START DATE: 07/28/2012
# OF MUSICIANS: 20
GUITAR: Martin D-15
END DATE: 01/18/2013
I was going on a 12-day European vacation, and one of my destinations was Finland. I was visiting my friend, Nicole Hjelt. At the time, Nicole was working as a reporter for Radio Vega in Helsinki. She told me if The Acoustic Guitar Project had a story that was relevant to Finland, she would interview me. At the time, there wasn’t a connection. So I thought, lets just start a project in Helsinki. This was less than two weeks before my departure date, and I didn’t know a single musician in Finland. It also meant the Web site would have to be completely redesigned while I was traveling overseas. I had no idea how it was going to come together or if it even could. It was very hectic, but equally exciting time.
Fortunately, I had an amazing guitar named Sophie ready to go. And just as I was starting to wonder, “How am I going to pick the right musician,” Nicole called. She told me she found the perfect person to start Project 02. I didn’t even know she was looking!
When it comes to getting things, Nicole is pretty fearless. She randomly started contacting well known musicians in Finland, and Axel Ehnström replied. Axel represented Finland in 2011 for in Eurovision, the European songwriting competition that is also the highest rated TV show in Europe. And even though Nicole didn’t know him personally, she convinced him to participate. So I brought the guitar named Sophie with me to Europe, and introduced her to Axel. And during the 90 minutes I was there interviewing him, Sophie didn’t leave his hands.
I knew right then that Project 02 was going to be special.