Playing with Richard Smith

A couple of weeks ago I did some clinics and concerts together with guitar ace Richard Smith. We had some great days together and I definitely hope we’ll hook up again soon to do more of what we just did. Here’s a little something about those days.

Soren Reiff & Ricahrd Smith - copyright@Henrik Delfer
Soren Reiff & Ricahrd Smith – copyright@Henrik Delfer

Meeting Richard Smith

I’ve never met Richard before I picked him up at the airport a few hours before our first clinic the very same day. We had been skyping briefly once the week before, but beside that we have only been in contact by the internet. Kind of interesting starting point when you are supposed to do concerts and clinics without time to rehearse together.

How did we get to connect?

Good question … several years ago I met a nice guitar player, Greg, in a club in L.A. – he was interested in the music I played and we had a nice talk about guitars and music in general. Later we connected on Facebook. When I subsequently posted something about one of my books, he wanted to order it. But after a little emailing back and forth he realized that the book was written in Danish. Greg is from Australia – and as he wrote “my danish is a little rusty” so he dropped the idea of ordering a book. Instead he asked me if I wanted to come to Tasmania, where he lives, to teach – together with Richard Smith, who he highly recommended. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that year, but we are still trying to make it happen in the future. But that’s how Richard and I was “introduced” to each other. I googled Richards name and was totally blown away by his playing when I started to check his music out on youtube and Itunes. Actually the L.A. Chilamonic, one of Richards latest albums, is my favorite album at the time being, when I’m out jogging.

So when Richard some months ago wrote to me that he was coming to visit “my neighbourhood” (Norway), and suggested that we could do something together I didn’t hesitate a second. I instantly started to set up some concerts and clinics for the days we had available.

Soren Reiff & Ricahrd Smith - copyright@Henrik Delfer
Soren Reiff & Ricahrd Smith – copyright@Henrik Delfer

The international language of music

Did the shows go well and did we have a good time? Yes … we had a blast. It’s not often I’m playing together with other guitarists but it’s always fun when it happens. And this time it was absolutely fun to the max. Once again I realized how privileged I am by having the work I have – I mean not only do I think it’s fun to play music … actually I love it – but music is an international language, and if you can play or sing well you can comunicate thru music.

Even though there’s more than 1100 miles between where Richard and I normally live, and even though we have grown up in different countries, we wasn’t thinking about that the moment we started playing. My english is kind of ok, but definitely not my native tongue – but my guitar playing almost is. When we started playing we both skipped thinking and started communicating similar to the way people normally do, but thru music … by listening and playing.

Richard Smith is so inspiring both as a musician and as a human being … and the nicest hang. Of cause we talked lot about the music industry, music, sessions and guitars, but also about life in general. And that’s important … and another gift you get by working with people from all over the world – you get introduced to other ways to handle things, other ways to think and act – and you hear about other cultures – that’s very important.

So all in all … beside having a great time on stage, I had some super great days and I’m really looking forward for working more with Richard in the future.

And once again such days make me aware of how privileged I am – I’m really thankful for having this kind of work, that makes me connect with people from all over the world. I’ve met so many wonderful and inspiring persons thru my work – I truly appreciate that!

Soren Reiff & Ricahrd Smith - copyright@Henrik Delfer
Soren Reiff & Ricahrd Smith – copyright@Henrik Delfer

If you missed the gigs we did this time, I’ll hope to see you next time.

Till then all the very best from me

Soren

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