About Martin Kirkegaard

About Martin Kirkegaard


Martin Kirkegaard (1976 - ) is a danish contemporary folk musician rooted in the improvisational aspect of the music based on the narrative storytelling. “real music should always have a real story to tell. A story that emanates from the moment of conception” he comments. His melodies and sketches come from the free space between his instrument and himself. Though he comes from a Blues and Jazz background he considered himself a folk musician but draws upon everything he hears. “Don`t box me in” he says. ”The world consists of sounds just waiting to get articulated”. In the light of this his travel to Africa has made a big and lasting impression on him and his way of looking at his instrument. Especially the string instruments of West Africa has inspired his guitarwork quiet a bit. And together with his travel to Scotland and The United States he has gathered a connection (in his mind) between the different folk music of the continents. He believes that every music is connected one way or the other. Of course he has his heroes (Robbie Basho, Ali Farka Toure, Abdullah Ibrahim, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Miles Davis, Ravi Shankar, Albert Ayler ect.) and his favorite patterns and colors but he always try to remodel, disassemble and translate the sounds he hears. On rare occasions he can play a covertune but he prefers to write/create/play everything himself. “It doesn`t fell right to me playing other people`s music. Maybe it is because I know it is not mine. I fell it is some others story that I am telling - it is a kind of an alienation”. Martin also believes in obstructions in music. He considers obstructions as a remedy for creating. And his most significant obstruction must be that he does not work with overdubs. Everything must be played as heard in real time. “That way I can make my music more authentic. I feel that I can be present in the moment on a hole other level. Maybe it is considered “old school” but I like it that way. You know, it is just a man and his instrument – a craftsman in process” he says.

For many years he played in the trio DaFuGa that toured around Denmark for almost 8 years. Since then he has worked as a solo guitarist. In this context he has played concerts in Denmark at museums, festivals, small venues ect. The response has been surprising good (considered the somewhat narrow music genre) and his repeating patterns and almost hypnotic way of playing has left a lasting impression on the audience.    

Tar Gui is his official solo album debut (on vinyl) and consists of 10 pieces for guitar and 2 for banjo. It is an album full of decolorization, beauty spots, open wounds, small animals, love, rashes and other qualities. Here, no robot can hit the real edges of the music. It's music between man and wood.

As he allued with the folk music Martin also believes in the connection between different art forms. "Wether it is painting, writing or playing music it is the same proces of creating you go through" he says. His experience has therefore driven toward the poerty and the shaping of words. He has released two books with poetry on his own label, "Forlaget For Ophobet litteratur" (The Publisher For Accumulated Literature) (see discography).

The interview where done by

Nitram Coltyard, May 2020