Archive for the ‘Touring’ Category

A World of Guitar – Summer Tour

Recent Fan Letters!

On occasion I get notes from fans following concerts or after they hear a CD or a podcast. Happily, this is occurring more and more!

Here are a few recents:

1 – “A note to say how much I enjoyed your concert. It is one thing to see an accomplished musician play his instrument; it’s quite another to see and listen to a brilliant musician who is at one with the guitar. Truly, as I sat there, I felt the connection between you and your guitar – they were one. This doesn’t happen often, so I’m glad I saw you perform. At times, the guitar sounded as a harpsichord; at others, like a violin. That is a testament to the musician.” – Jan., Oregon

2 – “Your CD. Wow! You have wonderfully braved the criticism of the fuddy-duddy classical ineffectuals. The choices and playing have opened your music to a much wider audience. I’m sharing the experience with friends and family, we are all on board. Another thing I really appreciate about the CD, you are willing to follow the lead of the last half of the 20th century and move away from strictly tonal music. Please keep it up.” – David C., Oregon

3 – Aaron, I recently listened to your interview with Bret Williams and videos at Savage Classical — both were excellent!! Thank you for continuing to push the guitar forward!! – Ben R., NY

4 – Wonderful concert yesterday! I was honored to be in the audience. – Mary J., Oregon

5 – “It looks like Aaron is ready to make a big splash In New York. It’s funny, I played his [Legend ofHagoromo CD yesterday, and the thought occurred to me that, if you hadn’t seen him perform it, you might think it was some trick done during the recording.” – Carolyn E., – Oregon

 

Inspired by Paintings with Composer Thomas L. Read

Thomas L. Read

           Thomas L. Read

I have always been intrigued by music that looked towards the visual arts for inspiration. Of course Pictures in an Exhibition by Mussorgsky is one of the most famous, but I am equally thrilled by the Joan Miró painting  Equinox, which inspired Toru Takemitsu’s guitar solo of the same title, which I recorded in 2005 and again in 2015. In 2013 composer Thomas L. Read composed a guitar and cello duo for me titled ‘Concert Champêtre’ .

Concert Champetre painting - Titian

                                 Titian

Read, professor emeritus of University of Vermont Burlington and an New England Conservatory alumni, wrote me about the piece:

“The initial concept of the duet emerged with recollection of two famous paintings: Le Concert Champêtre, c. 1509, by Titian, and Et in Arcadia Ego, 1639, by Nicolas Poussin. The music is cast in three interconnected movements played without pause.”

‘Le Concert Champêtre’ (The Pastoral Concert) is an oil painting of c. 1509 attributed to either of the Italian Renaissance masters, Titian or Giorgione. It is in the Musée du Louvre in Paris

Et-in-Arcadia-ego

                         Nicolas Poussin

‘Et in Arcadia ego’ is a 1637–38 painting by Nicolas Poussin. It depicts a pastoral scene with idealized shepherds from classical antiquity clustering around an austere tomb

I gave the first performance of Concert Champêtre at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia with cellist  Anton Andreev on May 22, 2014. I have since performed it in Boston, New Hampshire and again in Russia. The Spanish premiere is being planned for summer 2016 and there is hope for a near future recording. The work is published by the American Composers Alliance and the guitar part is edited by me.

Here is a video in Boston with cellist Anton from November 2014:

 

Oregon and Washington Tour Photos and Video!

I had a fantastic time traveling through Oregon and Washington in early February.  In a little over nine days I performed six concerts, one radio show and a workshop in two states. I gave the Oregon-Washington premieres of Lynn Job’s ‘The Sixth Night’, Nolan Stolz’s ‘Lullaby for Sam’, Scott Wheeler’s ‘Nachtlied’, Garrett Ian Shatzer’s ‘Lullaby for D—‘ (world premiere and 45th New Lullaby) and my new arrangements of Bach and Scarlatti. My return to the Pacific Northwest came at a wonderful time: I missed the worst of the snow in Boston! A full map of my travels are below.

Practicing some Scarlatti in Astoria, Oregon:

For the opening concert at Grace Episcopal Church in Astoria, Oregon, the amazing artist Charles Schweigert allowed for his painting ‘Hagoromo’ to share the performance space with me, giving another interpretation of the Japanese myth while I performed Keigo Fujii’s ‘The Legend of Hagoromo’. A detail of the painting will be the cover art on my forthcoming CD!
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A true ‘full-house’ in Oysterville, Washington. It was my second performance for this wonderful house concert series.  Read a post about hosting such events by Sydney Stevens, click HERE.
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The Volcanic Theatre Pub in Bend, Oregon was the third concert of the tour.  Met by old friends and eager ears!

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A pop-up concert was added at the last minute back in Astoria in collaboration with the Orange on Blue Gallery Exhibit by Darren Orange at the John Jacobs Hotel. It was a fantastic evening with tango dancers improvising, gorgeous art work and a curious and excited audience! Watch a brief video by Jeff Daly: HERE (FB)

DSCN3511dancersMyself, tango dancers JL Gillikin & Heather Hryciw and Artist Darren Orange

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Astoria has an amazing number of artists and writers. After the performance I was surprised to meet the celebrated artist Noel Thomas.  He drew this sketch:
Noel Thomas DrawingThe Coaster Theatre in Cannon Beach received a special Valentine’s Day concert, Of Love & Dreams.  The concert featured a great audience in a wonderful venue.  They also hosted in me a beautiful hotel on the beach and made sure the sun was just right so I could walk barefoot in the sand. IMG_7131IMG_7114DSCN3526

A selfie prior to concert time in Cannon Beach followed by an advertisement at Lincoln City Cultural Center, which I did not know about until I arrived! I found myself intrigued when I was drying my hands. Quite a smile!
IMG_7140 IMG_7180 IMG_7156One of the pleasures of touring is meeting friends on the road and being touched by their generosity. My fraternity brothers and sisters of Mu Phi Epsilon are very special and never cease to amaze me.  I met Judy and RG Goff when I was a wee lad of 19. In Bend they fed me, made sure I stayed hydrated with local concoctions, got me walking and were great supports in so many ways. Besides being very patient, Judy is a fantastic teacher and singer. Here she is at Lava Butte in Deschutes National Forest.

DSCN3429Hanging with MPE brother Michael Lasfetto in Portland. Great sushi!
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And with Mom in Astoria following the concert at the Darren Orange exhibit.
DSCN3515It was a marvelous tour! I met many fascinating people, some who attended three performances(!), premiered multiple works, collaborated with dancers and artists, explored amazing scenery, enjoyed good coffee and sushi and made some beautiful music, all while driving just under 900 miles.  I can’t wait for the next tour!

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 3.58.52 PMThank you Oregon and Washington!!

 

Oregon and Washington Concerts and Workshop

*Read about the program in the Coast Weekend

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**Go to www.ALCGuitar.com/calendar for complete tour info**

ASTORIA:

Aaron L-C, Astoria Feb-7-8-11BEND:

aaron Volcanic poster

CANNON BEACH:

Coaster Poster

2014 – A Year in Pictures & Videos

2014 was full of music with over 50 concerts throughout the United States and in Russia.  I gave  World Premiere performances of compositions by Thomas L. Read, Schott Scharff, Ricardo Odriozola and Martin Schreiner; introduced new works to Russia by Ken Ueno, Francine Trester and Keigo Fujii.  Made new friends via collaborations with the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet and the Mu Phi Epsilon Tri-annual convention, reunited with musical friends for concerts with  Schola Cantorum of Boston, mezzo-soprano Betany Coffland and cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer.

Below are some pictures and videos from the year!

January

Café Tango, photo by Nancy Barron

Café Tango, photo by Nancy Barron

Performance of Libertango by Piazzolla with Mary Oleskiewicz, flute and bandoneon, Rafael Popper-Keizer, cello

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February
Premiere of ‘Lullaby’ by Schott Scharf

March
Denver, Colorado & Memphis, Tennessee

Concert with the Denver Skyline

Concert with the Denver Skyline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April
Touring with Betany Coffland

Betany & Aaron at Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco

Betany & Aaron at Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May
Russia with the Educational Bridge Project’s ‘Days of America Festival’

With Catherine at Catherine's Palace

With Catherine at Catherine’s Palace

Oval Hall, Moscow DSCN0296

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read about the Festival here:  http://alcguitar.com/blog/days-of-american-culture-in-russia-festival-2014/

 

June
Concerts in Maine!

Eastport, ME  Photo by Robin Farin

Eastport, ME
Photo by Robin Farin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

Concerts in Southern California!

Katherine Bender, 2014 Encinitas

Katherine Bender, 2014 Encinitas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August
Mu Phi Epsilon International Convention, Sacramento!
Edited New CD!

September
Wakefield World Music Festival
US Premiere of Concert Champêtre by Thomas L. Read

Aaron, Thomas Read and Rafael Popper-Keizer

Aaron, Thomas Read and Rafael Popper-Keizer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October
Boccherini Intro & Fandango with the Rimsky Korsakov String Quartet

Concert Champêtre with Anton Andreev, cello

November
Schola Cantorum of Boston (technically October & November)

December
Some extended techniques!

Some extended techniques at Living Buddha Nature, Millis, MA

Living Buddha Nature, Millis, MA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for a great 2014 and see you soon.
Musically,
Aaron

Days of American Culture in Russia Festival 2014

From May 13th through May 26th I had the great honor of attending the Days of American Culture in Russia Festival 2014 organized by the Educational Bridge Project. This was my second festival, though the first in which I participated in events in both Moscow and St. Petersburg. Being the first guitarist accepted into the program in 2013, I found some hesitation in what I, or my instrument could do, but that disappeared after my performances and the directors made my acquaintance, enough so that I received an invitation to return in 2014.

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St. Petersburg (click to enlarge)

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Kremlin Red Square, Moscow

The 2014 edition was packed tight. I arrived in Moscow on the morning of Tuesday May 13th. After checking into my quaint hotel close to the Bolshoi, I met with the EBP director Dr. Ludmilla Leibman and board member Barbara Turnow. We started visiting the Kremlin and Red Square, and to get my strength back from travel ate some tasty Georgian food. I tuned and practiced a bit before going to bed to sleep.

Show time! The next evening I played a two-hour solo recital with two encores in Oval Hall at the State Foreign Library. An extremely hospitable support with cultural curiosity and a vast knowledge of the reserves in the Library, my liaison, Nina Borisova Chief Methodologist, Department of Cultural Programs, treated me royally. The Oval Room is medium sized with high ceilings, and though without a stage, still perfect for a solo recital. A concert grand piano sat back to my left and chairs had been set out on the wood inlaid floor. Besides a couple of large windows on the far sides, the walls were lined with books behind locked glass doors. On closer inspection, the books, mainly in German and quite old, made me wondering why they were locked up and in German. I learned that they came to

Director Ludmilla Leibman, Director Elena Barash and EBP Board Member Barbara Turnow

Director Ludmilla Leibman, Director Nina Borisova and EBP Board Member Barbara Tornow

Russia after the surrender of WWII. At that moment, being an artistic bridge via music took on a different meaning. This was real, the books, the space all represented different cultures and though it is nice to think how they can bring people together, the trophies came at a cost. To find myself in such a culturally historic setting, already full of love and loss, which does not include written adventures found in the books made the moment of Art that much more important. If the books could speak…

Oval Hall, Moscow

Oval Hall was full with over 100 attendees of all ages, including many teenagers, and from many social levels and with only some being musicians. Though the program included three Russian premieres written for me by US composers Ken Ueno, Francine Trester and Kevin Siegfried, and a contemporary Japanese work Keigo Fuji, the audience did not have an issue taking in this modern music; rather I received quite a bit of very positive feedback. Though the musical languages were not standard, minimalist and a quartertone piece, dances and lullabies do not intimidate. I introduced each of the compositions, with translation provided by Dr. Leibman, and enjoyed even a little banter with the audience before the encores. The diverse and colorful program featured music from 19th century to today and from seven countries. Still the audience was impressive in their listening and sitting skills. After the concert I spoke with new fansany timbres of the guitar and explored the sounds of my Sicilian beauty alongside the Russian language.

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Aaron, Georges Devdariani, Ivan Eubanks and Yulia Tskhvediani

Another full house! The director of the festival, Dr. Leibman opened the event with a brief history of the Educational Bridge Project and a taste of her piano prowess with a Chopin Mazurka. The opportunity to collaborate with writers and actors in a performance was extremely special and satisfying. Though a lot of work and a bit nerve racking, I found it rewarding and I hope to be able to do it again both in Russia and closer to home. A very colorful reception followed the concert and then the three Americans took a quick taxi to the train station where we boarded the Red Arrow, an overnight train to St. Petersburg and formerly part of the Orient Express. The rocking of the train did not lull me to sleep as it did my cabin mates; rather I felt the side-to-side rocking well into the next day, but enjoying stories in the dining car, wondering who was around each corner felt exciting and a bit mysterious. My time in the historic city was done. She welcomed me warmly, listened to my music with great passion, and treated me well. I did not get into the politics nor did I worry for my

Savoy Hotel Capuccino

Savoy Hotel Cappuccino

safety. I also did not look for either. I can say: watch out for the $10 cappuccino! …that hurt.

Prior to Friday’s concert I traveled to northern Moscow where I taught a master class at the State University of Arts and Culture, organized by Zinaida Kartasheva. For the master class two young guitarists performed a duet by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Displaying their fine technique, their spirited performance and openness to new ideas of phrasing and musical

Masterclass Sergei Mikhail

Masterclass with host Sergei Matokhin

goals made for a very pleasant time. I also noticed that the master class was attended by instrumentalists of all stripes, not just guitarists, which impressed me. I’m also grateful for translators and the wonderful job in conveying my guitar lingo to the non-guitarist. A wonderful host, guitar professor Sergei Matokhin gave me a tour of the grounds and made sure all was well. Even the traffic back to the subway wasn’t so bad.

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St. Petersburg Sun

We disembarked from the Red Arrow in St. Petersburg early on Saturday morning. The morning light on this already beautiful city stole my heart. With six days to explore and work, I spent much time walking along the many rivers that moved quietly next to the refurbished palaces, ducking in and out of cafés, hearing music in the Grand Philharmonic, visiting museums, and laying in the parks that spot the city as oasis’ in the desert, watching people especially the many that love the late spring sun. A beautiful cultural center with more performance venues than I ever imagined, I walked and walked. Not quite White Nights, one could already feel the excitement of the longer days. With light after midnight and the magic of summer on the tip of the tongue, many couples walked hand in hand watching many bridges being raised at 1am along the Neva, attending concerts, creating sweet nothings on park benches and in café booths.

My performances in St. Petersburg were shared with other EBP participants from Boston, Cambridge, New York and local Russians. My main performance included the Moscow repertoire of the new contemporary works by Ken Ueno and Francine Trester, some Spanish pieces, a tango and the world premiere of Concert Champêtre by Thomas L. Read for cello and guitar. Written in 2013, the cello-guitar duo represents his third composition to feature guitar in the last 5 years. The others are a new lullaby for guitar solo and a quintet for stings and guitar titled Capricci released on Navona Records in 2013.

Anton Andreev and Aaron at the St. Petersburg Conservatory

Anton Andreev and Aaron at the St. Petersburg Conservatory

Concert Champêtre is a 9-minute single movement work full of rhythmic vitality and melodic beauty. The cello has a lead role singing in the upper register throughout, while the guitar is both accompanist and brief soloist with a great tremolo section and hearty scales. With its rhythmic complexities, the dueling percussion section rocks, and nuance the work requires both players to be tip top. Thankfully I had the great honor of working alongside Anton Andreev, cellist with the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet. We rehearsed for three days at Fontanka 41, a music association in St. Petersburg, and the premiere took place at the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg Conservatory as part of a contemporary music concert. *The Concert Champêtre score is to be published very soon by the American Composers Association (ACA) with the guitar part edited by me. More performances of this important addition to the repertoire will take place in the upcoming season both in the US and abroad.

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Aaron, Luba and her Creation

A spontaneous collaboration with Russian painter Luba Kostenko stirred many of youthful and idealistic emotions about Art, one of the high-points of the festival. I played at her studio for a salon concert during my first visit to Russia in 2013, and returned this year for a smaller more intimate event. After the performance and while we ate, sipped vodka she told me that when younger she would often go to the Marinksy Theater during rehearsals and paint the musicians, a rare honor. She found the sounds of the music and the structure of the rehearsals to be  complimentary to her work. So yes, I returned the next day and for 45 minutes I played while she drew and drew. Though she was my only audience I was also hers and we fed each other as Artists do. While she filled her sketchbook and then larger paper on her easel, the afternoon light colored the walls of her studio and I filled the room with Bach, Mertz, Spanish dances, Gershwin and contemporary works. The timbres danced with the rhythm of her chalk strokes and my heart raced to capture the moment. Not enough time for a full painting, inspired she still created. Over tea and cake with homemade jam from her dacha we discussed the arts and the world, the arts in the world and the arts as the world. Such an artistic experience I always dreamed about and yearned for in my life as artist. Being a direct part of creation in such a manner, both fleeting (me) and permanent (her), moved me and opened my heart to the roles we can play in society; they are both objective and subjective, and the need for each, organized and spontaneously, throughout our lives facilitates greater life and understanding of self and culture. This brief but intense artistic adventure embodies my creative life for which I am grateful.

The colors of St. Petersburg

The colors of St. Petersburg

Some other EBP festival events include a daylong cross-cultural collaboration at Baltic State University with performances by Americans and Russians, which featured wonderful essays and history lessons of the surrounding area given by our young hosts. A concert at the Izmailovsky Library, where our youngest participant (16 years-old) performed his own composition for trumpet and piano, and where I found a thirsty guitar audience with many autograph requests, not an everyday occurrence especially from 15-22 year-olds.  I also met the young American musicians: conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya and pianist Han Nah Son.  Both are very talented and I look forward to hearing more of their work.

On the last day of the festival Mikhail Bondarev first violin of the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet, treated me for a day at Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin just south of St. Petersburg. For the first time in 12 days, or five months if one wants to be picky, I did not have my guitar on my back. I traveled as a tourist and had to decline the requests for me to play with each of the introductions Mikhail made. I found myself in awe of the beauty and history of the grand historic residence. Destroyed by

With the Queen and her Escort

With the Queen and Her Escort

the Germans in WWII, the palace has been completely rebuilt based on pictures, drawings and paintings done before the war. Returned to its former grandeur with exuberant colors, maintained gardens, and exquisite architectural details, it happened to be the perfect way to close such a glorious musical adventure.

A great depth of gratitude goes to the founder and director of the festival Ludmilla Leibman. She organizes the concerts, raises the funds, and makes sure we try Russian foods. Barbara Tornow also deserves a big thank you for her hosting skills, making herself available at any time to assist in making the festival a positive experience for all participants. Many more people in the US and Russia makes sure the festival continues its high standards and stays true to its mission to be an Educational Bridge between cultures using the arts.

The Educational Bridge Project and the Eleanor Hale Wilson Summer Scholarship presented by the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation provided me with the financial support to attend. To both of these organizations I say спасибо!

 

 

 

A Very Busy May from San Francisco to Russia

I can say the spring was quite busy for me; hence, this is my first post since late April.  It was a very exciting time taking me to both the west & east coasts of the US and then back to Russia for my Moscow debut concert and then St. Petersburg.

May 2 – 405 Shrader, San Francisco with mezzo-soprano Betany Coffland (watch video HERE)

May 4 – Oysterville, Washington for a literally packed house solo performance.

May 10 – Saco River Theater, Buxton, Maine

May 13 – Arrive in Moscow for Days of American Culture in Russia, an exchange organized by the Educational Bridge Project

May 14 – Solo Recital, Oval Hall at the State Foreign Library – Russian premieres by Ken Ueno and Francine Trester, Moscow premiere by Kevin Siegfried (Video Here

Luba Kostenko

Luba Kostenko

).

May 16 – Master class at the State University of Arts and Culture; Collaborative Recital with Russian actor Georges Devdariani at the Actors House; Red Arrow overnight train (former part of the Orient Express) to St. Petersburg.

May 18 – Luba Kostenko’s Art Studio Salon

May 18-21 – Rehearse Concert Champêtre by Thomas L. Read with cellist Anton Andreev of the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet for world premiere concert.

May 20 – Solo performance at Baltic State University; sit, play and be drawn by Artist Luba Kostenko.

May 21 – Performance at St. Petersburg Izmailovsky Library.  Night tour of open bridges over the Neva River.

May 22 – Performance at Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory.  SPB premieres of New Lullabies by Ken Ueno and Francine Trester, and the world premiere of Concert Champêtre by Thomas L. Read with cellist Anton Andreev.

May 23 – A tour of Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin, Russia.

With Catherine at Catherine's Palace

With Catherine at Catherine’s Palace

May 24 – Depart Russia.  Hope to see you soon!

The Days of American Culture in Russia was organized by the Educational Bridge Project, Ludmilla Leibman, Director, and with financial support from the Eleanor Hale Wilson Summer Scholarship from the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation.

 

 

 

2013 – A Listen Back on a Musical Year

Until I put this together I hadn’t realized what a year 2013 was… it was awesome!

A big thanks to all of the Artists who shared in the creative process this year.  I have great gratitude to the listeners from around the world who came to concerts, watched videos, bought CD and downloads and made each evening extremely special.   Special thanks to my wife Catherine and her sister Caroline for being my partners in this amazing adventure that is a musical life.

To 2014!  Another year of Music in Life and Life in Music!

Besides some amazing cups of coffee, here are a few of my musical happenings:

My Greater Boston House Concerts showcased five outstanding Artists: author Glenn Kurtz, pianist Sarah Takagi, Archguitarist Peter Blanchette, The AronBerkner Duo, and composer Kathryn Salfelder.

GBHConcerts on the web:  www.GBHConcerts.com
GBHConcerts on FB: www.facebook.com/gbhconcerts (lots of photos)

PREMIERES:

  • Capricci by Thomas L. Read for string quartet and guitar (iTunes)
  • Pravasa – Travels of the Guitar by Vineet Shende for SATB choir and guitar (FB photos HERE)
  • Six Pieces for Violin and Keyboard by John Cage (arrangement by Aaron L-C) 
  • White Potatoes by Charles Turner (New Lullaby Project)
  • A World of Your Own by Jim Dalton (New Lullaby Project)
  • Lullaby for Ewe by David Patterson (New Lullaby Project)
  • Ed è Subito Sera by Ken Ueno (New Lullaby Project)
  • Wheaton College Composers: Siv Anderson, Gordon Jones, Tim Larson, Montana Rogers (New Lullaby Project)

COLLABORATORS:

Boston Conservatory Feb. 2013

Boston Conservatory Feb. 2013

  • Sharan Leventhal, violin
  • Irina Muresanu, violin
  • Robert Sheena, English horn
  • Oratorio Chorale of Maine
  • Meghan Jacoby, flute
  • Betany Coffland, mezzo-soprano
  • Nicole Parks, violin
  • Farley Kelly-Masterton, violin
  • Faith Jones, viola
  • Nora Karakousoglou, cello
  • Andrea Nolin, flute
  • Colin Davis, violin
  • Natalie Favaloro, violin
  • Kenneth Stalberg, viola
  • Sarah Freiberg, cello
  • Berit Strong, guitar
  • Olav Chris Henriksen, guitar
  • Wheaton College Residency

PLACES:

  • St. Petersburg, Russia with the Educational Bridge Project (FB photos HERE and Read Blog HERE)
  • Messina, Reggio Calabria and Mantova, Italy (FB photos HERE)
  • Monaco
  • France
  • Highway 101 Tour: Oregon Coast (FB photos HERE)
  • Highway 101 Tour: Sacramento – San Jose- San Francisco – Willits – Chico – Petaluma
  • Maine
  • New York City
  • Louisville – GFA
  • Boston and New England

VIDEOS

  • Granada by Isaac Albeniz
  • España Cañi by Pascual Marquina
  • Shard by Elliott Carter
  • Six Pieces for Violin and Keyboard by John Cage (arrangement by Aaron L-C) 
  • A World of Your Own by Jim Dalton (New Lullaby Project)
  • Tango en Skai by Roland Dyens (with string quartet)
  • Japanese Program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRsdqstthxA
  • Fugue, BWV 962 by J.S. Bach

Watch them all at: http://www.youtube.com/aaronlcguitar/videos

Fun with camera:

NEW LULLABY PROJECT

The New Lullaby Project turned 7 in December!

Read the Blog post:

www.aaronlc.com/blog/new-lullaby-project-celebrates-7-years/

Meet the 41 composers at www.NewLullabyProject.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

There’s probably a few more items that I missed, but I got to get back to practicing.

Best,

Aaron

The Legend of Hagoromo by Keigo Fujii

A heavenly maiden, who comes form a place where there is an absolute eternal world, flies again to the heavens from the earth.
– Keigo Fujii, The Legend of Hagoromo

Written in 1992, The Legend of Hagoromo is a single movement tour-de-force for solo guitar.  I first heard it in 1998 at the International Festival of Guitar in Cordoba, Spain.  A young woman performed it to close the student concert, and I was blown away.  Never had I heard such sounds come out of the guitar, nor a piece of 20+ minutes.  Upon my return to the US, I ordered a score, and I quickly realized that this piece would take time.  Written on two staffs and in a different tuning, I was out of my league, though I vowed it would be done.

I carried the score for years and I actually had to order the score twice as I always kept it close at hand, but when fire ravaged my home in 2007, my first score was lost.  After realizing my family and I would survive this chaotic part of our lives, I decided that I needed to finally learn and perform the piece, as life is short and I would regret not sharing my thoughts on The Legend of Hagoromo.

Hagoromo by Charles Schweigert www.cjschweigert.com

Hagoromo by Charles Schweigert
www.cjschweigert.com

I learned most of the piece in the summer of 2012, but had to put it down when the 2012-2013 Season began.  I picked it up again in June 2013 and practiced and practiced.  I began touring the work as part of my ‘Music of the East & West’, on my Hwy 101 Tour in August and September of this year through Oregon and Northern California; the response was awesome.

After the opening concert in Astoria, Oregon, a visual artist, Charles Schweigert, invited me to a gallery to see a work that he created also inspired by the Hagoromo Legend.  I was very moved by his painting, and he by my performance that he gave me the rights to use it on programs and elsewhere.   The painting represents the moment just after the young heavenly maiden finds and puts on her magical robe of feathers (hagoromo) and is about to return to the heavens.

Legend of symbols for Hagoromo

Legend of symbols for Hagoromo

The guitar work requires a scoradatura (alternate) tuning of D-A-D-G-A-D, pronounced dad-gad in guitar circles.  This tuning is very popular in folk music, but reading music notation in it is not typical.  The piece also requires an immense amount of extended techniques (techniques for creating sounds beyond the standards), including brushing the strings with the right hand while playing a left hand melody, reverse rasqueado, scratching the string in a koto-like manner, left hand strumming, Bartok pizzicatto.  See the diagram at right.

Here’s an impromptu video with a camera on my head of the end of the work:

A summary of the program note by maestro Keigo Fujii:

The Legend of Hagoromo has many variations throughout the world.  I believe that people since long ago felt some mystery with the cosmos and that many of them tried to fly to the heavens.  Thus the feeling of flying to the heavens is basic to this old story and can be seen in many other international legends.  The music which I composed is based on a 16-bar song by Hiroshi Yamanoha (d. 1991) on the story of the legend; hence the title. 

The song by Mr. Yamanoha is in the old traditional Okinawan mode.  I sometimes used this mode for my piece but I didn’t strictly adhere to it.  Rather, I used it as a vehicle to help me compose this music.  For me the flying heavenly maiden and the composer Mr. Yamanoha sometimes overlap in this piece.   The work is dedicated to friend and master guitarist David Russell. 

Yes, written for David Russel!  Though, I do not have any information on whether Mr. Russell has performed the work.

Upcoming performances of me performing the work include 10/22 – Cambridge, 10/27 – Boston, 11/3 – Duxbury.  I will be recording it in November 2013 and I am planning for a spring 2014 release.