Breath Guitar

Antonio is the only famous guitar player in the world recognized as professional player of Yamaha G 10 or Breath guitar  (a term he coined himself).

This is also confirmed by the testimonies of two influential musicians: Pino Daniele and Pat Metheny

My concert will be opened by Antonio Onorato, a guitarist from Naples who has even had the blessing of my friend Pat Metheny, who knows a lot about guitarists. He is also a specialist in a strange instrument, a ``breath guitar``, he blows into it and makes it sound incredible.

Pino Daniele / ``Il Mattino`` italian newspaper - July, 29th 1997

He is the only guitarist to use the breath guitar, which offers very unique acoustic results.

Pat Metheny / Interview on ``Corriere della sera`` italian newspaper - June 4th 2002

In his point of view, it is a revolutionary and futuristic instrument, ‘couse this is a guitar in which it’s strength, intensity and dynamics are managed through the breath of the musician, thanks to a breath controller (a mouthpiece similar to that of a breath instrument). Which isn’t usually played with a Plectrum or an arpeggio.

Since this is an instrument which has almost never been explored, (it was produced by Yamaha in early ’90s, but it was early removed from the market, because most part of guitar players could not played it) Antonio had to experiment with new and personal techniques to be able to play and express the best, a true “pioneer of sound” and its full potential. Antonio has often been defined as a Guitarist who has fully reflected the technological era we live in today, thanks to the use of virtual synthesis that enables him to manipulate the sounds by creating new interesting virtual instruments. At the same time retains the characteristics of a traditional instrument that responds to every human physical stress, because it’s blown into, and the breath gives life and humanizes it.

I’ve always tried to find my own voice to express myself through music and that is why I consider myself a researcher of sound and musical language. About fifteen years ago I found this unusual instrument within my hands and I was immediately intrigued. I had the intuition that I had these crazy possibilities. I studied a lot and continue to study it, because it allows me to try unexplored sounds. I have also invented a technique to be able to exploit it to the maximum. Today I’m quite happy because I can play the guitar like a Sax, Trumpet, Flute or a Futuristic Tool which does not exist, in which I can invent myself. I do not understand why no other Guitarist has never tried to use it. Anyway, I’m the only one in the world who plays the “Breath Guitar” on a professional level.

The guitar is played with Guitar Fingerings, but I control the volume and the dynamics of each note with my breath, then I use the tremolo arm for other particular sounds and do not use my right hand to touch the strings. The guitar controls some expanders and the sounds are mixed by a mixer, sometimes 2 or 3 sounds playing together. Some might ask what is the point in playing a sound that sounds like a saxophone, flute etc.. where they already exist. Apart from the fact that the sound of a sax or flute is always mixed with another synthetic sound that adds an extra feature, however using the Guitar Fingerings, I can play sounds that a sax, flute and a trumpet will never do, and this is the thing that fascinates me so much.
(Antonio Onorato).