Erik Visser´s One Man Parade

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Erik Visser Erik Visser is undoubtedly one of Holland's most acclaimed acoustic guitarists, but 'One Man Parade' is Erik's first solo production. Over the past 25 years he has been working on theatre productions with his band Flairck; the group released 20 albums and played nearly 2000 concerts in all corners of the globe. Until now there has been little time for his solo work, but now, 40 years after he started to play the guitar, Erik will realise his long-term ambition to concentrate on the art of acoustic solo guitar playing.

The recent release of 'One Man Parade' demonstrates Erik's skill and diversity as a musician. On the album he plays 6, 8 and 12 string guitars as well as the unique resonance guitar. He plays both his own compositions, as well as arrangements of music you would not expect to hear on guitar. Erik lived in Ireland for many years, and this is reflected in the striking Irish instrumentals which can be heard on the album.

Erik has recently started the 'One Man Parade' tour, and each concert incorporates anecdotes and stories about the significance of the pieces. 'One Man Parade' is not only a great guitar performance, but also a personal and humorous story.

Further information, press kits, photo material and CD's, are available from:

Gramserweg 47F
3711 AT Austerlitz
Tel. + 31343493067
Fax. + 3434493256
Internet and


CD booklet

Erik Visser It is over 40 years since I took my first (rhythm) guitar lessons in the village pub in Ulvenhout, in the south of Holland. Shortly after, I began studying classical guitar with Ben Ludemann, now a well known Dutch musician and a great teacher. Many years later I travelled to Ireland where I came across a different style of playing during the many pub music sessions I attended. I fell in with a large group of musicians that scoured the country looking for places to play.

I always planned to record a solo album, however since my Irish busking days I have been working with the group Flairck; the last 25 years have brought 20 albums, nearly 2000 concerts, and little time to concentrate on solo work. Flairck decided to celebrate its silver jubilee by taking a break, which has allowed me to re-focus on where it all began: the guitar. I have lived in both Ireland and the Netherlands and this album clearly reflects both of these contexts.

Ironically I found it took much longer to create an album with one musician than with many. When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers!

  1. Mister O'Connor is a variation on a melody written by the Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) in the days when the Dutch William of Orange drove the Irish from their land.
  2. Lios na Banriona (Fort of the Fairy Queen) is an arrangement of a tune written by the Irish fiddler Nollaig Casey and called after her town land in County Cork in the south of Ireland.
  3. The blind O'Carolan travelled by horse, armed with his harp, and wrote music for all occasions. It is no longer known who he wrote Separation of Soul and Body for, but the opportunity to perform this elegy must have arisen regularly. Carolan's Concerto, his most well known melody, draws on both Irish traditional music and the Italian style of Corelli and Geminiani, which was popular in Dublin at the time.
  4. The Crossing describes a voyage from an Irish harbour to the continent on the other side of the Atlantic. The traditional music the Irish brought with them influenced the hillbilly and bluegrass music of North America.
  5. Lola was written for the special 'white voice' singer Natalia Rogalski. She recorded it but no longer sings it, so Lola developed into a guitar solo.
  6. The Spell is Broken is a composition by Paul Pleijsier, a Dutch classical guitarist. A small part of a well known psalm is used in the middle of this piece. We have some free CD's for anyone who can identify the psalm, email us at!
  7. Aoife (Eve) was written for the birth of the daughter of the Irish singer Mary Coughlan. Originally intended as a guitar solo, different versions were recorded by Flairck. On this album the piece reverts to its original form, and is recorded for the first time as a solo piece (on the 12 string resonance guitar, which features extra resonance strings on a separate neck).
  8. Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme was written by J.S. Bach for orchestra and choir. I spent quite some time arranging the orchestral part for guitar and then attempted to simultaneously play the choral part on a mouth organ (Bob Dylan style). It didn't work out, so harmonica player Hermine Deurloo plays the only overdub on this CD.
  9. The Park was written for songwriter Dorine Wiersma who used it for her song "Ik ga met een bocht om je heen" ("I avoid you"), which we have both performed. This is the original instrumental version.
  10. Morgan Magan is based on a melody attributed to Turlough O'Carolan and was dedicated to a man from County Westmeath, in the Irish midlands. All we now know is that he died in 1738 and may have had a daughter called Molly Magan.
  11. The Canals of Amsterdam was written in 1956 by Peter Shott, a pseudonym for the Dutch composer Pieter Goemans, who died in 2004. Nobody really knows why he hid from his most famous composition. This arrangement is played on the resonance guitar.
  12. Hooked is about the phenomenon of desperately wanting something, but when you eventually get it, it's a disappointment. This concept of anti-climax is well known in angling terms; it also holds resonance for human relationships.
  13. Princess Royal is a variation on a tune attributed to Turlough O'Carolan. He is supposed to have written the melody for 'McDermot's daughter, Princess Royal of Coolavin', however researchers claim that this 17th century girl can not be traced in the archives. This composition for an illegitimate Irish princess is played on the resonance guitar.
  14. Antoinette is written for Antoinette Hensey, mother of most of my children (and Medb!). It is played on the 8 string guitar, a hybrid of a normal guitar and a bass guitar, the 2 highest bass strings overlapping with the 2 lowest guitar strings.
  15. Stars and Stripes is a well known military march by American composer J. P. Sousa. The principle melody has been adapted many times all over the world. Though not an obvious choice for the guitar, here is one more version to end this CD!

Erik Visser plays a 6-string guitar built by Bert Kwakkel (1983), an 8-string guitar built by Theo Scharpach (1992), and a 12-string resonance guitar built by Bert Kwakkel (1984). He plays one guitar at a time, there are no overdubs except for the mouth organ on track 9, played by Hermine Deurloo. Erik Visser uses d'Addario strings and Schertler amplification.

Produced and mastered (48 bit-96Khz) by Erik Visser, Austerlitz, Holland, 2004.
Photography by Laurent Hayvel, Paris (front) and Frank Miller, Dublin (inside back).
Other photography, text, translations and layout by Erik, Tom and Anna Visser.

Thanks: Arianne den Oudsten, Piet Zweers, Tom Visser, Rene van Kuik, Janek Horzinek, Marcel Kramer and Baby Records, Etienne de Smet and De Jazzwinkel, Herman Pouderoyen, Eva Mulder, Tjeerd Westerterp, Wim Witteman, Jan Breunesse, Mats en Rianne Goedknegt and the Guitar Academy of Austerlitz.

Guitar parts and booking information available:


Biography Erik Visser

Erik Visser was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, however the Visser family moved back to Holland when Erik was just three years old. He grew up in the south of Holland, close to the Belgian border. He started guitar lessons when he was nine in the local village pub using his father's old jazz guitar. A year later Erik began guitar lessons with classical guitarist Benny Ludemann and played in a mandoline orchestra conducted by his teacher.

Erik left school in 1970 and studied architecture at the University of Delft until 1975. During this period he started a band called Golliwogg, and toured with other musicians. During an Irish tour with Irish-American singer Coleen Kelly, Erik met Antoinette Hensey. Antoinette and Erik married in 1977 and moved to Holland where they had two children, Anna and Tom.

Between 1977 and 1982 Erik studied musical theory and composition with Wim Witteman of the Conservatory of Utrecht.

In 1978 he established the group Flairck with his brother Hans, flautist Peter Weekers and violinist Judy Schomper. The group quickly became successful and Erik, who had by then moved back to Ireland, toured all over the world with the band.

In 1985 Erik Visser wrote and produced the album "Tired and Emotional" for the Irish singer Mary Coughlan, who became very successful in Ireland and internationally. He worked with Mary on six further albums. Erik has also produced for Gavin Friday and several Dutch artists including the young gipsy band Basily.

Flairck remained the most important initiative in Erik's career and over the last 25 years he has been both the musical and organisational director of the group, which has played nearly 2000 concerts and released 20 albums.

Erik's first musical influences were classical (guitar) music and sixties pop music. Later he became interested in traditional music from different parts of the world, particularly Celtic folk music; he has long mourned the lack of a Dutch traditional music. Having travelled widely Erik has been exposed to a wide variety of musical instruments, and has collected and studied many of these, including the Indian sitar (which he tried to introduce into Irish folk music), the Greek bouzouki, the English dulcimer, the American banjo, the Chinese pipa, the south American charango and the Turkish saz. Erik has been primarily interested in acoustic instruments and owns a collection of over 60 instruments including a complete Indonesian gamelan, a copy of a medieval hurdygurdy-organ, a glassharmonica, theremin, viola da gamba, harpsichord and many 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 24 guitars and other stringed instruments.

Influenced by east European folk music, and modern classical composers such as Stravinsky and Bartok, Erik often incorporates uneven rhythmical patterns in his compositions. His melodic lines and harmonies are reminiscent of classical and traditional European music. His longer compositions such as the violin concerto "Variations on a Lady" and the guitar concerto "Fight with the Angel" are often classically structured. He has also written several large compositions with 'film-like' themes, which have been used in Flairck's theatre productions, such as The Parade, The Golden Age, Chambers, and Circus Hieronymus Bossch.

Erik also made arrangements of traditional melodies from Lebanon (Arabesques), Ireland, Chile, Belgium, Israel and Japan, as well as arrangements of classical works of Bach, Händel and Vivaldi. He has written music for five short films, as well as the music for an opera which tells the story of the last 100 years of Dutch history.

Erik has composed songs and music for a number of artists including George Moustaki, Maggy Reilly, Mary Coughlan, Herman van Veen, Ramses Shaffy, Alexandra van Marken, and Natalia Rogalski. Dance companies such as Introdans (Holland) and the Idaho Dance Theater (USA), have used his music for ballet productions. He developed the idea of Cuerpos Tocados (music for the human body) for the large Chilean audio visual production Cuerpos Pintados.

Erik has composed numerous solo guitar pieces and in 2003 recorded his first solo album, "One Man Parade". During the 2004-2005 season he will tour Holland with this album. He intends to continue to work as a solo artist, as well as with Flairck, in the future.

Winter 2004


Discography Erik Visser 1978-2003

  • Variations on a Lady, Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • The Lady's Back (Gevecht met de Engel), Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Circus, Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Live in Amsterdam (2LP), Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Flairck and Orchestra (guitarist / composer)
  • Moustaki and Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Bal Masqué, Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Sleight of Hand, Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Encore, Flairck (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • The Emigrant, Flairck (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • Tired and Emotional, Mary Coughlan (composer / producer)
  • Under the Influence, Mary Coughlan (composer / producer)
  • No Man's Land, Coffey and Fitzgerald (producer)
  • Three Originals, Flairck (2CD box containing the first 3 lp's) (guitarist / composer)
  • Live in Amsterdam, Flairck (2CD) (guitarist / composer)
  • Flairck and Orchestra (guitarist / composer)
  • Moustaki and Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Bal Masqué, Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Sleight of Hand, Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • The Emigrant, Flairck (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • Alive (2CD), Flairck (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • The Parade (De Optocht), Flairck (guitarist / composer / co-producer)
  • Chambers (Kamers), Flairck (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • Vivo en Chile (2CD) (The Chilean Concerts), Flairck (guitarist / composer / co-producer)
  • The Golden Age (De Gouden Eeuw), Flairck (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • Cuerpos Tocados (Cuerpos Tocados), Flairck (composer / producer)
  • Symphony for the Old World (2CD) (Symfonie van de Oude Wereld) , Flairck (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • Lijf in Concert, Flairck (in preparation)
  • Tired and Emotional, Mary Coughlan (composer / producer)
  • Under the Influence, Mary Coughlan (composer / producer)
  • Sentimental Killers, Mary Coughlan (producer)
  • Live in Galway, Mary Coughlan (producer)
  • After the Fall, Mary Coughlan (producer)
  • Love me or Leave me, Best of Mary Coughlan (co-producer)
  • Love for Sale, Mary Coughlan (producer)
  • Antara, Basily (producer)
  • La Bikina, Basily (producer)
  • Gypsy Dance / Donya, Basily (producer)
  • One Man Parade (Eenmansoptocht), solo cd (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • Circus Hieronymus Bosch, Flairck and Corpus (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • Chambers, Flairck (in preparation)
  • Symphony for the Old World, Flairck (in preparation)
  • Lucia de Moucheron, Flairck (in preparation)
Compilations & sponsor projects CD's
  • Music for the millions: The Best of Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Diamond star collection: The Best of Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Conceptions: Erik Visser en Sylvia Houtzager, (for Tryganon) (guitarist / composer)
  • The Art of Drinking, Flairck (for Martell) (composer / producer)
  • Samen, Flairck en Margriet Eshuis, (for Rabobank) (producer)
  • Het Nieuwe Gezicht, Flairck, (for Rabobank) (composer / producer)
  • De Tijdaffaire (for Rabobank) (composer / producer)
  • House of the King, Flairck (guitarist)
  • Hé, kom aan, Flairck (vocals: Dimitri van Toren) (guitarist)
  • Sofia, Flairck (guitarist / co-composer)
  • Walk upon Dreams, Flairck (vocals: Ankie van der Pas) (guitarist / composer)
  • Trick of the Night, Flairck (vocals: Maggie Reilly) (guitarist)
  • The Trip, Flairck (guitarist / composer)
  • Isabel (guitarist / composer) (private and limited release)
  • Chambers, Flairck (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • Symphony for the Old World, Flairck (guitarist / composer / producer)
  • De Tijdaffaire (voor Rabobank) (composer / producer)
  • Joelfeest (The Carnival Shout), animated film by Thies Poeth (composer)
  • Loc Light Louis, animated film by Thies Poeth (composer)
  • Music for an Owl, animated film by Thies Poeth (composer)
  • A toy for Thieu, animated film by Thies Poeth (composer)
  • A Short Passion Play, animated film by Thies Poeth (composer)
  • Marching Mother Muse, animated film by Thies Poeth (composer)