Dennis Schwulst Biography
The German born Guitarist/Composer Dennis R Schwulst was born to a German musical mother and a United States military service man.
From birth Gisela (his mother) massaged his fingers to encourage musical dexterity. Guitar captivated him in the 6th grade and so did the music of the time.
Love of the guitar and practicing grew rapidly. By the time Schwulst was 15 he was teaching up to 50 students a week and maintained that schedule for 22 years. At 16, Schwulst was gigging R & B bars emulating James Brown funk rhythms and Delta blues voicings'. The bandstand became a second home to articulate and to develop his unique voice.
During the summer of 1970 Schwulst heard of four time international classical guitar winner James Youghourtjian who was Andre Segovia's master student. Youghourtjian headed the guitar department at what was the Wisconsin College Conservatory of Music. The school was in it's golden era, ranking it in the top five of music schools in the United States. 100 students could be admitted from around the world and the guitar department would have a handful of those students. Schwulst auditioned and was immediately accepted. After 41/2 years of formal classical, jazz, contemporary composition training with notable professors such as Dr. Barney Childs, Harold Green, Tony King and Dr Vincent McDermott, Schwulst continued to teach both privately and at the college level composing various works that ranged from contemporary to new classical.
The work to be found at the time, consisted of local gigs, recording studio work, teaching and tours. Schwulst has played venues from New York to L.A. Disney world to the Wisconsin north-woods. Notable Classical guitar concerts included Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Goodman Theater), Top of the world orchestra (Disney). Schwulst composed a vinyl album titled "From Me To You" DRS and friends, which is now a collectors album. Recording projects in the 80's ranged from Indian Raga's to a Nashville album with fiddle master Vasser Clemens. The love of Flamenco guitar, Brazilian, Jazz, North Indian, A-Tonal, Blues and at times rock have always captivated Schwulst and his compositions reflect those styles.
In 1986 Schwulst decided to settle down from gigging five nights a week and plant roots in the Kettle Moraine hills of Wisconsin. Other interests evolved such as perennial gardening and copper sculptures. Another album titled "Gourmet Guitar" was released in 1996 and became popular in both the US and Asia. Then in 2001 an other album titled "A vintage Year" again received worldwide inspiring reviews. "It is Art that moves this spirit and the energy of life that makes it possible to create it.
These are the years when everything comes together. The technique, the stripping away of excess, the voice that is finally found."
To date, Schwulst records and performs with his trio "D'Arez". It consists of guitar (Schwulst), cello (John Peter) and percussionist (Don Roberts). Also, Schwulst is highly involved with an on going project called "Natural Path Music" which is a collaboration with the great musician Andy LoDuca (percussion,and keyboard) and Michael Campbell (keyboard). " Natural Path Music" launched in 2012 and is Schwulst's largest body of work to date. A number of these pieces can be heard on the NaturalPathMusic.com web site. This music embodys a lifetime of musical experience and spans multiple genres.
Schwulst embraces acoustic and electric instruments using analog and digital processing. Schwulst has become proficient at pushing base pedals and utilizing musical instrument digital interfacing, Logic daw programs software and pitch to voltage controllers. Schwulst also embraces relaxation techniques while playing an instrument and control exercises such as, impulse articulation, to improve the picking hand.
Schwulst continues to explore new music. In addition to his studio recording he is booked for more than 100 live performances per year.