Ian Ethan

Ian Ethan

 Hyde Park, Vermont, USA

Employing a wide array of highly-innovative playing techniques that take full advantage of 18 strings and two fretboards, Ethan is one of a select few musicians worldwide--and possibly the most inventive--to thoroughly explore the musical potential of the Acoustic Double-Neck Guitar.


Acoustic Double-Neck Guitarist Ian Ethan's new album "Into Open Land" is an exploration of the largely untraversed musical territory that this unique 18-string instrument provides access to.

Unveiling the true musical potential of an instrument that has previously seen little serious use as more than a stage prop, the Vermont artist employs a wide variety of highly-innovative playing techniques that take full advantage of 18 strings, two fretboards, and his experience as a drummer, bassist, pianist, and composer.

The nine-part musical whole of "Into Open Land", more than simply validating the use of the instrument, is the beginning of an epic journey through pristine worlds that present to the alert and engaged listener countless intriguing gems of fresh insight and inspiring, expansive views of reality as something tangibly deeper and more infinite than our physical surroundings.

Solo pieces such as "Appalachia By Air" and "North By Northeast / One Straight Line" simultaneously intertwine drumset-like percussive ideas and groovy bass lines with inventive melodies and counter-melodies, always supported by a rich, colorful, three-dimensional harmonic context.

Meanwhile "band" tracks such as "Fourth Corner" and "Call of the Hill" (featuring Ethan's overdubbed self-accompaniment on drumset, electric bass, percussion, and multiple double-necks) present an even more powerful and complete view of these highly detailed, multi-layered compositions.

Tying the whole album together is an unpretentious and consistently adventurous spirit that steers clear altogether of "The Road Less Traveled" and heads straight out into open land, where one has the freedom to explore and discover without limits.


"Simply Amazing...I feel like I am witnessing something that's brand new. I'm not aware of anyone that's doing anything like this." - Mark Michaelis, WGDR / Goddard Radio, Plainfield, VT

"Ian Ethan represents something so new in musical approach, that the result is near impossible to pigeon hole into a 'sounds like' statement. It has been my personal privilege to observe his unwavering and deep exploration of this new technique and on a relatively rare instrument...the original music of Ian Ethan is not to be missed." - Emmy-Winning Composer / Producer Peter Bruce Wilder

"Ian's music is phenomenal - watching him play is not 'listening to music' . . . it's a full mind experience. Transporting." - Alyce L., music fan from CA.

"Breathtaking and magical. A messanger through music..." - Patricia A., a fan from CA.

Past Performances (Selected)

-Bistro In Vivo, Montreal, Canada
-Blue Six Center, San Francisco CA
-Pacific Fine Arts Festival, Squaw Valley CA
-Milkboy Acoustic Cafe, Philadelphia PA
-Mass. Power Shift 2008, Boston MA
-Lafayette Church, St. Louis MO
-Principia College, Elsah IL
-Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry NH
-KOSA Music Festival, Johnson VT
-Vermont SolarFest, Tinmouth VT
-Northwest Guitars Concert Series, Seattle WA
-Caffe Mela, Wenatchee WA
-Mandolin Cafe, Tacoma WA
-Pegasus Coffee House, Bainbridge Island WA
-Northeast Climate Change Conference, Boston MA
-The Lily Pad, Boston MA
-Itasca Community College, Grand Rapids MN
-Hip House Cooperative, Berkley, CA
-Om Shan's Teahouse, San Francisco, CA
-Studio 99, Nashua NH
-"The Church", San Anselmo CA
-Trio Winebar, Truckee CA
-Principia Upper School, St. Louis MO
-Red Bird Kaffi, Leavenworth WA
-Brewed Awakenings, Grand Rapids MN
-River Arts, Morrisville VT
-Longyear Museum, Boston MA
-Private House Concert, Fairfax CA
-Fifty-Fifty Brewing Co., Truckee CA
-For Goodness Sake, Truckee CA
-Blue Agave, Tahoe City CA
-Camps Newfound/Owatonna, Harrison ME
-Quaggy Joe's, Presque Isle ME
-Riddle Tavern @ Buckley's, Merrimack NH
-Michael Timothy's, Nashua NH
-Fat Cat Cafe, Tahoe City CA
-Center For Spiritual Living, Tahoe City CA
-The Cider House, Waterbury VT
-All Fired Up, Barre VT
-Baxter's @ Northstar, Truckee CA
-Stowe Coffee House, Stowe VT
-Dr. John C. Page School, West Newbury MA
-Dragonfly, Truckee CA
-The Bee's Knees, Morrisville VT
-La Brioche, Montpelier VT
-Langdon Street Cafe, Montpelier VT
-Nectar's, Burlington VT
-On The Rise, Richmond VT
-2nd Congregational Church concert series, Hyde Park VT
-22 Bistro, Squaw Valley CA -Sesko Art Gallery, Truckee CA

Radio and Television Performances:

-GMATV television feature, Morrisville VT
-WTCC-FM Springfield MA
-KAXE-FM Grand Rapids MN
-WGDR-FM, Plainfield VT
-WLVB-FM, Morrisville VT


"Into Open Land" Album Liner Notes by Ian Ethan

Written By: Ian Ethan

My strong conviction is that in reality, music cannot be “owned” by us to give to someone, or defined by us to say that it is “about” some other thing; the truth is that it simply IS What it is, and what it IS is pure meaning, eternally true, infinitely important, having depth and dimension beyond any measurement; it is entirely complete and completely specific and has no equivalent translation in English or in any other language other than music.

This means that the
underlying message or meaning of any musical idea is there for anyone and everyone to feel deeply
and understand thoroughly, and my hope and goal is to convey that meaning (of each musical
idea I come across and work to uncover, or what a lot of people would call “composing”) as clearly and completely and accurately as possible, so that as many others as possible can see it/feel it/recognize and understand and love it with me.

While that sharing and discovery and recognition is by far the most important, and I don’t feel I am
in a position to “give” the real substance of these musical ideas to anyone since I don’t own them any more than anyone else, I do very much want to give what I do have to give--the work that went into this album and the desire to share it--to the many people who I will be thanking for the rest of my life, whether I’ve met (or will meet) them all or not. In that sense, this is:

For My Parents,
For All Those Who Have Helped Me Along The Way,
For Everyone In Every Time and Place, Compelled By Curiosity or Purpose
To Step Off of the Road and Explore What Hasn’t Been Explored Before,
To Try To See And Understand And Love What Is There.

In listening and discovering, I hope that this proves to be as rich and rewarding a journey for you as
it has been for me so far, in these first few steps.


"Into Open Land" (full-length CD, August 2008)

Set List

Set lengths of up to 3 hours are possible, and consist of all-original instrumental music performed on the double-neck guitar as well as a few pieces on the African kalimba.