Aaron’s Fall Concert Schedule

See Aaron’s Fall Newsletter!

http://createsend.com/t/y-B9ACD42E1FA6369B

American Record Guide: REVIEW John. Cage. Guitar

CAGE: A Room; 3 Easy Pieces; Dream; 6 Melodies; In a Landscape+

Aaron Larget-Caplan, Adam Levin, g; Sharan Leventhal, v

Stone 8083—54 minutes

Aaron Larget-Caplin and Sharan Leventhal both live in my neck of the woods, the north- east—possibly Mr Levin too. Noting that Cage never wrote for the guitar, Larget-Caplin has resolved to make some suitable arrangements of his piano music, which have been issued by Cage’s publisher, CF Peters. They are very effective, though from time to time I miss the resonance of the piano. The best performances are of the 6 Melodies; Larget-Caplan and Leventhal seem to bring a degree of expression and nuance to the music missing in the earlier solo pieces here. But in the marvelous arrangement of Bacchanale, for two prepared guitars, the raucous sounds of the instruments work very well for this exuberant work. The recording sounds a little harsh to me—as if the microphones are too close to the instruments—but that might appeal to listeners who like their CDs to have a little crossover appeal.

HASKINS
p. 83, April 2019

Let Him Fall in the Globe

Regarding being quoted by The Boston Globe for its article on Placido Domingo, it came as quite a morning surprise to see my tweets in the headline and article. Though I don’t own the tweets, I do stand by my words 100%.

I am a classical guitarist with little reach or influence in the opera world, let alone a star of PD’s magnitude. That said, the behavior described by the brave women, and that of many other “professionals” in the classical music field is abhorrent. The sense of entitlement is sickening and the hero worship needs to stop.

Times have not changed. It has been and will continue to be bad to harass someone for sex in all walks of life.

Being a great artist should not allow for abusive behavior. I truly believe being a great person and great artist is possible.

I find two things extremely sad about all of this:
1 – Music, the thing PD says feeds his soul and is the meaning of his life, was not enough for him; he needed power over others.
2 – The idea of how many great artists were lost because he made sure the door closed for them.

Lastly, it was not a great article by the globe. Because of my tweets I was emailed by Andersen yesterday asking to comment further. I stated I had no direct experience with PD, and am a classical guitarist with little interaction in the opera world. I was not informed of the article nor of the use of my tweets. Again, I stand by them, but I do think the Boston Globe can do better.

Complete article: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/08/13/let-him-fall-hub-classical-guitarist-unloads-placido-domingo-wake-allegations/lRjDgKgFkUKRjXWe1IgreI/story.html?

You can view my full response on fb: www.Facebook.com/aaronlcguitar 

French Award, ARTS–SCIENCES–LETTRES

I am very excited to announce that I have been awarded the Médaille D’Etain (Pewter Medal) from the Socièté Académique Arts-Sciences-Lettres de France.

This is an award with over 100 years of history given to those who have demonstrated success in the Arts at the highest of quality. Not being a French citizen, as of yet, this is quite an honor. I was selected last fall by French painter Dominique Boutaud, who is a USA Representative of the Arts-Sciences-Lettres, and in February I submitted a portfolio about my musical life. It was an immense project taking most of January to prepare and weighing in at 7lbs!

The process of collecting and reflecting on the last 15+ years of my musical life was extremely rewarding. I was reminded of so many wonderful collaborations, travels, and exciting people in my life because of music. Also, I have done a lot! It is easy to get caught only looking forward in an art that is, for the most part, ephemeral. This was a gift I did not expect, but needed.

I am extremely grateful to the many composers who have entrusted me with their creations. Your encouragement and artistic honesty continues to inspire me daily.

There is an awards ceremony in Paris on June 22nd hosted by the ARTS-SCIENCES-LETTRES society at the Hotel Inter Continental, during which the diplomas and awards are given to the recipients. Diplomas of Medal of Platinum, Gold, Vermeil, Silver, Pewter and Bronze, awarded by the Superior Commission of the Rewards.

A lovely side note. I learned recently that Monaco artist Claude Gauthier has won multiple medals from ASL. You may recognize his work as the cover art on my first CD: Tracing a wheel on water.

Other US winners include:
Intermedia artist C. M. Judge
Chreogorapher & Dancer Amanda Whitworth

If you would like to learn more about ASL please visit: https://www.arts-sciences-lettres.fr/

Meet the Artists: Katherine & Robert Bender

I met the Bender Family at the 2011 Guitar Foundation of America where I gave a lesson to Kenneth, son of Robert and Katherine. Beyond the obvious talent Kenneth possessed, I found Robert to be very talented with the camera and a wonderful guy to talk to.

I visited and stayed with them in 2012 on a run of southern California concerts. Catherine joined me the following New Years for an excellent adventure of music, BBQ and friendship. The painting at right was done in 2012. I love the energy, vivid colors, and my Spock-like ears!! (Better to hear the timbres!). Hands, waves, love…what else. They also have two large puppies, who are always on hand for music on the guitar .

The husband and wife duo also do some beautiful ceramic work. As a thank you for teaching, I received a gift from Kenneth that hangs on my music wall. We have other works by them. As I get a pictures I will add them to this post.

Check out their work at Karob Studios, and visit when in Southern California!

¡Viva las Artistas!

Review: John. Cage. Guitar – Classical Guitar Magazine

John. Cage. Guitar.
Aaron Larget-Caplan (guitar and prepared guitar) 
with Sharan Leventhal (violin) and Adam Levin (prepared guitar)
Stone Records

Ear-opening Cage on guitar

One scenario I yearn to witness is a quiz-master demolishing an other wise unassailable contestant by asking him to name a work by John Cage, other than 4’33”. Possible answers are numerous, but known only to those who’ve done their homework. What Cage apparently didn’t do was compose for guitar, leaving a gap that is definitively filled by this ear-opening release from American guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan.

Drawing on Cage’s catalog for piano and prepared piano, Larget-Caplan eases the listener into the proceedings with the hypnotic soundscape of A Room, the word “minimalist” being invoked for a second time in the performer’s notes, alongside a disclaimer that “Cage did not use the term.” Whatever the genre, the two-part textures have a transparency ideally suited to the guitar. This is enhanced by Larget-Caplan’s tidy and understated playing, the feeling of brightness and focus well-captured by engineer Steve Hunt. Likewise Three Easy Pieces, in which the tonal/modal language prompts Larget-Caplan to suggest the first two pieces “could easily be mistaken for 19th century guitar compositions.” Few are likely to confuse Cage with Carulli, but the comparison is not without merit.

As the album progresses, occasional sharp edges emerge, most notably in the deliciously noisy Bacchanale, arranged for two prepared guitars. However, anyone hoping this CD will perpetuate the false image of Cage as merely a purveyor of the impenetrable will leave empty-handed. —Paul Fowles

Classical Guitar Magazine, Spring 2019, P. 67

 

Review: John. Cage. Guitar. – THE ARTS FUSE

John Cage on guitar? Why not? Though the American maverick never wrote explicitly for the instrument, some of his early piano music was adaptable enough for guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan to arrange for his instrument. The results, out now John Cage: Guitar, are often enticing and plenty appealing.

Larget-Caplan’s program consists of seven Cage pieces, all of which originated in the 1930s and ‘40s, a couple of which are remarkably prescient. The opener, A Room, for instance, anticipates the Minimalist procedures of a later generation or two. And the prepared-guitar closer, Bacchanale, sounds a couple decades younger than it is, almost like a kind of high-brow anticipation of Jimi Hendrix.

In between come Cage’s Three Easy Pieces, which sound like just that: a set of short, contrapuntal exercises that exude not a little bit of charm, especially the central “Duo.” Chess Pieces and Dream are more substantial. The former is adapted from a composition that appears in a 1944 Cage painting while the latter, a ruminative essay, was originally conceived as a dance piece. In a Landscape is another affecting, resonant meditation.

Then there are Six Pieces, a set of radiant miniatures for violin and guitar, in which Larget-Caplan’s joined by violinist Sharon Leventhal. Cage’s writing here is highly specific – the violin part, for instance, indicates which string each note is supposed to be played on – but the music itself is anything but restrained, ranging from the quiet ecstasy of “Melody 1” to the jaunty syncopations of “Melody 3” and the subdued glow of “Melody 6.”

Larget-Caplan’s performances are excellent. Technically, he’s got everything under control, no matter how involved the arrangements get. What’s more, his playing brims with charisma and understanding: Cage can be a tough composer to really bring to life. Larget-Caplan (and Leventhal, in Six Pieces) manage the feat impressively.

Classical Music CD Reviews: ROCO’s “Visions Take Flight,” Nordic Affect’s “He(a)r,” and “John Cage: Guitar.”


 

Jonathan Blumhofer is a composer and violist who has been active in the greater Boston area since 2004. His music has received numerous awards and been performed by various ensembles, including the American Composers Orchestra, Kiev Philharmonic, Camerata Chicago, Xanthos Ensemble, and Juventas New Music Group. Since receiving his doctorate from Boston University in 2010, Jon has taught at Clark University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and online for the University of Phoenix, in addition to writing music criticism for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Taiwan 2018!

Exploring Videos:
Wow, Food, Squid

John. Cage. Guitar ? – Review

 

 

“To this writer’s knowledge, John Cage had never written any music for guitar. So, for Larget-Caplan to imagine this project, and write all of the arrangements, was quite daring. The capacity audience responded most favorably.”

Read the complete review: https://www.classical-scene.com/2018/12/03/john-cage-guitar/

“John Cage Arranged for Guitar” gave us cause to celebrate.

“Larget-Caplan gave honor to the music, blending the guitar with violin, as though this was the intention of Cage himself.”

‘The two-guitar arrangement of this composition is so well considered, it is hard to remember that this is not the original format! Both guitarists focused intently and clearly. An excellent arrangement, and even stronger performance, created universal excitement throughout the room.”

 

18 Musical Amazings for 2018!

18. Celebrated after many concerts and classes!

17. Classes and lectures at Temple University, Sacramento State, Tainan University (Taiwan), Bowdoin College, Berklee College of Music, Miko Academy (Taiwan), University of Massachusetts Boston

16. Premiered arrangements of Castelnouvo-Tedesco, J.S. Bach, Reynaldo Hahn, and John Cage.

15. Two performances in Madrid, Spain, and two performances for F13 Concerts in Mainz, Germany: Numbers 4 & 5!!

14. Performed with Radius Ensemble, South Coast Chamber Music Series, Music Street, In A Landscape, and Astoria Music Festival.

13. Multiple concert, publication, and CD reviews by the Boston Musical Intelligencer, Mu Phi Epsilon ‘Triangle’, This is Classical Guitar, and Classical Guitar Magazine.

12. Arranged music by John Cage, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Franz Schubert, and J.S. Bach.

11. Touring in Oregon and Washington with Hiroya Tsukamoto.

10. Spring West Coast Solo and Chamber Music Tour of 13 events in 15 days beginning in Southern California moving to the Bay Area and Sacramento and finishing in Oregon!

9. Collaborations with cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer, baritones Richard Zeller & Ian Pomerantz, violinists Sharan Leventhal & Danny Koo, pianist Dian Braun, guitarists Tim Pence and Adam Levin, flamenco dancer/singer La Conja.

8. All New Lullaby Concert ‘Night Songs’ at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas and Salem State University (Arts Residency).

7. Premieres of New Lullabies by Stephanie Ann Boyd, Koji Nakano, Milad Yousufi and  Roger Eon (#52-55).

6. 1st All-Bach Concert

5. John. Cage. Guitar. CD Release Concert!

4. Paris Debut

3. Asian debut in Taiwan!

2. Release of John. Cage. Guitar. on Stone Records!

1. BBQ with friends, coffee with colleagues, celebrations with family.

Wishing everyone many more good years of music, adventure, great food and heartfelt relationships.