Michael Manring and Kevin Kastning Release “In Winter”

Michael Manring and Kevin Kastning: In WinterTake two musicians who love to push the boundaries of their respective instruments, put them together, and they still probably won’t sound like the pairing of bassist Michael Manring and guitarist Kevin Kastning. The duo have just released In Winter, a twenty track album offering what Manring describes as “avant garde, improvised music with a mysterious, atmospheric quality.”

The album was recorded in October in New England, inspired by the New England countryside in autumn.

“The hiking trails and forest paths surrounding my house are the perfect places to clear yourself between recording sessions and to find nourishment in nature,” Kastning shares in the album’s liner notes. “I like to do that whenever I’m recording, but the days when Michael was here were ideal for it. The autumns have to be experienced to be believed. And being immersed in that environment while discussing all manner of artistic and philosophical topics with a kindred soul certainly colored what took place back in the studio.”

Manring agrees, adding “that introspective environment made the direction the music would go in seem inevitable even before we began. It was only a matter of finding the right voices for the concept—the different colors. It was like looking at a tree in autumn. If you see it as a single thing it appears to be one color, but if you get up close each leaf is a different color. And then each leaf itself turns out to be a spectrum of colors. We were trying to find all of the different colors that fit into the singular color. It took a while before we felt like it was complete, but we eventually got there.”

The instrumentation on the recording is as unique as the musicians themselves. Manring made use of his Zon Sonus Elite Special bass, Zon Hyperbass and Zon VB-4 bass while Kastning played his 14-string Contraguitar, 12-string Alto guitar in A, Classical guitar and Fretless guitar throughout.

“We have many common musical interests,” Manring said. “A lot of contemporary things, but we are also both into baroque music. For example, I’m a complete Scarlatti fanatic, and of course there’s no getting away from Bach. One of the things we discussed on our walks was the relationship between baroque music and jazz. Kevin also turned me on to some of the great lute composers from that period.”

In Winter is available on CD and digital formats (iTunes and Amazon MP3).

Preview and download In Winter:

In Winter Track List:

  1. Evening Against Sky
  2. Neither Nor Here
  3. Never Said in Rhyme
  4. Solo in Mist
  5. Though Unclosed, Speaking
  6. Unseen Within
  7. First Moment Remembrance
  8. A Distant Path Darkly
  9. Dissolving Floors of Memory
  10. Internal Meanings and the Weight of Cathedrals
  11. A Sense of Drift
  12. Second Moment Remembrance
  13. From a Farther Room
  14. Perpetual in Stillness
  15. Silence Shining Quietly Through
  16. A Certain Slant of Light
  17. In Movement Articulation
  18. Third Moment Remembrance
  19. On Retelling
  20. Invisible True Stars At Daybreak

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Share your thoughts