My Mari Mäntyläs decacorde disc is like a set of Orphean attributes: belief in the spellbinding power of music, courage to rush headlong into danger, to love contrasts, to act rationally yet at the same time to rely on intuition and spontaneous displays of emotion.
The new decacorde model can be heard in three of the pieces. Jukka Tiensuu wrote Kymmari especially for it, and the same to some extent applies to Pekka Jalkanen’s Nocturne for Insomnia and The Bog Gypsies. The four lowest strings have no frets in this ten-stringed guitar. I developed the instrument in partnership with guitar maker Kauko Liikanen in 2015. In the earlier model I play for the other pieces (also built by Kauko Liikanen, in 2001), there are frets under all the strings. The absence of frets affords both the player and the composer some interesting potential. Glissandos are unhindered and soft, microintervals come naturally and the completely novel touch – the four lowest bass strings being pressed on the fingerboard direct – gives the colour scale of this big guitar instrument a delightful, pizzicato-like hue.