Archive for the ‘New Lullaby Project’ Category

REVIEW – Drifting in AMR

A nice way to begin the new year with a write up of ‘Drifting, Volume 3 of the New Lullaby Project’ in the American Record Guide January/February 2022 edition.
What do you think? What New Lullabies stand out to you?

2021 – Year in Review

2021 was many things, boring wasn’t one of them!

I’m not great at reflecting on the year, so I made a little list of some accomplishments as this year felt extra special:

  • 13 premieres
  • 2 albums issued
  • 2 anthologies published
  • 12 radio and podcast appearances
  • 6 concerts
  • 4 festivals
  • 3 awards
  • 1 article
  • 450K+ streams!

Not bad for barely leaving home 🙂

May 2022 be all that you wish for and need. I’m preparing for some recordings, concerts (fingers crossed), and a surprise or two.

Thank you for being safe and sharing in my music.


Aaron Larget-Caplan

Year In Review

Premieres

Lainie Fefferman – Carousel – guitar + electronics
Tom Flaherty – Steps and Leaps – guitar + electronics
Alejandro Rutty – Down with those guitars
David Warrin Solomons – Passacaglia
UNC Greensboro Students: Joshua Weitz, Noah Marney, A.J. Lyon – 3 Pieces

New Lullaby Project Premieres

Curtis Hughes – lullibule
John Johnstone – Blue Lullaby
Tom Nazziola – Lull-a-by-the-sea
Ronald Pearl – Berceuse Inquiète
Štěpán Rak – Lullaby
Brian Schober – A Winter Lullaby


L->R top: Johnston, Pearl, Schober
L->R bottom: Nazziola, Rak, Hughes

RECORDINGS ISSUED

A Guitar Holiday – Tiger Turn Records (450K streams!)
Drifting, Volume 3 of the New Lullaby Project – Stone Records
Passacaglia by David Warin Solomons, digital single
Discography of 6 Albums from 2006-2021 issued online by Stone Records

PUBLICATIONS

Nights Transfigured, Volume 1 of the New Lullaby Project, Pub. American Composers Alliance
Hushed, Volume 2 of the New Lullaby Project, Pub. American Composers Alliance 

RADIO & PODCASTS (click–>Podcast)

All Things Cage with Laura Kuhn (3x!)
Café Classicale with Felice Coral
Conducting Conversations with Mike Maino
Exploring Music with Tigran Arakelyan
Classical Guitar Around the World with Kevin Collins (2x)
Guitaromanie! with Karl Wohlwend
All Things Six Strings with Rick Cox
Is That Really Legal with Eric Ruben
Jay Talking with Bradley Jay

FESTIVALS

New Music Gathering, Portland, Oregon
21st Century Guitar Festival – Portugal
Guitar Foundation of America – Denver, Colorado
‘Institute for Effective Training International Conference’ – Russia

AWARDS

Three Revere Awards from the Music Publishers Associations – Nights Transfigured
Grant Southbridge Cultural Council
Small Business Association Grants

CONCERTS

Tew Recital Hall, UNC Greensboro, North Carolina
First Congregation Church Camden, Maine
Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Zalon, Philadelphia, PA
Jacob Edwards Library, Southbridge, MA
Windhover, Rockport, MA w/ amazing Dancers: Michael Trusnovec, Xin Ying, Annmaria Mazzini,, Thryn Saxon

ARTICLES (click–>articles)

Dorchester Reporter – Larget-Caplan’s new album explores Christmas classics

 

 

REVIEW: Drifting in Fanfare Magazine

REVIEW: New Lullaby – Music Web International

New Lullaby: Fourteen enchanting ways to fall asleep
Aaron Larget-Caplan (guitar)
rec. Futura Productions, October 2009, Roslindale, Massachusetts, USA
Six String Sound 2009 & Stone Records 2021 [52:46]

This CD, the first of three that form the “New Lullaby Project”, presents lullabies for adults. As Larget-Caplan states in his liner notes “I don’t have kids”.

In 2006 he started requesting compositions for this project before he suffered two major traumas. Firstly, he lost his house in a fire. Secondly, only two months later, his wife sustained major injuries in an accident. He refers to the irony that he himself needed so much sleep after twelve house-moves in over two and a half years. The fourteen lullabies were performed at three locations in 2009, shortly before this recording. He states that they “Calm the mind, take us to a new place and leave our ears with the gift of sound as we travel through the realm of our realities. Let us be enveloped by the living music of our world and take comfort that we live amongst it.”

I listened to the disc and treated it as a whole concept. The various compositions work fluently and the sequence has been well thought out. There are notes on each piece by the composers; in a live setting I presume that Larget-Caplan would explain the pieces. I was particularly taken with “Berceuse” by David Vayo where Aaron (I presume) whistles and hums. It would certainly be appropriate for young children. Not all the lullabies are “night music”. Carson Cooman contributes “unfolding the gates of dawn”: a morning lullaby. My son, listening to the CD with me, pointed out the hint of the Beatles’ “In no time” by Jonathan Feist. The “Fab Four” clearly influence some of the other compositions as does “Cavatina”. That said, the composers are to be congratulated for composing music of intrinsically high quality.

This album certainly engenders feeling of peace which, given the personal circumstances of the performer when he was planning the project, is apt. There are times when this disc will be appropriate and I found it achieved its aim of producing a state of peacefulness. I look forward to hearing the next two CDs in this project. David R Dunsmore, October
Contents
1. The Sixth Night – Lynn JOB [3:39]
2. Leaky Roof – Jonathan FEIST [1:27]
3. No Time – Jonathan FEIST [2:22]
4. My Darling’s Slumber – Francine TRESTER [3:07]
5. Nachtlied – Scott WHEELER [4:19]
6. Cradle Song – Kevin SIEGFRIED [3:19]
7. Descent to a Dream – Mark SMALL [4:32]
8. Lulla – for Sam – Nolan STOLZ [3:20]
9. Unfolding the Gates of Dawn – Carson COOMAN [3:53]
10. You are Alone to Sleep, Op.430 – John McDONALD [2:46]
11. Berceuse – David VAYO [7:01]
12. Disturbed, a Lullaby – David LEISNER [4:32]
13. Song Softly Sung, in Trying Times – Eric SCHWARTZ [3:50]
14. Shhh – Ryan VIGIL [5:22]

Link: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2021/Oct/New-lullaby-88801.htm

REVIEW: Nights Transfigured in Fanfare Magazine

NIGHTS TRANSFIGURED: Vol. 2 Of The New Lullaby Project • Aaron Larget-Caplan (gtr) 
STONE RECORDS (59:55)

SHATZER Lullaby for D—-. CASTILLA-ÁVILA PerseidenTHOMAS L. READ The moon through the window shines down. JULIEN After Many Days Without Rain. SHENDE Reva’s Lullaby. ALAN FLETCHER Lullaby in Three Voices. ÉON Berceuse. DAVID MCMULLIN Sleeping Light, Spinning World. TRESTER Lullaby for Our Time. JAMES DALTON A world of your own. SPANEAS A Child Sings at Thanksgiving. STEPHANIE ANN BOYD Esperanza. SCHUTTENHELM Wiegenlied. BARNABY OLIVER The Pillow That You Dream On

Nights Transfigured is Volume 2 of the New Lullaby Project, the creation of Aaron Larget-Caplan, a guitarist currently on faculty at University of Massachusetts Boston (previously he taught at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music). Larget-Caplan inaugurated the New Lullaby Project in 2007. Volume 1 in this series, New Lullaby, was released in 2010. During the course of the New Lullaby Project, Larget-Caplan has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous works. As he describes in the liner notes for Volume 3 (Drifting, also reviewed in this issue of Fanfare): “The requirements were simple: a beautiful 3-5 minute guitar solo in the genre of a lullaby … a malleable definition. So simple and yet after 65 premieres by over 55 composers in nine countries, no two lullabies sound the same.” Larget-Capan characterizes the works featured in Volume 1 as “divided into warm and safe versus dark and foreboding.” With regard to Volume 2: “in Nights Transfigured each possesses soupçons of melancholy, shadows of warmth, and inward contemplations, reflecting the times when they were created, between 2011-2020.” As one might anticipate, the 14 works on Volume 2, written by as many contemporary composers, explore a wide range of styles and expression. That said, they are all accessible, and gratifyingly embody the function and spirit of the lullaby. For example, After Many Days Without Rain, by composer and jazz flutist Patricia Julien, explores 12-tone writing, cast in a 5/4 meter. I agree with Julien’s comment (each composer supplies his or her own program notes) that “neither feature is particularly evident when hearing this work,” in the sense of posing undue challenges for the listener. Larget-Caplan performs all of the lullabies with the utmost affection, tonal beauty, and sensitive phrasing. The recorded sound is marvelous; rich and detailed, with a (not too) close perspective of the performer. In addition to the composers’ program notes, the booklet includes information on each work’s premiere and score availability. There are also bios of the composers. Nights Transfigured is a truly beguiling hour of music making, one that (perhaps despite the traditional goal of a lullaby) held me in rapt attention throughout. I am always deeply gratified by recordings that document the commissioning and marvelous performances of first-rate works. Nights Transfigured is such a release. Recommended. Ken Meltzer

This article originally appeared in Issue 45:2 (Nov/Dec 2021) of Fanfare Magazine.

New Interviews

In June and July, I was very lucky to speak with some wonderful people for radio and podcasts about my recent releases, being a classical guitarist, inspiration, and collaborating with composers.

  1. Guitar Around The World with Kevin Collins • July 13, 2021 • Listen Now
  2. Contemporary Guitar Blog with Trevor Babb • June 27, 2021 •  Listen Now (YT)
  3. What Do You Want To Do? with Leonard Caplan • June 12, 2021 • Listen Now (YT)
  4. Guitar Around The World with Kevin Collins • June 8, 2021 • Listen Now

Kevin Collins is a classical guitarist who directs Red Barn Music School in Northampton, Mass. and has a deep history of performing throughout the world. His new radio show, ‘Guitar Around The World’,  is dedicated to the guitar and features a new artist each week, including historical figures like Oscar Ghiglia!. Each show features discussion on various topics from guitar to arts in society, and includes music.

Trevor Babb is a fellow Colorado native and guitarist who is based in Rhode Island. His young show, ‘Contemporary Guitar Blog’ is on YouTube and features guitarists from around the world. In-depth questions and discussion about one of my favorite topics, new music, makes this show a must for guitar enthusiasts.

Leonard Caplan (no relation) is a producer, teacher, and music lover. His show ‘What Do You Want To Do? is on YT and features artists, people in business, writers and more. The show explores inspiration and how one got to where they are in their field. I’ve known Leonard since 2007, he has interviewed me for various shows over the years, and his style is relaxed and focused. A wonderful introduction to many areas of creation. I talk about my journey from electric guitar as a child to classical guitar. Music sample: Asturias by Albéniz.

Top–>Bottom: Kevin Collins and Aaron, Trevor Babb and Aaron, Aaron and Leonard Caplan

Publishing Awards for Nights Transfigured

So proud to announce the Music Publishers Association of the United States Revere Awards for 2020-21! It is not every day that one can say their project topped anything by guitar god Steve Vai, but that is exactly what has happened today, and without a whammy bar.

I am over the moon to learn that Volume 1 of the New Lullaby Project Anthology ‘Nights Transfigured’ has won two 2020-2021 Revere Awards for Guitar Music and Book Design.

We placed in two categories of graphic excellence, and I could not be more proud of this work that we have been doing through the pandemic months. A very big shout out to Simon Henry Berry and Will Rowe absolutely bringing their best to our little publishing enterprise at American Composers Alliance.

Nights Transfigured, various composers – curated by Aaron Larget-Caplan won 1st prize for Guitar Music as well as book design and cover art.

Featuring 15 compositions by composers from three countries and off two albums, ‘Nights Transfigured’ is a collaboration between the American Composers Alliance and ALC Music Publishing. It was assembled by the outstanding team of Gina Genova, Simon Henry Berry, and me. A shout out to Alex Fedorov for assisting in the original New Lullaby Project artwork that inspired the cover art. Gratitude to the composers for entrusting me with their music. CHAMPAGNE FOR ALL!!

Award link: https://www.mpa.org/2020-2021-revere-award-winners/?fbclid=IwAR1JcpXCrEzPxXC8ak_MbPQWwao4nzOx0lI5FX_PlmLXOAsZF_vInLfhlqc

You can order ‘Nights Transfigured’ through your local music dealer. PDFs and institutional discounts are at the ACA website: https://composers.com/composers/various-collections-and-anthologies/nights-transfigured

It is also available through Bandcamp: https://alcguitar.bandcamp.com/merch/nights-transfigured-scores-of-the-new-lullaby-project-vol-1 (discount code: 10offalc for 10% off)

New Album – DRIFTING

DRIFTING – Volume 3 of the New Lullaby Project.

Releases on June 4 on Stone Records

Listen and buy now! http://alcguitar.bandcamp.com/album/drifting

Streaming available world wide on August 6.

Aaron Larget-Caplan continues his exploration of the lullaby with the third volume of 21st century guitar music with Drifting. The 15 solos for his New Lullaby Project were written between 2010 and 2020 by composers from four countries, and recorded in November 2020. All are world premiere recordings!

From the booklet:

In Drifting, some lullabies plead to or reflect humanity, while others testify to a memory and affirmation of a time passed by. There are lullabies born from an improvisation (Rivchun), patience and hope in love (Turner), a nod to Francisco Tarrega (Pence) and sleeping beauty (Drozd). One was written while I gave a lecture (McDonald), and others inspired by a nodding head (Green) and a dancing baby (Veloso). Some tell us to let the day be (Scharf), others acknowledge the troubles that await outside of our dream world (Schreiner), and then we hear a prayer and plea (Odriozola/Warren) and touches of love and friendship (Trester/Wiese). All the time a gorgeous 12-tone lullaby (Mashak) sits quietly to be discovered. The compositional language leans tonal and the tuning remains mostly standard, but don’t worry, harmonics still abound.
Mixed and mastered by the amazing Steve Hunt. Album design by the great Alex Fedorov. Produced, Performed, Recorded and Edited by Aaron Larget-Caplan.
Listen and buy now! http://alcguitar.bandcamp.com/album/drifting

Year of the New Lullaby!

Happy New Year Fans of the New Lullaby Project!

Thank you for redeeming a bit of 2020. I hadn’t planned on 2020 being the year of New Lullabies for me. I had planned a year of Cage, chamber music and touring, but a chance New Lullaby collaboration at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity with performance artists Laura Sofía Pérez & Jasmine Yeh in January planted a seed that would blossom into two new creations as the pandemic decimated the performing arts.
The prospect of recording close to 50 New Lullabies still to be recorded had been a major financial hurdle. Catherine and I had spent the prior 18-months re-organizing our basement with plans to rent short-term, but the Boston Housing Gods decided in June that we had too many rooms for a single family, so no rentals would be allowed in the basement. With Catherine’s blessing, some advice from engineer friends and mentors, I began building a home studio. As the saying goes, If I can’t make money on it, at least I can deduct it for business!
At this time, I had a conversation with the director of the American Composers Alliance, Gina Genova, regarding my longtime dream of publishing scores from the New Lullaby Project in an anthology; btw, a collection is different than an anthology. I had received grants from the ACA for the performance of multiple pieces by Thomas L. Read, and the ACA introduced me to the music of Tom Flaherty, so I knew they were a legit organization of awesomeness. They rest, as they say, is history.
I’m extremely happy with the album and anthology. I have plans for another album and anthology volume to be released in early 2021.
To all of the patient composers and longtime audience members who have expressed support of the project through attending concerts this year online, purchasing the albums and anthology, and writing me directly: THANK YOU!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May we Dream Well!
Aaron
Lullabies Performed in 2020 (+/-)
Scott Wheeler – Nachtlied
Ken Ueno  – Ed è subito sera
Jacob Mashak – Lulubye
Ian Wiese – Seeketh Not Its Own
Michael J Veloso – Little Dancer
Patricia Julien – After Many Days Without Rain
Jim Dalton – A World of Your Own
Garrett Shatzer – Lullaby for D—
Laurie Spiegel – Watching Rain – world premiere
Stefanie Lubkowski – Drifting – world premiere
Anthony R. Green – Counting Backwards – world premiere
Kincaid Rabb – Water Lilies – world premiere
Francine Trester – Lullaby for Our Time – world premiere
Roger Éon – Berceuse
Stephanie Ann Boyd – Esperanza

New Lullaby Concert, 12/10/11, Francine Trester, Hayg Boyadjian, John McDonald, Martin Schreiner, Demetrius Spaneas, Patricia Julien and Jacob Mashak

John McDonald – Upward
Thomas L. Read – The moon through the window shines down
Thomas Schuttenhelm – Wiegenlied
Barnaby Oliver – The Pillow That You Dream On
Agustín Castilla-Ávila – Perseiden
Charles Turner – White Potatoes
Eric Schwartz – Song Softly Sung, In Trying Times
Tim Pence – The Sleeping Guitar
New Lullabies Received
Curtis K Hughes – Lullibule
Stepan Rak – Lullaby
Special Thanks to Your Heaven Audio, Steve Hunt, Groupmuse, Alex Fedorov, Jeffrey Means, and Simon Berry.
Listen to all of the New Lullaby Project Releases and order the Anthology: https://alcguitar.bandcamp.com/

New SCORE Anthology Published!

Nights Transfigured, 15 solos for guitar
Dec. 21, 2020

Published by the American Composers Alliance (ACA), ‘NIGHTS TRANSFIGURED’ is the 1st of a multi-volume endeavor exploring  the over 60 compositions written for my New Lullaby Project since 2006. These compositions assert that the sonic boundaries of the guitar are only limited by the composer’s imagination and physical abilities of the player. Whether a student, amateur, or professional there is a lullaby for you. Recordings of works featured are on the 2010 ‘New Lullaby’ and the just released ‘Nights Transfigured’.

  • Download the PDF HERE via the ACA website
  • Physical scores are avaialble on BANDCAMP, the ACA website, or order it from your local music dealer (local is great!)
  • Institutional orders with a discount must be made via the ACA website

Nights Transfigured features new lullabies inspired by composers’ children, song and the intimacy of singing to another, the end of night, poetry, longing for sleep, our troubled times, gentle motion, and of course, the melding of stars and moonbeams. They are lullabies of passage and being, longing and loneliness, marking time, memory, and yet these sonorous landscapes are also inhabited by warmth, hope, and peace.

There is a variety of musical languages–tonal, 12-tone, contrapuntal, North Indian, minimalist, and quasi-improvisational, with many using a mix of them while requiring many extended instrumental techniques. American Composers Alliance is honored to publish and distribute this collection of scores, in partnership with curator, guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan.

One of the leading classical guitarists of his generation; Aaron Larget-Caplan is an enthusiastic ambassador for new music. Following his groundbreaking 2015 release ‘John. Cage. Guitar.’ (Stone Records), Aaron returned to his New Lullaby Project with première recordings, available on Bandcamp and iTunes, and the publication of the score collection.

The score volume includes the following pieces:

3    Francine Trester          my darling’s slumber
6    Agustín Castilla-Ávila   Perseiden
10  Stephanie Ann Boyd    Esperanza
15  Carson Cooman           Unfolding the Gates of Dawn
18  Scott Wheeler               Nachtlied
23  Alan Fletcher                 Lullaby in Three Voices
27  Thomas L. Read           The Moon Through The Window Shines Down
31  Patricia Julien               After Many Days Without Rain
34  Barnaby Oliver             The Pillow That You Dream On
36  David Leisner               Disturbed, A Lullaby
41  John McDonald             You Are Alone To Sleep
45  David McMullin             Sleeping Light, Spinning World
48  Vineet Shende              Reva’s Lullaby
52  Eric Schwartz               Song Softly Sung, in Trying Times
54  Demetrius Spaneas      A Child Sings at Thanksgiving

60 pages, with composer notes on the works and biographies.

Curator’s note (excerpt):

The solos found in this first volume give an introduction to the more than 60 compositions written between 2006-2020 by over 50 composers from nine countries. Volume one contains compositions from Austria, Australia and the USA, and have lullabies inspired by composers’ children, song and the intimacy of singing to another, the end of night, poetry, longing for sleep, our troubled times, and of course, the melding of stars and moonbeams. On a theoretical level there are a variety of musical languages: tonal, 12-tone, contrapuntal, North Indian, First Nation, additive, minimalist, and quasi-improvisational. A few will stand out for their use of extended techniques, only three require scordatura, and harmonics abound!

These compositions assert that the sonic boundaries of the guitar are only limited by the composer’s imagination and physical abilities of the player. Whether a student, amateur, or professional there is a lullaby for you.