Thursday, January 31, 2008

On the road: Guitar and Lute Concerts

It's my concert season again. I'm kicking it off with a 'warm up' concert at MTSU on Groundhog Day - Feb. 2 at 8:00 pm in Hinton Music Hall. It's free, come on by.

As usual, I'll be playing an extreme variety of music. As my colleague Doug once mused , I 'go from Flamenco to Renaissance lute.' Yes, and a lot in between.

Since I've been so wrapped up in running and teaching, I'll be playing many of my old favorites and my usual 'out of the ordinary' stuff. For one, Elizabethan dances on the lute. I say 'out of the ordinary' because very few people have seen a lute, let alone heard one played. I was surprised that in a Music Appreciation class of 25+ students I recently played for, not one student could tell me the name of the instrument! Wow. (Pretty amazing since the lute has been depicted prolifically in paintings and sculpture throughout the ages... so much for culture).

I'll also be playing my trademark Rameau variations - Gavotte et Doubles, a French Baroque harpsichord piece that I transcribed for guitar. If you have 7 minutes, listen to this work, it's a lovely piece with a wonderful chord progression that pushes the limits of the idiomatic contrapuntal possibilities of the guitar (and the guitarist too!) . It starts slowly and picks up momentum through the 6 variations, often times sounding like 2 separate instruments playing together. In the same vein, I'll be playing a Scarlatti Sonata in that set.

I'll be starting with 'Delta' - the blues inspired piece by my colleague Roger Hudson and a Flamenco dance called a Farruca from the Spanish Gypsy tradition. Two other Spanish pieces on the program will include the Homage a Tarrega by Joaquin Turina, and the intense and mysterious Invocacion y Danza by J. Rodrigo. In addition to a few standards by Lauro (Four valses) and Barrios (Las Abejas), I'll be playing my arrangements of two pieces by Brazilian Jazz composer, Egberto Gismonti - Palhacho and Frevo.

Here is my full concert schedule.

At Austin Peay in Clarksville, TN, I'll be sharing a concert on 2/6 with the amazing Chet-style guitarist Richard Smith . . . what a privilege. It should be a great night. The only problem is that I have to drive 300 miles to play the next night at Mississippi State. Ugh!

After I get home on Friday night, as threatened, I will finally come out of a 30 year retirement as a sprinter. I am scheduled to run the 55 meter dash in the Middle Tennessee Valentine Invitational Track Meet at Murphy Center on 2/9. This is a definite go! I'll be running against some of the fastest college guys around, less than half my age. Should be a blast.

Talk about extremes ... going from the concert stage performing classical concerts to running a sprint race in a college track meet. Life is very full these days.


Lisa said...

Good Luck with the concert and the sprint race.

Go Giants!!!

Anonymous said...


Tune up, turn in and drop on.

I saw a 15 yo fiddler/songwriter, Kate Lee--from Rochester, NY, last night. She performs with guys my age (and older). Huge talent, I just hope she can handle the treatment.

Let me know if you're "tours" ever bring you to the homeplace.