Solo Acoustic Guitarist | African and Contemporary | Composer and Performer

Sound of Water Reviews

“an excellent album…of very interesting and arresting music. [Derek Gripper’s] South African roots are never very far away in his own works, and with a fusion of classical, jazz and Brazilian mingled together with challenging rhythms and oft-times complex melodic lines, these originals are, for this reviewer, the cream of the crop…The vocalisations by Gripper throughout most of the programme complements the hypnotic beauty of the guitar playing from this very talented musician” [Steve Marsh, Classical Guitar Magazine, UK]

One of the things that allows Gripper to stand out against the crowd of modern guitarists, are the vast array of sounds that he can draw from the instrument…Gripper is able to transcend the instrument with his performances…Gripper’s ability on the instrument…is absolutely world-class…his voice is so personal, so unique, that it leaps from the speakers and goes beyond the instrument itself.

Gripper also brings a huge amount of intensity and emotional energy to his playing. There is never a note wasted or phrase played that isn’t carefully sculpted to bring out the artist’s full emotional intent for that moment in time…Gripper’s music is full of an energy and drive that is contagious, and that will remain with the listener long after the music has faded from the speakers.

Sound of Water is a remarkable record by Gripper that showcases his extraordinary abilities as a composer, arranger and performer. With such a strong release, it is only a matter of time before Gripper becomes recognized across the globe for his contributions to modern guitar performance and composition.” [Matthew Warnock, Guitar International. Read the full article.]

South African master classical guitarist Derek Gripper’s latest album is an eclectic exploration of sound, the limits of an instrument and the boundaries of our own preconceived notions of melody and harmony…Like all great works, this album requires multiple listens to come to grips with its subtle nuances and complexities but it is a journey worth travelling.” [Dirk Meerkotter, The Big Issue Jan 2012]

“Thoroughly exploring the guitar’s remarkable melodic, harmonic and percussive capabilities, and using a compositional approach that appears to be simultaneously disciplined and free-form, Gripper creates a sound worthy of South Africa’s pluralistic musical landscape.” [Classic Feel Dec/Jan 2011]

“…and I can only say that I am more than a little stunned. You seem to have captured Gismonti’s musical gestures and spirit wonderfully well, surprisingly well. Gismonti for me is one of music’s originals, but your playing has that ‘something’ of his…Your own compositions are wonderful. Brilliant playing, absolutely so.” [Denian Arcoleo, composer]

…an absolute masterpiece. I absolutely love it and haven’t stopped listening to it. your tone, the compositions, the performances make it one of those special timeless albums. well done, its a gem.” [Nibs van der Spy]

“Really great stuff. Derek Gripper has produced something different. Wonderful, big open sound. And tasteful interpretations of some amazing music.” [Tim Panting, reviewer for Classical Guitar Magazine, London]

“very fine production, very good music, including the Gismonti…first class stuff.” Alfonso Montes [Venezuelan composer/guitarist]

“human, insightful, witty & decidedly unpretentious” [Barbie Meyer South African actor]

“Through his eclectic sounds, he reminds us that we have more similarities than differences.” [Sunday Independent]

“delicious” [Seton Hawkins]

“The Sound of Water” is a powerful statement from an artist with a unique vision.” [Gerard Cousins, UK guitarist]

“a sonorous barricade of ingenuity that frequently challenges and asks whether

this can really be a Solo guitar work and leaves us wondering where next he

can take his sound.” [Oliver Barnett, Putumayo]