Posted on Uli Jon Roth Facebook page Feb 29 2020
Today is a very special day for me, because it will be the world premiere of my first ever Solo Tour – Interstellar Sky Guitar - which will take us to many countries and will continue for most of this year!
This tour is very exciting for me personally, because it’s going to be the fulfilment of a long held artistic dream of mine. While I have used big screens with projections before sporadically - going as far back as Symphonic Rock For Europe in the early Nineties - I have now produced a whole series of new films which completely match my music in terms of the message and story line of the songs for these concerts.
I have also written over an hours’ worth of completely new music for this tour, which I will perform live for the first time. I’m particularly thrilled about that, because I believe, that these new ones are among the very best things I have come up with to date, and I sincerely hope that you will see it the same way, fingers crossed. I can at least assure you that each and every note came completely from my heart.
We’ve also filmed a promo video yesterday, which we will post very soon, so that you can get an idea of what this show is all about. Both, the promoters, and many of the audience were asking this question about what exactly I will be doing alone on that stage… That’s a very good and reasonable question indeed, and I will explain some of it here.
I really enjoyed producing the films for this tour and they are now a very important part of the whole. It’s also a lot of fun to be surrounded on stage by gigantic hummingbirds, cheetahs, sharks, camel caravans in Egypt, space ships and various amazing places on this planet and beyond.
For me, being on that stage, generates a strange feeling of “surreality”, mixed with intense emotions which are constantly changing. Playing that stuff feels like being inside of an IMAX Theatre 3-D experience while being an active part of the movie at the same time. It feels inspirational and strangely eerie. If you get half as many chills as I get, I’m doing my job right, and I really hope that this will happen. Of course, you never know, and one shouldn’t take anything for granted ever, but once again: fingers crossed...
The Interstellar Sky Guitar show will be a similar experience to going to a cinema in a way. I want you to just sit back, relax and enjoy the journey. No holds barred. All I’m asking of you is come with an open mind, because we’re doing something new here and it is most probably going to be quite different from what you might expect.
It is something which hasn’t been done before in this way, and I would love to have you there with us and be part of the whole thing. Because an audience has the power to make a show more “magical” just by participating mentally and becoming one with the music and the whole experience for an evening. I totally believe in this, in fact – having been on stage for over 50 years now – I KNOW this to be true. Don’t be afraid! This is not going to be like a guitar clinic or some boring solo meandering. This is going to be a real and integrated show and I will play a selection of some of my very best music.
The music which I chose has quite a scope. Most of it was penned by myself, but I am starting off with two pieces by Mozart, whose music I adore, and then we’re going on a real journey, which creates a bridge between several extreme points of the musical spectrum. Ranging from Mozart to Vivaldi over Scorpions, Electric Sun, Sky of Avalon to Hendrix and Bob Dylan and new classical guitar pieces, which I wrote for this tour on my new Flamenco Sky Guitar with nine strings. The program also features more than an hour of completely new music by myself, most of which I wrote especially for this tour and which I am performing for the first time.
Please, wish me luck on this tour and I would love to share this new experience with me, and I really hope to see you in the audience.
Here is a little Blog for those of you who want to know more background info:
Captain’s log, Feb. 28, 2020
I’m writing this on a train from Bremen to Hanover, following our stage rehearsals for the Interstellar Sky Guitar tour, because today happens to be my dear Mom’s 86th birthday and I want to pay her a surprise visit before we drive on to Berlin tonight.
We have just finished ten intense days of stage rehearsals at the amazing old television studio of German TV legend Michael Leckebusch, near Bremen, Germany.
The “rehearsals” for the tour finished yesterday and were successful, although my very skilled and dedicated team of engineers were battling technical problems for most of the time, because we’re putting on a very complex and technically demanding show - by far the most demanding I have ever been involved in - surpassing even the orchestra shows regarding potential head-aches for things that might go wrong or might malfunction.
The overall technical complexity of this project is largely due to the fact that we are doing quite a few things which most probably haven’t been attempted before in this way. So, much of it is a steep learning curve which needed (still needs) some experimentation as to what works and what doesn’t, and to find out what is doable and what isn’t. We’re definitely pushing the envelope here in more ways than one…
The obstacles were formidable and never-ending it seemed; computers were playing up for days as if jinxed, software refused to fall in line, loopers refused to talk to each other, video projectors blew up, projection screens didn’t arrive on time from China due to Corona Virus, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To cut a long story short – the term “rehearsals” was wishful thinking on my behalf; a euphemism at best… Instead, there was very little of playing the music and much waiting around for software to be installed and reinstalled and operating systems blowing up, etc, etc…
Despite valiant attempts on our behalf we didn’t even manage to do four songs from the program at all so far – but I will chance it on stage tomorrow for the premiere, regardless of that - fingers crossed third time in a row… The result of being confronted with all the technical obstacles was that we didn’t even once manage to play through the entire program (!...) That will (hopefully) happen tomorrow in Lübbenau, near Berlin, where we have our first gig when all shall be revealed, hehe.
But – as if by magic, or most probably thanks to prayer - by the last day, we finally had a grip on things rather than the other way round. Knowing how these things work, I’m confident we will bring together all the loose ends during the tour soon, because nothing galvanises the creative juices and concentration more than a series of live gigs.
We still had a lot of fun at the “rehearsals”, although it was pretty exhausting and mentally challenging, and I felt I aged ten years in those ten days due to lack of sleep and an amazing abundance of tenacious obstacles which kept rearing their ugly heads in a prolific never-ending procession from hell.
Thank God, I have a small, but fantastic team of people around me, who are stoically making all sorts of amazing things happen and are never daunted when I come up with new ideas, which, at first glance, seem impossible to implement. And - although I am alone on stage – we are a great team and I couldn’t do this without them. Thank you, Didi, Rob, Boris and Myshel !!!
I’m totally looking forward to these tours, because it is something I have always dreamed of doing, but so far have never really managed to do, meaning a fully integrated multi-media show where music and visuals really complement one another to tell a story.
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