This week, Nitelife’s roving reporter, Jade Milburn, landed in the tropical paradise of Bali, Indonesia. Who has she discovered for the latest installment of Global Beats?
Of all the places that I have been lucky enough to visit, Bali is truly a picture-perfect place; a lush green and gold tropical paradise, and because of this, tourists are in plentitude on its streets. As Bali is so geographically close to Australia, it’s an especially favourite port-of-call for the ‘down-under’ people. I took advantage of that fact this week by interviewing an Australian guitar player about his musical inspirations.
There was a particularly beautiful moon in Bali this week and a large group of us convened on a rooftop to watch it and relaxed with some good music (you can go up on nearly every rooftop in Bali). Kim, our resident Australian, was churning out great tunes for all of us on his guitar.
Kim was very talented and lifted everyone’s spirits high, so I asked him who his guitar-playing inspirations are? It was here that Kim introduced me to the one-and-only Mr. Andy McKee.
Andy is an American finger style guitar player from Topeka, Kansas. Finger style guitar playing is a method of playing by plucking the strings directly with your fingertips. It is also known as fingerpicking. Andy mastered this technique at an early age, when, unimpressed by his guitar lessons, he decided to teach himself how to play. He has developed a truly uniquely, beautiful style, and has released six solo albums: Nocturne, (2001), Dreamcatcher, (2004), Art of Motion, (2005), Gates of Gnomeria, (2007), Common Ground E.P, (2009), and Joyland, (2010).
Andy has been viewed many times on YouTube by people amazed by his talent, as well as budding fingerpickers who wanted to learn his style. There was a stage where three of his videos were concurrently the three most watched on YouTube.
One of the most beautifully put-together pieces by Andy McKee is ‘Drifting’. In this piece, Andy simultaneously uses the body of the guitar as a percussion instrument, while also playing melodious, flowing music on the strings with his fingertips. It is a musical delight and well worth a watch.
Check out his video for Drifting – and the unique style of fingerpicking that has garnered him 50 million views on YouTube – below.