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Alexander Turnquist

Turnquistchair

As an accomplished 12-string guitarist/composer, Alexander Turnquist was naturally alarmed when the ulnar nerve in his left hand seized up in 2013, but after a surgical procedure he gratefully started the process of learning to play guitar again. His recovery was cut short when not long after the surgery he was hospitalized with meningitis. Though his recovery is ongoing, and he continues to struggle with a weakened immune system and memory loss, he was inspired to soldier on, rather than being deterred by his physical struggles.

Turnquist’s latest full-length Flying Fantasy confirms the idea that out of great hardship can come great art. As he wrote the material for the new album it became clear that his sensitivity had sharpened, his empathy magnified, and his sense of purpose blossomed. The unfortunate circumstances he endured ostensibly forced his metamorphosis from a remarkable guitar player to a truly great composer. Much like the butterflies that adorn the album cover, he seems to have changed form and taken flight.

“By embedding both new age and noise-oriented electronic themes into his pastoral pieces, Turnquist unites disparate traditions and ideals, essentially employing sonic counterweights to construct 57 minutes that are as surprisingly dynamic as they are perfectly beautiful.”
PITCHFORK (8.2)
“New York’s Turnquist is masterful. His right hand technique is as orchestral as Nick Drake’s, sending rivulets of steel sadness out across the water, but applied to a minimalist logic with the weight of early Philip Glass or Steve Reich.”
UNCUT

“Turnquist layers his six and twelve string guitar instrumentals with electronic drones, piano and vibes. This first widely available release is a filmic beauty, its chilly pastoralism distinguished by the physicality of his playing.”
MOJO

“…it doesn’t sound like John Fahey or Leo Kottke, it’s something else entirely as it explores the beauty of the instrument without bordering on the twee or the overtly pretty. A good comparison might be Goldmund or Hauschka’s use of prepared piano as the end result is fairly similar, but there’s very little out there exactly like this album, and that’s what makes it so special.”
BOOMKAT

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