"In my childhood I was exposed to many different musical styles and genres. I am really a blues player, but, I also love the music of Bach, Beethoven,Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Chopin and Debussy. I wanted to play their classical pieces with a rock sound and attitude. To do that I used the feedback, bends, shakes, falls and dives I stole from my guitar heroes; Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton (early), Robert Fripp, Brian May, Joe Satriani and George Harrison.
I wanted an orchestral sound for the record. I have always admired conductor Leopold Stokowski’s brilliant orchestral arrangements. So I picked out 16 classical pieces and arranged them for guitorchestra in his style. The arrangements adhere note-for-note to the original pieces for piano, small ensemble and orchestra, but give it Stokowski’s yarbles. The one exception is Maria, (She’s So ) Ave, where the arrangement takes a brief journey to Liverpool." - Tone
The recording of much of the album were modeled after the sounds and production techniques from some famous rock tracks; (Whiter Shade of Pale, The Hill of the Skull, God Save the Queen, Wind on Water, She’s so Heavy + Girl, and, 1983…A Merman I Should Turn to Be)
The recording started in 1995. The guitar tracks alone took more than two years to finish. Tone recorded individual multi-tracked parts, one track at a time: first violin, second violin, viola, cello etc. It was an extremely time intensive process. Some pieces have as many as 18 guitars.
Completely exhausted, after two years of work, Tone decided to take some time off. During the first few days of his break his girlfriend ran away with the drummer from his band. Depressed, he became reclusive and withdrew from his friends and bandmates.
Tone contracted pneumonia which went untreated. As a complication he developed pericarditis, an inflammation of the heart lining. This in turn, lead to heart failure.
The project was abandoned with the guitar parts for only 12 of the 16 pieces completed. The masters for those recording were misplaced after Tone’s death. The project took more than 20 years to finally complete. More