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I was born in Pocatello, Idaho but lived most of my life in Maryland. I’ve recently moved back to Idaho and now live in Boise pursuing my career in music among other activities.

I was always musically inclined. There were violin and piano lessons but they didn’t take, although I can still do a few things on the piano. Then when I was about 13 years old my best friend Charles “Buddy” Monnin bought a guitar so naturally I had to get one too.

When it came to musical influences first it was Jim Croce with his partner Maury Muehleisen. Buddy would learn Jim’s part and I would learn Maury’s part. We learned the guitar parts of at least 10 of Croce’s songs including Lovers Cross, These Dreams, Photographs and Memories, Time in a Bottle, Speedball Tucker and Recently. But neither of us could sing very well so it didn’t really go anywhere. We just played the music for ourselves and for our friends. Other influences included “Mississippi” John Hurt, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel and Pink Floyd.

I can sing but I prefer to play instrumentals. However, I’ll usually throw in a couple of vocals to round out my sets when I perform.

It was during my Croce phase that I developed the habit of wanting to learn a guitar part note-for-note. This habit was still prominent when I found a cassette of the Michael Hedges album Breakfast in the Field. I was absolutely blown-away by what I was hearing and my music finally focus. I just had to learn to play like this. This note-for-note habit carried over into my Hedges phase which is probably why my renditions of his songs are almost identical to his.

One of the things that I picked up while learning the Hedges pieces was the string stopping/muting method. I would learn one of his songs and then record it. But then I would wonder why my rendition didn’t sound like his. I eventually figured out what he was doing but then had to basically re-learn all of my songs over again to incorporate this new playing method. I’m so glad I did. This method teaches you to control the duration of the notes being played and it definitely took my guitar playing to the next level.

Over the years I’ve learned 11 of Michael’s songs and do my best to treat each one with the utmost care. I’ve also learned J.S. Bach’s Prelude to Cello Suite #1 which I perform on a harp-guitar (pictured on the CD cover) and is included on my CD. Normally this song is transcribed for guitar in the key of D but because the harp-guitar has the extra base strings, I can play the song in it’s original key of G. I should also note that it was Michael who transcribed and performed the piece for harp-guitar back in the mid 1980’s.

I mostly play on my 1978 Aria but I also have a Tacoma DR55, a Martin D112X1 12-string and a 90 year old Dyer “Symphony” harp-guitar. For more information on harp-guitars please visit Gregg Miner’s wonderful website www.harpguitars.net

A Review From Caustic of Kastwerks Productions:

In a style reminiscent of his key role model Michael Hedges, solo guitarist Kip Martin creates instrumental guitar music which is richly textured and melodically complex. He performs on a number of different guitars including a rather odd looking instrument called the harp-guitar.

A technique junkie, Kip pays careful attention to the stylings and patterns in his music, such that each composition is a carefully crafted sonic tapestry. He acknowledges that his writing process often begins with a single sound or idea which he continues to play with, vary, mutate and deconstruct until the piece sounds complete; one might say that the levels of sound reflect the levels of thought. As a result of this process, the depth and layering of the sounds he creates can be surprising and impressive. He recently finished his first solo album Chasing Hedges.