myself that the most beautiful guitar sound came from the nylon-string guitar and not from the electric guitar which I had been playing for the last 10 years! This was also to be the beginning of yet another frustrating period for my guitar endeavours. Although I began at once to practice etudes and preludes from Carcassi and other composers to try and work my way into the classical guitar field, it soon became clear to me that I would have to pretty much start all over again if I was to really learn how to play this type of music, not only for the technic necessary, but also for the musical understanding. My right-hand technic for example was not what the classical guitarist or academic would call sufficient, especially because I had the nerve to use a thumb pick! After spending quite a bit of time thinking about the idea of discarding most of the work from the last ten years to make these changes, I decided to put aside my classical guitar ambitions.
I have never regretted that decision! Had I gone into classical guitar, I would probably never have written a single piece of music. And I also doubt that I would have had as much fun as I have had up to this point, especially when I see the back-biting jealousies amongst those in the classical guitar scene who do not have the good fortune of being number one in their field! As it is, I have been able to enjoy making music and using my instrument without too many feelings of inadequacey through constant comparison to others. This has helped me to use whatever creative abilities I may have hopefully to the fullest. Back now to my folk-rock group Fourth Main! Well, we practiced hard and made the big move to Los Angeles in Januaryaerial landscape of 1967. I left college to become a full-time musician, but by September of that year I had had enough of the search for stardom.
Even though there was a recording contract with RCA and work on a first LP, there was little money, little success, and even less to eat! By September of 1967 having lost enough weight, I left the group to make another try at studying music. This time it was to be at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. When I enrolled there the head of the music department asked me what instrument I played. When I told him guitar, he informed me that they had no guitar professor with whom I could study.
That was no problem I said, I'd just continue to teach myself as usual. After hearing me play he agreed to go along with my self-help project. Fortunately or unfortunately, I never made it to the diploma because the following summer of 1968 I got drafted into the Army. From September 1968 to September 1971 I did my military service, bought a dog, practiced guitar, and played evenings inlocal wedding cakebars and restaurants. Many of you are probably familiar with my piece "Sylvia's Waltz", well that was the young lady I met at Pacific Lutheran University in 1969, and married in 1970.
She was also the woman who did more than anyone in morally supporting me and my music. During this time I was doing the singer-guitar playing bit because no one wanted to listen to solo-guitar music, and secondly I wasn't good enough to just sit and entertain people alone by just playing my guitar, but I was working at it! (I've always had very, very high standards as to what was good, and before performing pieces in public I had to meet those standards!) As to the repertoire it was either all top-40 songs, or there was no paid work to be had. On my discharge from the military in 1971, I returned to Los Angeles to find an agent for antuxedo official attempt at a professional solo career. After many months of traveling up and down the West Coast of the USA playing in one hotel or casino after another, I asked my agent to find me ajobwhere I didn't have to sing, but could just sit and play guitar.
He told me I was asking the impossible, but did find me ajob playing solo-guitar in an expensive French restaurant in the Desert Inn Hoteland Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. I spent four months there but then quit to go to New York City. This was the summer of 1972. reno in lightsDuring my stay in Las Vegas I'd spoken with a friendliving in New York who had a friendworking at RCA Records. He told me that through this connection it would be possible to get an audition with the company and if I was lucky a recording contract.
The RCA record deal didn't pan out like I wanted, and I had to find some sort of work again, preferably playing guitar. I ended up getting a job playing as house-guitarist at a jazz club called "The Guitar" on the westside of Manhattan. I played five nights a week along with a special bigger name guest guitarist. Although the $100 a week was a joke compared to the $550 a week in Las Vegas, this job turned out to be quite a musical experience for me.
Not only was it fun to finally have a listening crowd, but I was able to see and hear first hand many of the best jazz guitarists in the world, such as Jim Hall, Skeeter Best, and Sam Brown. Every night was a free guitar lesson! In March of 1973 the club closed and I was out of work again. This time though after listening to comments made about the European music scene from American musicians that had been there, Sylvia and I decided to sell our few belongings and head off for the golden streets of Europe! On May 3, 1973, we landed in Luxembourg, with no plans, no return-trip ticket, no foreign language experience, about $1000 in our pocket, and very surprised to find that english was NOT spoken by everyone! We quickly decided at the airport to hitch-hike to Worms, Germany where a school friend of mine was stationed with the US Army. On that same evening we made it to Worms, wet, tired, and wondering whether this had really been such a good idea after all! We bought an old VW for $400, but Sylvia managed to have an accident on our first short trip to Zürich, Switzerland and had to return to my friend's house in Germany.
There we sold the remains of the VW for $50 and bought an old Opel Cadet for $400. Possessions were now down to the car, a two-man tent, a sleeping bag, a guitar, a dog, and less than $100. This rather ill-planned turn of events made it necessary for me to play in the subways of Frankfurt during the summer of 1973. It wasn't much fun, and I didn't seem to be having any luck finding those golden streets of Europe! Luckily the playing on the street didn't last too long and I finally got an offer to play in a British Army folk club for $25 in Verden/Aller in northern Germany.
There were lots of military folk clubs around the area so I decided to stay in Verden for awhile.Syl-Me-Rufus 73 One night while playing in a folk club in Hannover I met Hans Haider, the guitarist and guitar builder who was to be a very big help in getting me started on my solo career in Germany. He invited me to Hamburg to play at OnkelPö's Carnegie Hall, and also arranged to have a radioproducer come along to hear my music. This meeting led to my recording 20 pop arrangements for North German Radio (NDR). Shortly thereafter we left Germany on theboat headed for England using the recording money I had received from NDR.
That NDR actually started playing these tapes in January of 1974 came as a total and complete surprise! We returned to Germany in September of 1974 to take advantage of the radio promotion I was getting there because of these NDR tapes. One of the nicest things to happen then was an offer from Stockfisch Records to make my first LP. I said great, but only using my original compositions! No compromises! The Stockfisch argument was that the radio stations would only play titles that they knew or recognised from known composers. My argument was that if the radio played anything at all from an LP of mine, then it was going to be one of MY compositions, and not a tune of Paul Simon's or Burt Bacharach's! No choices! Although they were paying for the LP production they agreed to let me do it my way.
I don't think either party has ever really regretted the decision.Guitar Solo LP 77 In 1977 I recorded my second LP Guitar Solo with the Sonet Dansk company in Copenhagen, Denmark which was released on Teldec in 1978. After this experience I decided that if I could get the money together I wanted to have my own studio to record. Part of the reason for this studio wish was having freedom to record when I felt like it, and the other was as a kid seeing the pictures of Chet Atkins recording in his own studio at home. By 1980 using the royalties from my second LP I was able to put together my own small recording studio with the help of Stockfisch's recording engineer Günter Pauler, and record my third LP titled Guitar Parables.
The making of this LP was a childhood dream come true. As with many marriages Sylvia and I had our problems. In 1978 we decided to split and got divorced, but fortunately we have remained friends and I will be forever grateful to her for all the support she gave me whenever I was discouraged and down because my music wasn't being accepted. Sometimes after the fact you begin to realise how things really were and also the value certain things or people had in helping to reach certain goals, but unfortunately which you'd probably taken for granted. soliloquy cdIt was in 1979 that Will Ackerman of Windham Hill Records in California heard of my music and wanted to get something of mine out on his new label. He got in touch with me and asked me to rerecorded the pieces from my Stockfisch album Only Guitar, which I did in my new studio, and delivered it personally to him in Palo Alto.
This LP/CD was titled Soliloquy and was to be the one and only complete solo LP/CD of mine with Windham Hill. I was featured on several samplers over the coming years but we just never could agree on the music content for a second LP/CD. Windham Hill had achieved considerable success by the early 80's and had their idea of what type or kind music they wanted to present on their label. Being that my LP's were always a mixture of musical moods, which was my idea and way, I did not like someone else mixing into my LP creations.
I think you get the picture? Ackerman and I just couldn't meet at the same place on the street..., so we just each left it at that. He went on to become a super successful businessman and I remained a guitarist living in Europe. dq 1979Ackerman did ask me though in 1985 if I would re-record my version of J.S.Bach's Jesu, Joy for Windham Hill's upcoming CD Winter's Solstice. He explained that he had heard George Winston playing a piano version of Jesu, Joy and wanted him to record it for the CD, but George said it would be better to record the original version of the arrangement on which his version was based. This original version belonged to yours truly and had been recorded by me on an Octave-guitar for my 1977 LP Guitar Solo.
gold record George and I had toured together in the USA doing some concert work to promote our Windham Hill LP's in the early 80's so he was quite familiar with my work. So now you know how I came to be on the biggest CD/LP seller of the Windham Hill catalog. We all received our Gold Records for over 500,000 sales, and the Grammy Nomination, and if my calculations are anywhere near correct, I think we should shortly be getting our Platinum Record for 1,000,000 sales... BTW, this little piece and arrangement helped pay my rent for many years! Thanks George for your consideration!reflections lp Going back now to 1983 or so I decided to try my hand at some arrangements for guitar with synthesizer and drum machine.
The digital drum machine I built myself from a kit by Dr. Böhm. I spent many a happy hour and a few days counting the stripes on resistors, and the legs of transistors, and am proud to say it functioned perfectly when I turned on the power. With this little machine I attempted to do some drum licks for a couple of my pieces.
This was in the days before synchronisation of drums and tape recorders, etc., and I had my hands full trying to get everything to work together! It turned out to be more work than my interest allowed, and I soon gave up on the idea, but not before I had a couple tracks down which ended up on my 4th LP Reflections with Teldec Records. This LP also contained a couple other overdubs with bass guitar and second guitar. A lot of people found the sound of my drum machine terrible, and it probably was, but I had had my fun trying and as far as I'm concerned the pieces still have a good kick to them, and who cares what the drum sounds like as long as it sounds like a drum, or...? BTW, this LP is no longer in print. awhile ago 1980 LpIn 1985 Teldec decided to bring out an LP with some of my early NDR recordings.
This LP was called AwhileAgo, and is also no longer in print, but don't be disappointed because the entire NDR recordings have now been released in 1997 on Stockfisch Records under the title 3.5 Hours, which is the amount of time I spent in their studios recording the 20 pieces in 1973. Unless forced, I never listen to my own recordings, but after having to hear all those old recordings during the CD remastering I can say without embarrassment that I was positively surprised!3.5 Hours cd In the fall of 1992 I was invited to do a series of concerts in France with 11 guitarists from Central and South America. This turned out to be a great deal of fun because we all shared the same blue house in a small country village in the Elsace province of France. Two of my fellow guitarists, Pablo and Luis from Costa Rica, invited me to come to their country to take part in a guitar festival planned for 1993.
I immediately said yes, and on October 5th I stepped off the plane in San José, Costa Rica to be greeted by my friends. The first concert began the next evening and being I was not yet scheduled to play was sitting quietly in the balcony of the Nacional Teater watching the people enter to take their seats. I had no idea what was about to happen. When she appeared with her shiny long black hair I knew from that moment on I no longer had control of my life...
In January 1994 we were married in San José. As with many decisions of the moment, this one definitely had its difficulties and after several years we separated and were later divorced. It was a sad time but something that had to be done so that life could go on. To go back just a little bit I should mention that it was also during 1992 that I recorded my CD Handmade for Stockfisch Records. Thishandmade cd album went back to my solo guitar roots, no synthesizers, no drums! 1995 brought me back again to recording.
This time it was a call from Stockfisch Records recording engineer, Günter Pauler, asking me whether I would like to make a live digital recording in a renaissance church near Göttingen, Germany using the newest digital 20-bit system. I said I was interested. susana wedding 94 Knowing that I am a procrastinator, he did not give me any time to think it over and said that we would start in two days. I went to the church in the afternoon thinking that we would record over several days, but again he surprised me and said he wanted to do it all in one evening! Man, I didn't even know exactly what I was going to record, let alone do it in one evening, but by midnight we were finished and packed up and on our way home.
A few days later we met again at his mastering studio to make last minute sound adjustments, two or three cuts, and it was finished. I say two or three cuts, because I have always believed that music must be spontaneous, but with spontaneity there will also never be complete perfection. I prefer the live effect, as in a concert, over a cut and splice recording procedure, which tries to make a piece from lots of little perfectly played phrases, which are then glued together. So for those of you that didn't know it before, my CD's are not really edited.
What you hear (on stage) is what you get (on CD)... This CD was titled Blue House in memory of the little blue house in France. begegnung cdIn 1996 I was asked by the State Church of Würtemberg in Stuttgart, Germany to record a CD of hymns which is titled Begegnung, which in English means an encounter. I found the idea interesting provided I had complete musical freedom to do as I liked.
This they agreed to and I proceeded to arrange 11 hymns for guitar which I recorded in my studio. The CD also has a few overdubs with a second or third guitar. No synthesizers! No drums! BTW, during my research in preparing the material I stumbled across a melody that sounded exactly like Morning Has Broken. I was surprised find out that the "ex" Cat Stevens had not written this piece, but that it was an old church hymn from Belgium written in the 1600's. In 2000 I decided it was time to record some of my newer compositions and made a CD called "Time Passing".
The pieces I had been writing over the last 3-4 years. I also pulled a couple of really old songs out of my past, one being the favourite song of my parents "San Antonio Rose", popular in 1946-47 when my folks decided to get married. I followed then in 1947 so I figured it had a bit to do with me too. daheim cdIn 2001 the Lutheran Church of Bavaria asked me to do another recording of church hymns which I released in limited edition called "Daheim - A Light Beyond".
This was used basically for their radio programs. This CD is no longer available. In 2002 I recorded a CD of Christmas songs from different countries which is called "Songs of Christmas" and is still available. I had a lot of fun arranging these pieces and on a couple of them I added a second guitar instead of keeping it to a strict solo guitar arrangement.
In 2004 being the 40th anniversary of the Beatles, I decided to do a CD of solo guitar arrangements of Lennon/McCartney pieces which I called "unBEATabLE Songs", a title Ibeatles cd got from Cornelia Traudt my guitar builder! This recording was a lot of fun and a couple of the pieces have made quite a hit on YouTube, especially "Let It Be". So I have helped put more money into Paul's bottomless pocket, but with his divorce coming up soon he will probably need it. 2004 was also the year I decided to start my own CD company "DQMusic", how original. Main decision was I didn't see any great reason to give half the money to another company in the day and age of the Internet.
Besides, the days of the CD are now numbered since the emergence of downloading, Napster, file-sharing, etc., and I forecast that within the next 5-8 years there won't be anything like a mass-produced CD. Everything will be on servers and you just do the iTunes business of downloading it and burning it on your own computer. The artwork will be included and you shove that through your printer and that's that! So at least for the next couple of years I will hopefully continue this soon to be extinct practice. one way home cdAt the end of 2006 I was again ready to make an original composition CD which I called "One Way Home". The underlying thought was recollections and feelings about being 35 years away from the place where I was born and raised.
Personally I think it is one of my nicest musical productions and the one to which I have the most "personal" connection, in fact I can actually listen to it myself. Normally my CDs are made for others and I never listen to them at all unless forced. This one though is filled with memories. Over the last few years I have become interested in filming and getting some of my pieces and teaching ideas down on digital media. Some of these have found their way onto DVD's and also onto YouTube.
This opens up other roads for discovery and I will continue to see what happens, what ideas turn up, and whether or not I can materialise them Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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