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- with Malagasy guitar-plucking at heart

This is one of the most long-standing legends in the world of musicianship, but still: When Claude Teta made his first acquaintance with a guitar – its body, frets and nylon strings – at the age of thirteen, he fell hopelessly in love. And even though the social realities of Madagascar have dictated otherwise for professional musicians, his love has not yet abated. This is reflected clearly in his music, and the interaction between him and his guitar is an extraordinary thing to behold.

The 46-year-old is deeply inspired by tsapiky, the musical genre that was the soundtrack to his childhood and adolescence on the south coast of Madagascar. This style primarily involves being anything but modest on the guitar. Thoroughbred tsapiky musicians are reputed to turn their amplifiers up to the proverbial eleven, but Teta is more concerned with the dynamics of guitar playing: Energetic melodies and percussive rhythms stream forth from his nerdy finger-picking. In other words, Teta and his faithful guitar are capable of filling a musical space that otherwise would require two or three performers.


Text: Kim Klev

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