Guitarist with 18 years professional performing and recording experience. My specialty is classical guitar but I'm also adept at rock, blues, pop and flamenco music. I'm an excellent reader, can quickly learn by ear, and I'm comfortable composing or improvising parts for any project.
I've recorded extensively as a classical guitarist and have released 4 solo and 5 duo albums so far. In addition to solo and chamber music, I've performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Opera in Concert and Tapestry Opera, among others. I've collaborated with numerous artists in pop and rock genres, playing electric and acoustic guitar, and have regularly performed with CineConcerts, recreating film scores live with orchestra.
Along the way I've been fortunate to work with and learn from some great engineers and producers and I use this experience to record high quality guitar tracks from my home studio. I own a variety of excellent guitars, amps, and pedals, and I record into an Apogee Symphony Desktop featuring clear, rich converters.
I love collaborating on music from a variety of genres. I enjoy playing classical, flamenco, rock, blues, funk, and fingerstyle acoustic. If you've got a part written I can learn it quickly and accurately, or I'm happy to compose or improvise a part that fits. I can provide a few options to choose from, and will do revisions until you are completely satisfied with the results. Feel free to get in touch with any questions, and let me know about your project!
Send me a note through the contact button above.
CreditsAllMusic verified credits for Michael Kolk
5 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Michael Kolk
A talented guitarist & a nice person!
Great experience with Michael. He was fast, nice and contributed some great guitar work for my song.
I would highly recommend!!
An amazing experience from start to finish - Michael is a true professional; great communication and delivery.
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Absolute pleasure working with Michael, stoked with how things turned out!
- check_circleVerified (Client)
Awesome experience working with Michael- great material, clear communication, a total pro- highly recommended!
Interview with Michael Kolk
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm quite proud of my two self produced solo recordings, but I'm also really proud of my role in live performances of the film score for Skyfall, which was a very challenging part learned on short notice.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I have a few projects on the go right now - one is a rock collaboration with a great singer who is a friend of mine. I'm also starting to prep a new concert program for my guitar duo for performances in the fall. I'm getting deeper into flamenco music, and also brushing up on my species counterpoint to improve my compositional skills.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To provide guitar tracks that they are 100% happy with.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working with great musicians and composers, and playing a variety of awesome music.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your deadline? Do you have any reference recordings? What type of tone(s) are you looking for?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Give me as clear directions as you can, and help me understand where my guitar parts will fit in the production.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing classical guitar when I was 6. Around 9 or 10 I got into classic rock, especially Jimi Hendrix. I taught myself electric guitar while taking lessons on classical. I played in blues, jazz, and rock bands as a teenager and studied classical guitar at university, earning a master's degree in guitar performance. I met my longtime duo partner (HK Guitar Duo) and we began recording ourselves. I had started learning about recording in high school but it was through our early duo recordings that I figured out the approach to recording classical guitar.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Versatile. I'm very tuned into tone and dynamics. I prefer not to play a million notes, but rather something melodic and musically satisfying.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Josh Homme because his music covers such a wide range of emotions and moods. It's well crafted but it also flat out rocks.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Classical, film scores, rock, pop, singer-songwriter.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I believe I have an ability to understand the mood, or character that a certain piece of music calls for, as well as the variety of expression needed to bring the music to life.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I try to bring emotional engagement, understanding of the big picture, and great tone, rhythm, and feel.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First I listen to the track a few times and try to understand the mood and emotion that needs to be expressed. I'll be reviewing any notes I'm given by the client and try to align with their vision. Then if I have a written out part I'll work out the best fingerings, drill any difficult passages, and when I'm ready, hit record. If I'm asked to come up with something, I'll loop the track and improvise for a while until something emerges that feels right. Then I usually refine the part and do a few takes before comping the best parts to a finished track.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I have a pretty wide variety of influences: on the classical side Julian Bream, Roland Dyens, and SoloDuo (Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli) are some of my favourites. I love the music of Bach, Ravel, Debussy, Brahms, and Rodrigo, among others. I've loved Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin since I was 10 years old. Josh Homme and Queens of the Stone Age are my favourite modern rock artists. Paco de Lucia and Vicente Amigo are incredibly inspiring. I'll stop there because the list could go on and on...
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Guitar recording.