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Interview with Adam Fulara
The Buried Scrolls: Please introduce yourself
- Adam: My name is Adam Fulara. I'm 27. I'm guitar player who uses a two-handed tapping technique.
Now what makes you very special is your "Two Hand Tapping" Technique, what does this mean?
Touch technique (or two-handed tapping) is a way of playing guitar. There are two distinct definitions of touch technique. The first refers to playing with no distortion, using a piano-like attitude: left hand plays background (walking bass lines, chords), and right plays melody, improvisation etc. This is what Stanley Jordan and players, that use Stick or Warr guitars (special guitars designed for touch technique), do.
The second description means playing with distortion, like Eddie Van Halen, but using more that one finger of right hand. This way you can't play piano tunes. It's more like playing special effects in your solos. I don't prefer this kind of tapping.
- What got you started in this specialized way of playing?
Playing Bach's music is my passion. I love counterpoint music since I started to play it on accordion in Music School. Later in 1993 I become a guitar shredder. Three years later in 1996, I saw gig of famous Polish guitar player Partyzant, who was my one and only inspiration in two handed tapping technique, and then I understood that playing counterpoint Bach lines on usual guitar is possible.
- Can you play this technique to a metal style as well as to classical and jazz styles, and if so, what is the result like?
I used to play standard plucking techniques in my metal band before 1998. But it's possible to using two-handed tapping in metal-like playing. Like I said - You can use 8 fingers to play single notes lines, very fast solos etc.
I have another SOUND conception - counterpoint lines with fat jazz-guitar clean sound.
- Please describe your special designed double neck guitar.
What special design features have you made for yourself?
You are asking about my "Portato" guitar. I have to say honestly that that guitar is very special one, is one of a kind. I use to play many custom guitars made by many luthiers but Portato was made by two very special guys - the brothers Krzysztof and Radomil Rek (Rek Handcrafted Electric Guitars http://rekguitars.com/ ) There was one very important thing for my in other words Radomil and Krzysztof are guys who showed my that lathery is a kind of real art.
The Portato guitar is the one that has a soul. The guitars I used to play before were very good quality but they didn't have that special thing. Hmmm.... every guitarist know what I mean.
One more thing. I'm not sure if You know, that in Poland we have the same quality guitars as in the USA but in good prices, because people here earn usually much less many than in the USA (I think something like 5-10 x less), so I have not typical, highest quality guitar, done by my specification (double necked) and it would cost less than 2000 USD. It's impossible in the USA, and in West Europe.
- What have the reviews stated about your playing?
The reviews have started after I had started my internet website. A lot of people from all over the world are interested into this style of playing. There was over 250 000 of visitors since April 2002. Now I have average 330 guests/day (but sometimes even 2000). I think, that a lot of listeners like my playing because it's not typical, even for tappers (other sound of guitar - clean _fat_ and round jazz guitar sound, other articulation (called PORTATO) other instrument, other counterpoint conception of improvising instead of standard walking+improvisation, or chord+improvisation systems).
It really sounds quite different from another tappers music.
- Have you interviewed or got to be with Partyzant, your guitar mentor? Can you please introduce him to our readers.
Partyzant was my ONE And ONLY inspiration in two-handed tapping style of playing. I have heard him twice in 1996 when I was a guitar shredder. I was completely blown up until his playing.
Two or three years ago I have received his private telephone number, I have called, and now we are friends. We will recording together "Contrapunctus 2" from "Kunst der Fuge" (the latest Bach's composition). It's 4 part composition, so I play second and fourth, and Partyzant plays first and third part of the Fuge.
Partyzant has played in many famous rock and blues bands here in Poland. Now Partyzant is playing rock music with his band called "PARADOX!", where he is singing too.
He has other future projects and I'm very proud to join with him in these future recordings.
What is it like to be a musician in Poland?
It's very hard to earn money here as musician. So I have regular job- I'm a teacher in collage (I have graduated Informatics at Wroclaw University). But in Poland people don't have a good income anyway. I earn as a teacher about 200-300 euro per month, and this is not bad here. But I think all the time how to earn money outside Poland as musician. Although it's not easy.
- Where would you like to go with your music in the future? Any future recordings?
Counterpoint - this is What is very important in my music. I'm working on advanced conception of contrapuntal improvisation using two-handed tapping. Thing is that you can play 2 parts simultaneously, but in well organized way. I use traditional improvising methods based on cantus firmus methods (using by J. S. Bach until Baroque period), and bebop methods invented by Charlie Parker. I use these 2 conceptions to make new, another quality of improvisation. At this moment only a few piano players are developing similar methods: for example Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, etc.
With my trio we are working on in now, we have started it one year ago, and now we can play one jazz standard this way. But in the standard we play 3 part improvisation (2 parts with tapping and the third plays by bass player instead of walking). Bass player is also kind of virtuoso: he plays many bass klang-walking lines.
I would like to record whole Bach cycles like Goldberg Variations (I'm working on it now) or "Das Wohltemperierte Klavier".
So: there will be solo recordings of Bach cycles, and also trio recordings with my trio using counterpoint improvisation methods.
- Opinion questions:
What do you think about what faith means? What does Jesus as a person mean to you? Do you see really seen in genuine Christians displaying their beliefs in Poland? What does "religion" mean to you? In Poland is there a "spiritual vacuum" or is the church there able to fill this?
To answer ALL of these questions:
I believe in God. I'm a Christian like most of people in my country. I do my best to be in church on Sunday, like a lot of people here.
But also a lot of young people don't believe in God here. This kind of style of belief came from WesternEurope. I think this is not good, because people start to believe in money. It's more kinda like a style of consumer popularity.
Also I realize, that a lot of people who go to church every Sunday and also commit a lot sins in their life (like me). Nobody is perfect, but we should work at it.