NOTES about THE aLBUM

 

DREAMS LAID DOWN (2013)

MICHAEL KARMON (b. 1969)

Written in 2012 for ALAN RINEHART, six movements. Alan requested that the music be related to poems by his wife, Janice Notland, from her wonderful collection “Dreams Laid Down.” I chose six poems that alternate between shorter, lighter texts, and longer more serious ones, and the music follows this pattern. It was a real pleasure to work with such wonderful, colorful, evocative, and heartfelt poems, and I’m grateful to Alan and Janice for trusting me with such a personal project.

 

 

VARIATIONES SOBRE UNA TEMA DE JUAN LENNON OP.89

RICHARD GIBSON (b. 1953)

Variaciones sobre un tema de Juan Lennon was written in 2013 as a wedding gift for my daughter Julia. The theme involves a slightly re-harmonised version of the first half of the eponymous song by John Lennon, as recorded on the Beatles’ White Album of 1968. This simple but appealing melodic idea subsequently passes through variations which involve changes of key, shifting from major to minor modes, and the exploration of different harmonisations and techniques such as the use of harmonics. The source material (the eight measures of the original) have been a constant presence in my musical landscape for the past half-century, confirming thereby that sometimes the simplest musical ideas leave the most scope for future development.

 

 

ANCIENT HEROES SUITE

JOHN OLIVER (b.1959)

The Ancient Heroes Suite was commissioned by Alan Rinehart, who suggested I create a whole suite inspired by ancient music after he performed my Pavanas of Milan in Vancouver in 2008. Four of the six pieces directly reference, in the title, the composers whose music inspired them. This music echoes the past through a resonating chamber of the present.

 

 

BEGINNING OF THE DAY

WILLIAM BEAUVAIS (B.1956)

This work began as an improvisation, which then took on a more formal element as it was notated and developed. The first section contains some left hand ostinatos accompanied by harmonics as well as some tunes poised over clave style accompaniments. The concluding section is a vivacious dance in 7/16, which picks up on some of the thematic elements that precede it. Beginning of the Day is dedicated to the commissioner - Alan Rinehart, a long time colleague whose independent attitude and large view of the music world has been an inspiration to me. He was also a very helpful editor for this work.

 

 

SOLILOQUIES AND DREAMS

DAVID GORDON DUKE (b. 1950)

Written for Alan Rinehart, Soliloquies and Dreams consists of seven rather short, very lean pieces I composed in 2003. Having written a few more conventional works for guitar, I very consciously wanted to focus on the clarity and beauty of the guitar’s many colours while avoiding thicker harmonies or elaborate figuration. The pieces alternate between the declamatory and the lyric. The title grew out of that contrast: Dreams, with not always clearly defined melodies and rhythms, and Soliloquies, where the guitar speaks as a actor, musing on ideas and thoughts.

 

 

 

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