Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Topias Tiheäsalo


11 May 2007  •  The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead

Topias is an acoustic guitarist from Finland, whose work seems to be more about the excavation of the sound potential of a guitar than it is about technique/ song/ melody.  It’s a kind of intense, structured mining of detail, in which sound events are placed in silence (maybe it’s truer to say balanced, or even related by silence?) that give weight to and counter their effect, creating a kind of contemplative harmony of events.

Perhaps it’s what might have resulted from a Derek Bailey/ Taku Sugimoto duo? Hung and suspended amidst post-midnight silences, Topias stalks around his guitar, as much interested in the sounding properties of it’s body, bridge or fretboard as he is in the strings, which when they are struck, aren’t really struck as much as strangled; half-melodies, whisper quiet harmonics and accidental thrums clattered out in dead-time.  His first solo CD, released early this year, is one of the freshest sounding, oft spun of the year so far, round our house at least.