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Monday, April 19, 2010

Concept and Idiom: composition and guitar

Recently, at the Northwest Guitar Festival, I gave a lecture on my music, tracing my beginnings as a young guitarist, through my discovery and passion for avant-garde and experimental music, whose force – along with the encouragement of my then-teacher, the American composer John Adams – propelled me into full-time composition studies culminating in multiple prizes and a full-time freelance career, that, in 1999 led me back to composing for guitar (after an opera, several symphonies and lots of chamber music & electronic music). During that lecture, I played excerpts from Guacamayo's 11,000th Polemic (No. 1) and showed parallels with passages from my award-winning composition El Reposo del Fuego (for DX7II/TX802 synths & tape) and the guitar quartet PRISMOPHONY which the audience was to hear that same evening. A great deal of interest was generated in this piece, and so I decided to recopy the music and prepare it for publication.

A NEW ONLINE PRESENTATION
I also realized the educational value of the presentation and so have now published it online. You can access it here.

A NEW PUBLICATION
I wrote Guacamayo's 11,000th Polemic (No. 1) in 1985This revolutionary work uses the slide ("bottleneck") on the classical guitar in a way that no piece of music ever had. The music is a mixture of driving rhythm and sliding effects that takes the listener into a sound world that becomes unrecognizable as "guitar." Musique concrète (French electroacoustic music from the mid-20th century that used transformed recorded sounds mixed together in a studio to create life-experience-based poetic music) is a clear influence, along with visitations by the specters of post-spectralism and Nancarrowesque imitation. You can listen to an excerpt here. Watch for an announcement in this space when the publication becomes available for purchase.

Listen to an excerpt from the opening to Guacamayo's 11,000th Polemic (No. 1)


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