"I wanted to be...a Landscape" - Artist, Guitarist, Composer
Born 1953 in Saxony in the former GDR SBJ grew up in North- Thuringia at the Southside of the most Northern Mountains in germany.
-The self-- taught person in artwork, acoustic guitar playing, composing was co- founder of WACHOLDER (one of the leading folk- groups in the German East)
-in 1978.- first participations in drawing exhibitions. (my "surrealistic" period...)
-In 1979 SBJ started solo-performances on 6 & 12 string guitars and became one of the innovators and protagonists of the guitar- scene in East- Germany.
-In 1981 "father" of the 1st All- style Guitar Festival of the GDR in Potsdam (before that there were only guitar festivals for classical guitar)
-3 years later direction of an All- style Guitar Festival in Berlin.
-Exhibition series: "I wanted to be a landscape"
-After being initiator and organizer of various projects and festivals, besides holding lectures on acoustic guitar history (with hard collected informations)and besides his concerts and exhibitions, he directed the Berlin Guitar- Centre (1986- 91), was 2nd chairman of ProFolk, the german association for folk- & worldmusic.-In artwork concentration in painting and long series of ink drawings. (see the gallery pages)
His visionary music on steelstring guitar is related to that of the late ROBBIE BASHO ,a raga-style on acoustic guitar, what he calls "Folk-Western Raga",with influences of the old TAKOMA-school (John Fahey, Leo Kottke,Peter Lang, or Ralph Towner, Egberto Gismonti, as well as influences of VINA & SAROD playing techniques, and goes up to very unusual soundexperiments and playing techniques on the acoustic solo guitar, exploring possibilities of the instrument.
In the early 90s, after the wall in Germany was broken, he had a break of nearly 2 years with strong problems in the left hand because of carpal tunnel syndrome. During that time, when Robbie Basho was nearly forgotten, he spent much more time and creativity in his Robbie Basho research, visited Basho's former Berkeley home and other places, asking tons of people tons of questions.
In 1996 he worked for the Fantasy's Robbie Basho -edition "Guitar Soli", writing notes and comments. In the early 2000' he created the Robbie Basho-Archives as a special and (hopefully) growing online resource.
-He works now as a painter, guitarist , composer and free author and lives in Berlin and Thuringia in Germany. Till today there are 15 solo albums released in the USA, Germany, Italy, Australia, Sweden. In 2006 there will be contributions on several compilation albums in Italy, Belgium, USA and new solo records on Locust, Strange Attractors, writing notes for the CD reissue of Robbie Basho's "Venus in Cancer" on Tompkins Square. 2009 the 1st album on vinyl, 'IS', was released by Architects of Harmonic Rooms & Records. The near future will (hopefully)see the release of the complete edition "The Virgin Orchestra No 1", a 3,5 hours project with a never tuned 12 string guitar.
Since several years he's creating larger series of ink drawings, mostly landscapes series "..it is in a very similar way always an excursion into the inside of the outside like in my music." New series include abstract works on paper, "a kind of views into of sounds on paper".
German acoustic guitarist Steffen Basho-Junghans has so convincingly furthered the Takoma-era steel string concepts of John Fahey and Robbie Basho that in his hands the instrument's potential once more feels limitless.
- The Wire -