Music I Am #49 , Amy Brandon, composer

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

Not sure. I think working with sound was what I always wanted but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I was always interested in sound, in particular I would stay underwater for long periods of time when swimming as a kid because of how it sounded.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

Being a good colleague.

Two ways you stay motivated:

Capturing what I hear internally and transporting it externally is always an interesting challenge, and what primarily motivates me. Financially maintaining myself in the arts is also a challenge and has it’s own interesting aspects.

Latest Project :

I recently was nominated for a JUNO award (Canadian Grammy equivalent) for my cello concerto, Simulacra*. This piece will be released with an album of chamber works called Lysis – (including my 10-string guitar piece Intermountainous) – on August 16, 2024 on New Focus Recordings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What inspired it:

Simulacra is essentially a sonification of my own personal struggles with human identity. Like many others, I’ve often felt intense pressure to alter aspects of my fundamental self in order to do basic things like work and interact with others. I express this in the piece by making the timbre of the cello a metaphor for this kind of self- inhibition – it travels from one timbral extreme to another from the narrowest of timbral ranges to the fullest.

Who’s on it:

The brilliant cellist Jeffrey Zeigler is the soloist, I wrote the piece for him. Karl Hirzer is the conductor and Symphony Nova Scotia the orchestra. The piece was performed at the Open Waters Festival in 2023.

How do you discover new music?

Usually through research for particular pieces I am writing. I don’t listen to music for pleasure or relaxation, usually.

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

Living – composer Pascale Criton

Dead – jazz guitarist Emily Remler

Where can we find you online?

amybrandon.caInstagram

SpotifyBandcamp

Upcoming Event you’d like to share?

My string quartet Lysis will be performed at the ISCM Festival in the Faroe Islands in June.

JeffZeigler and SymphonyNovaScotia

Cellist Jeff Zeigler, Amy, conductor Karl Hirzer

Music, Open Studios: Music Curated by Pedja Muzijevic, Concert in the 21st Century

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Simulacra credit to artist is Susan Roston, Nub 2, Photographer is Andrew Rashotte.

Music I Am #48 – Jason Doell, composer & sound artist

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

ooooof…dunno. but it began to feel like a thing when some friends and I formed a band in high school to play songs I was writing.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

so many these days – we all have to wear so many hats! Project management, communications, financial planning…

Two ways you stay motivated:

i don’t have any system in place or have any external motivators….music is just so much part of my everyday….and my mind is always just racing

Latest Project:

becoming in shadows ~ of being touched – released in April on Whited Sepulchre records. 

 

 

 

 

 

What inspired it:

Daily practice actually heheehehe I was at the Banff Centre and my morning warm up was piano improvisations. That became the heart of this really weird work.

Who’s on it:

Myself, Mauro Zannoli, and the algorithm I created sad(john).low

How do you discover new music?

I listen to podcasts and radio shows, I get lost in app recommendations and follow genre histories, I go to live shows frequently, I have lots of friends with whom I share listening suggestions…

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

Dead: Noah Creshevsky

Living: Xuan Ye

Where can we find you online?

https://www.jasondoell.com/

Upcoming Event you’d like to share? (optional)

just had a baby…so nothing until June in Sweden!

Review and Photos from Heretic, a micro-opera

Concert Review: Cameron-Wolfe’s “Heretic” — As Played by Aaron Larget-Caplan

By Aaron Keebaugh

Guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan managed to keep the micro-opera’s crazed figure sympathetic as he blurred the lines between reality and delusion.

Guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan performing Richard Cameron-Wolfe’s micro-opera Heretic. Photo: Catherine Larget-Caplan

 

“The secret of life is learning to live with interesting questions,” Richard Cameron-Wolfe said during the post-performance talkback following the American premiere of his micro-opera Heretic at Salem State’s Callan Studio Theater last Friday. The performer and composer had made good on that claim in the compelling resonance of his composition.

In this one-person drama, the protagonist, accompanying himself on guitar, wrestles with bewildering, irresolvable issues that lead to disillusion and eventual madness. Guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan managed to keep the crazed figure sympathetic as he blurred the lines between reality and delusion.

Given its challenging psychological extremes, the opera cruises through a wide range of emotions in its taut 15 minutes. Drawing on jagged musical textures as well as a disjointed monologue, the score is a journey toward a sharp and shattering gaze into the abyss. The guitarist is both hero and antihero — steeped in the craziness he is gallantly struggling to overcome, this is a journey into coming to terms with insanity.

Inspired by British writer Arthur Machen’s semi-autobiographical 1907 novel The Hill of Dreams, Heretic starts off by placing its central figure in an almost nonsensical predicament. Larget-Caplan plays a character lost in a mental fog. He ambled onto the stage, shifting his gaze about nervously. He then sat down and tore through a jarring phrase that fell somewhere between the soundscapes of Iannis Xenakis and Steve Reich. Vocal utterances entered the fray, and words were slowly formed — language which was interrupted by more waves of violent dissonance. Though it was composed with Cameron-Wolfe’s usual mathematical precision, the music in Heretic can sound personal and harrowing. The piece places listeners into Machen’s dark, dreamy world, where the overwrought senses are finding it harder and hard to discern what is true.

But, while this was an unapologetic descent into mental oblivion, Larget-Caplan’s character is no Parsifalian fool. The man has his semi-lucid moments, articulating a cultural critique in which he blamed himself and others for creating a civilization that has no love for beauty and purity. Our ideals of art, he reasoned, were no longer goals for the imagination to reach — they were artifacts of what we have lost. As he made these scathing observations, the guitarist unleashed another barrage of sound — like an atonal heavy metal riff — that framed his points with an ironic levity.

Here was a man who was driving himself to the end of his tether. Larget-Caplan’s nervous and angular movements suggested the angst of a mind that couldn’t stop churning, couldn’t stop torturing itself. At one point, the guitarist angrily bolted to the rear curtain as if to abandon his mission to think, only to be sucked back in. Heretic ends in a spirit of disquiet — with mumbled words accompanied by the sound of a guitar purposely falling out of tune. The man’s dilemma is inescapable. Caught up in a vicious cycle of grand accusations and self-absorption, he boldly embraces his disheveled mental state, all pain and no illumination.

These manic swings were well-served by Friday’s minimalist staging. Chairs were arranged in cross patterns — as much a symbol of confusion as a pragmatic choice for Larget-Caplan’s performance. Michael Harvey’s lighting and video projections conveyed an eerie aura; Jerry L. Johnson’s swift and economical stage directions never let the solipsistic action lag. The wild thorns of Cameron-Wolf’s score were well served by Larget-Caplan, whose bold and energetic presence underscored his talents as a musician and actor.

The other pieces on his hour-long program were also dedicated to introspection. Keigo Fujii’s The Legend of Hagoromo relayed a Japanese legend with cinematic flair. It is a narrative of a woman who is whisked away to heaven, where she mourns the absence of her husband and son. Her tears water a flower on earth that grows toward paradise. Father and son climb up it to visit her. Fujii’s music colorfully conveys the sadness and joys of this metaphoric meditation on death, loss, and hoped-for reunion. Larget-Caplan played the piece like the fanciful love letter it is: warm and reflective, yet coursing with frequent flamenco-like verve.

John Cage’s In a Landscape embraces greater ambiance. Larget-Caplan’s arrangement of the piano original — inspired by Erik Satie — makes use of Campanella-style playing. Harmonics are meant to ring over the regularly fingered melodic line. The difficulty in executing such complicated effects are considerable, and the guitarist’s arrangement didn’t fit snugly under the fingers. The upshot is that at times Larget-Caplan’s performance felt labored and mechanical, lacking the resonance, the distant glow, that marks the original conception.

Larget-Caplan’s arrangement of Bach’s Prelude in C Major and Vineet Shende’s Carnatic Prelude No. 1 proved more successful. His generous rubato in the Bach allowed him to revel in every shift in harmony. In the Shende — a view of Bach by way of Indian classical music — he unspooled melodies and rhythmic flourishes over drone-like resonances. It was a splendid exercise in singing tone and alert sensitivity.

When taking his bows, Larget-Caplan gestured to his guitar, happy to share the limelight with an instrument that had done its job well. Still, modesty aside, the strengths of these performances came down to Larget-Caplan, a musician of fluent technique and dramatic verve.


Aaron Keebaugh has been a classical music critic in Boston since 2012. His work has been featured in the Musical TimesCorymbus, Boston Classical ReviewEarly Music America, and BBC Radio 3. A musicologist, he teaches at North Shore Community College in both Danvers and Lynn.

Music I Am #47 – Marti Epstein- composer, pianist, absent-minded professor

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

More precisely, the moment I knew I that I AM a musician (whether I want to be or not) was when I was 4 and figured out how to play Hava Nagila on the piano. The moment I knew I was a composer was when my band director in high school, Dr. Steven Lawrence had me arrange something for the marching band. As soon as I heard what I had written played by the performers, I was hooked.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

Being kind and respectful to performers and colleagues.

Two ways you stay motivated:

I live in terror of missing a deadline. And, I live to create music.

Latest Project:

I am writing a motet for Emmanuel Music, and then I will be writing a piece for the Kozar/Byrne Duo.

 

 

 

 

 

What inspired it:

The motet is inspired by the Bach Cantata it is being paired with (Cantata 94) as well as the sentiment expressed by Psalm 133 (“Hine Ma Tov Umanayim”- how good it is for all to live together under one tent).

Who’s on it:

The singers of Emmanuel Music.

How do you discover new music?

Scorefollower, music reviews, things my students tell me about, things my kid tell me about.

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

  • Dead Musician: Toru Takemitsu. His orchestral music should be on every major orchestra’s programming list and it isn’t.
  • Living Musician: Bryn Harrison. Brilliant, brilliant English composer.

Where can we find you online?

martiepstein.com; soundcloud; Facebook; Instagram; bandcamp

Upcoming Event you’d like to share?

Emmanuel premiere is February 25th, but I also have a premiere of a piece I wrote for 8 cellos coming up this spring. Not sure of that date yet!

M. Epstein photos by ©️2023 Michael D Spencer

Now Musique – Rafael Popper-Keizer – CANCELED

May be an image of 6 people and text that says 'Now Musique CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESS Nostalgic Quietude Music of those who left home Rafael Popper-Keizer, cello Now Musique (b. 2019-) Exploring the New and Neglected Aaron Larget-Caplan, Artistic Director NowMusique.com Hilary Tann FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2024 7:30PM First Church Boston 66 Marlborough Street Boston, MA 02116 Ernest Bloch J.S Bach Pablo Casals Ralf Gawlick Léon Mouravieff'

NOSTALGIC QUIETUDE – MUSIC OF THOSE WHO LEFT HOME

Due to illness, not related to Covid, the concert to be rescheduled for a later date in 2024. All tickets are being refunded.

Sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date: http://nowmusique.com/

*************

Now Musique presents acclaimed cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer a rare solo recital of reflection, quietude and comfort.

The concert, Nostalgic Quietude, begins at 7:30pm on Friday January 19, at the beautiful First Church Boston, 66 Marlboro Street. Seating is general admission. TICKETS

On the recital Rafael Popper-Keizer writes, “For the depths of midwinter, I wanted to present a program that offers space for reflection, quietude, and comfort. The underlying theme is one of nostalgia; the five composers represented on the first half are all artists who left their homeland (Wales, Ukraine, Germany, Switzerland, Catalonia) but whose music continued to deeply express the culture and ethos of their respective places of birth. The Bach that closes the program represents a more personal sort of nostalgia: in the most introspective and melancholic of his cello suites, Bach draws us into the depths of our own inner worlds and holds us there firmly for six profound moments in time.”

“Rafi is well known for his artistic excellence in the music community,” says Now Musique Artistic Director Aaron Larget-Caplan, “but he is rarely heard is such a setting. As a student at the New England Conservatory, I was very lucky to experience his solo playing when he was an Artist Diploma, so we are extremely happy to be able to present such an artist as Rafael Popper-Keizer to the wider public.

Tickets are $20 through Eventbrite or at the door, General Seating
Now Musique Website: http://nowmusique.com/

PROGRAM:

  • The Cresset Stone – Hilary Tann (1947-2023)
  • Ballade – Léon Mouravieff (1905-1987)
  • Liebesleid – Ralf Gawlick (b. 1969)
  • Suite #3 for unaccompanied cello in a minor – Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
  • El cant dels ocells – Traditional/Casals
        Intermission
  • Suite #5 for unaccompanied cello in c minor – Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

NOW MUSIQUE:
Founded in 2019 by guitarist and composer Aaron Larget-Caplan, Now Musique is a new music series celebrating the recital format of new and often neglected solo and ensemble music with outstanding international artists. Committed to a bringing music into communities, the 2022 season saw five formal concerts featuring 30 living composers, and four more all-ages programs in Dorchester.

RAFAEL POPPER-KEIZER
Hailed by The New York Times as “imaginative and eloquent” and dubbed “a local hero” by the Boston Globe, cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer maintains a vibrant and diverse career as one of Boston’s most celebrated artists. He is principal cellist of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Emmanuel Music, and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and a core member of many notable chamber music organizations throughout New England, including the Chameleon Arts Ensemble, A Far Cry, Winsor Music, and Monadnock Music. His 2003 performance with the Boston Philharmonic of the Saint-Saëns Concerto in A minor was praised by the Globe for “melodic phrasing of melting tenderness” and “dazzling dispatch of every bravura challenge;” more recent solo appearances include Strauss’ Don Quixote, with the Boston Philharmonic; Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, with Emmanuel Music; and the North American premiere of Roger Reynolds’ Thoughts, Places, Dreams, with Sound/Icon.

Mr. Popper-Keizer has been featured on close to two dozen recordings, including the premieres of Robert Erickson’s Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra, Thomas Oboe Lee’s cello concerto Eurydice, Yehudi Wyner’s De Novo for cello and small chamber ensemble, Malcolm Peyton’s unaccompanied Cello Piece, Concert Champêtre by Thomas L. Read for guitar and cello with Aaron Larget-Caplan, and major unaccompanied works by Kodaly and Gawlick.and major unaccompanied works by Kodaly and Gawlick.

As an alumnus of the New England Conservatory, Mr. Popper-Keizer studied with master pedagogue and Piatigorsky protégé Laurence Lesser; at the Tanglewood Music Center he was privileged to work with Mstislav Rostropovich, and was Yo-Yo Ma’s understudy for Strauss’ Don Quixote under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. His prior teachers include Stephen Harrison, at Stanford University, and Karen Andrie, at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

*****

Now Musique presents Nostalgic Quietude – Music of those who left home with Rafael Popper-Keizer, cello
Composers: Hilary Tann, Léon Mouravieff, Ralf Gawlick, Ernest Bloch, Casals, and Bach
When: Friday January 19 at 7:30pm, Doors open at 7pm
Admission: $20
Location: First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston 02116
TICKETS: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nostalgic-quietude-cellist-rafael-popper-keizer-in-recital-tickets-769798186097?aff=oddtdtcreator
FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/654252766608469
Website: http://nowmusique.com/

New Publication – God’s Time by J.S. Bach, BWV 106

Aaron’s arrangement of Bach’s ‘God’s Time Is The Very Best Time, BWV 106’ is now available for download!
 
 
Featured as the title track to Aaron’s 2022 All-Bach album, ‘God’s Time is the Very Best Time’ BWV 106, is a beautiful and solemn solo and of my favorite compositions by Bach.
 
It has a very personal connection to pianist Seymour Bernstein, for whom Aaron was studying with at the time. “Seymour performed it for me and asked me to arrange it for guitar. I knew it would be title track of a future album.”
 
Arranged for moderate level and above players, the solo is written in Drop D (E string 6 tuned down to D). The arrangement includes a brief history of the work, performance notes, and ornament realization.
 
 

Listen to ‘God’s Time is the Very Best Time’ BWV 106:

SpotifyBandcamp (CD) • Apple MusicAmazon Music

 
 

Music I Am #46 – Aliana de la Guardia, a holistic life and career consultant for creatives, a non-profit arts leader, a theater artist, a producer, a teacher, Jedi, and warrior for artistic misfits

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

When I first started taking voice lessons, it was the only thing I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to sing forever.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

Writing and thinking. These two skills are so important to learn. I have always had a really rich journaling practice, and having the skill of reflection through writing has gotten me through some difficult times in my life and helped me expand ideas of who I am in the world, in music, and in the greater arts landscape. 

I certainly helps with grant writing and appeals for fundraising, but beyond that, it’s so important to come up with your own language for your art – what exactly it is that you do, why you do it, and what difference it makes in the world. 

The ability to ask questions and reflect on successes and failures allows you to hone your craft in a different way. I wish it didn’t take me 20 years to learn this, but now that I have these skills (and still improving), I’m a much better executive and artist.

Two ways you stay motivated:

  1. Stay involved with or start projects that are meaningful to me 
  2. Have hobbies that are not related to my professional career.

Latest Project:

My project, Bahué, has launched the second annual Latinx Composer Miniature Challenge (LCMC 2.0), which we envisioned as a sister project to the Castle of our Skins’ Black Composer Miniature Challenge. The Bahué #LCMC 2.0 asks composers who identify as Latin American or part of the Latin Diaspora to compose pieces for me and percussionist Ariel Campos that must be 30 seconds or so. We love for pieces to be inspired by themes of Latinidad, but it’s not required!

Pieces are due February 18, 2023 and early submissions are welcome and encouraged! We will record the works in June 2024 and broadcast the performances on social media and YouTube starting September 2024 (Hispanic Heritage Month). There is no cost to enter and the composers of all chosen works will be compensated.

What inspired it:

I felt alone when I first started searching for representation in concert repertoire and it felt like my interest in connecting to my culture through music was seen as a novelty because it was outside of the traditional repertoire. So this was always an interest and in my mind, but with Bahué and with Ariel, I figured out how to blend this interest with my passion for working with composers and with new music. We all need a space where we are not a novelty. Where we can celebrate new voices in our culture as well as the musical heritage that shapes us.

Who’s on it:

My duo partner, percussionist Ariel Campos, and any composers that want to apply!

How do you discover new music?

Through chorale in my undergrad, actually! I also became friends with a composer who asked me to sing his music more. Soo after, more composers started asking me to sing their music, and beyond that, I started looking for more composers on my own, and the rest is history! 

I still do that to this day. I go through periods where I’m Google Searching through websites and YouTube. Sometimes I’m going through lists to see if composers have specific instrumentation, sometimes I’m just listening to vocal works.

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

I don’t know that I can answer this question. I’m not the kind that fans out on one person and there are so many amazing musicians in the world.

Where can we find you online?

Everywhere, but you can use https://linktr.ee/dirtypaloma to follow me on social media, sign up for my quarterly newsletter, and see what I have going on.

Upcoming Event you’d like to share?

Guerilla Opera has an artist networking event! It’s virtual and free, so anyone and everyone who has something to share is welcome to join us! And, of course, if you’re a composer of the Latin diaspora I hope you’ll submit to the Latinx Composer Miniature Challenge (LCMC 2.0).

New Year, New Connections: Virtual Happy Hour for Artists!

Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 7:00 PM ET

More Info: https://guerillaopera.org/eventcal/2023/12/29/new-year-new-connections-virtual-happy-hour-for-artists

Sign Up: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMldeCrqTovHdd9H_JUEmMXSzaTkK8zWClv 

photo by Tyler Hubby

photo by Tyler Hubby

Heretic – a micro-opera at Salem State

Guitarist and composer Aaron Larget-Caplan returns to Salem State University for a special one-night-only concert. TICKETS & INFO

The concert, Altered Worlds, begins with Larget-Caplan’s arrangement of J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C Major, WTC I, BWV 846 partnered with Vineet Shende’s (Bowdoin College) Carnatic Prelude N. 1, After J.S. Bach, a re-imagining of the prior as if Bach were from South India. The monumental Legend of Hagoromo by Keigo Fujii explores mystical transformation through the 13th century myth, followed by John Cage’s serene In A Landscape, arranged by Larget-Caplan.

The evening concludes with the theatrical performance and US premiere of Heretic, a micro-opera for guitarist by Richard Cameron-Wolfe. Inspired by Arthur Machen’s haunting 1907 novel The Hill of Dreams, this realization is a multi-media event in collaboration with Salem State University theatre faculty Jerry Johnson and Aaron Larget-Caplan.

“As an artist, I try to push myself into new areas,” said Larget-Caplan, “and Heretic does that very well! Not just because I must sing, act, speak, and play a technically extremely difficult piece, but that each element is to be approached from the theatrical side as well. Collaborating with the theater director Jerry Johnson has enlivened the experience. I’m extremely excited!”

Born Arthur Llewelyn Jones in 1863, Arthur Machen became one of the most influential writers of his generation. He drew on the dark landscapes of his childhood in Wales, together with his adult life in bohemian fin-de-siécle London, to create magical and disturbing tales. His admirers include Stephen King, and H. P. Lovecraft, who described him as one of the four ‘modern masters of the horror story’.

Larget-Caplan will perform Heretic in April 2024 at Symphony Space in New York, Bowdoin College in Maine, and Tufts University in Medford.

Altered Worlds promises to be a new and wonderful adventures for music and theatre lovers!

Richard Cameron-Wolfe, Composer

 
Profile photo of J. L. Johnson

Jerry Johnson, Director

PROGRAM
Prelude N. 1 in C Major, BWV 846* – J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Carnatic Prelude N. 1, After J.S. Bach* (2017) – Vineet Shende (b.1972)
The Legend of Hagoromo (1992) – Keigo Fujii (b.1956)
In A Landscape* (1948) – John Cage (1912-1992)
Heretic (2022) – Richard Cameron-Wolfe (b.1943)

*Written for or arranged by Aaron Larget-Caplan

 

LISTING:
Friday January 26 • 7:30pm
Salem State University in conjunction with the Music and Theater departments presents Aaron Larget-Caplan in Altered World, a solo program exploring transformation.
Composers: 
J.S. Bach, Vineet Shende, Keigo Fujii, John Cage, and the US premiere of Heretic – a micro opera by Richard Cameron-Wolfe – directed by Jerry Johnson (SSU Theater Faculty).
Information and Tickets: HERE ($10-15)
Location: 
Callan Studio Theatre, Salem State University, 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 01970 (MAP)
Program Notes for the concert: https://alcguitar.com/blog/heretic-at-salem-state/

PROGRAM NOTES

Prelude No. 1 in C Major, WTC Book 1, BWV 846* by J.S. Bach

The first prelude in The Well-Tempered Clavier comprises a simple arpeggio figure; the dramatic tension only builds through harmonic change. While a moment in time, the arpeggio feels eternal. Gounod based his ‘Ave Maria’ on this prelude. I raise the octave of the last measures for an ethereal conclusion. Recorded on Aaron’s 2022 album ‘God’s Time: Music of J.S. Bach on Guitar (Tiger Turn) SPOTIFY

Carnatic Prelude N. 1, After J.S, Bach* (2017) by Vineet Shende

Vineet Shende and Aaron

A measure for measure re-imagination of Bach’s Prelude N. 1 in C-Major, WTC I, BWV 846 as if Bach were from South India. A fusion of the Eastern melodic and rhythmic traditions of Carnatic music (raga – scale, taal – rhythmic cycle) and Western harmonic traditions.

Carnatic music does not use harmony as the western tradition, so Shende uses rhythmic flourishes to denote a cadence or phrase ending. The project will continue for a total of 12 Carnatic Preludes by Shende being paired with Larget-Caplan’s arrangements of the original Bach keyboard works for guitar.

The legend of Hagoromo (1992) by Keigo Fujii

Found in variation throughout Asia, the Hagoromo legend describes a young fisherman falling in love with a heavenly maiden who can fly when she wears her magical feathered kimono (Hagoromo). Wanting to prevent her from leaving him, he steals and hides her Hagoromo while she bathes under the autumn full moon. After a time, and unable to go home to the immortal world, she returns his love and they have a child together. While walking her young son, the boy sings a lullaby whose words describe where the Hagoromo is hidden. Donning it and robed in the blue of heaven she ascends again! But she cries in sadness, for she cannot bring her husband and son along. Lovesick and lonely as well, her husband plants the seed of a moonflower for her, and as her tears water it from the world above it grows into the heavens allowing the fisherman to climb up and join her; her tears becoming a rainbow. B

ased on a 16-bar song in the traditional Okinawan mode by Hiroshi Yamanoha (d.1991) about the Hagoromo legend, Keigo Fujii does not adhere strictly to the mode and incorporates many extended techniques and effects to create one of the 20th century’s great masterpieces. Recorded on Aaron’s 2013 album ‘The Legend of Hagoromo’ (Stone Records). SPOTIFY

In A Landscape* (1948) by John Cage, Arr. A. Larget-Caplan

Through composed, the composition can be divided into three parts by the repetition of the opening melodic figure and arpeggio. Choreographer Louise Lippold conceived of the 15 x 15 measures (5-7-3) rhythmic structure.

The work travels the length of the guitar and requires extensive use of campanella, natural and artificial harmonics, tambura, and peaceful control. The arrangement required multiple register adjustments, but no note changes. The most daunting of my Cage arrangements due to extended fixed gamut of tones and the use of two voices that need to resonate throughout, it is also the most lyrical of the mid-period works where one can hear the lines so reminiscent of Satie. I met Cage in Dream, but I fell in love with Cage through In A Landscape. Recorded on Aaron’s 2018 album ‘John. Cage. Guitar.’ (Stone Records) SPOTIFY

Heretic* (1994/2017/2022) by Richard Cameron-Wolfe

This Heretic speaks the unspeakable, thinks the unthinkable, and plays the unplayable. At the outset, Orthodoxy tries to stop him from speaking his first word.

At last, the Heretic addresses us, with “I want to tell you what’s going on here”, but immediately has second thoughts: “You don’t want to know.” He then moves uncomfortably close to the audience and, in a Mephistophelian tone, asks for our “trust”. Then, calmly and conversationally, he refers to Arthur Machen’s book The Hill of Dreams – its contents perhaps holding a key to the nature of the Heretic’s mental state (unreality/alienation). After a robotic, manic, minimalist rant, the Heretic abruptly begins to leave, pauses, and reluctantly returns, apparently to become simply a guitarist.

An extended, abstract, contrapuntal passage follows, punctuated however with comments from the Heretic – alternately introspective and communicative, about beauty, perfection, and art. But the Heretic is, as we suspected, quite mad, regretting this encounter. He pushes us away, turning inward – and we are released, liberated. This performance is the U.S. Premiere.

Heretic will be performed at Bowdoin College (April 6) Symphony Space in NYC (April 20), and Tufts University (April 26).

Larget-Caplan’s arrangements of John Cage’s piano music published by Edition Peters

Music I Am #45 – David Claman, Composer

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

It was a gradual process. When I was young I was involved with music as a player and listener, but intended to become a painter. I didn’t begin writing music until my late 20s. I took a composition class almost as a lark, and quickly realized that composing would bring together the creative energy I experienced making visual art with the intensity and enjoyment I felt while playing and listening to music.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

Be supportive of your musician friends and their activities.

Two ways you stay motivated:

I like to “begin again” by doing basic things like tuning my guitar slowly and carefully by ear, with no goal other than hearing the timbres and consonances. Or playing scales, not as “warm up” but in order to feel my hands on the piano keys and experience the qualities of each note when the keys are depressed. 2) I’ll give myself a future goal, like scheduling a concert or booking a recording session.

Latest Project:

I completed a set of art songs for Matthew Curran, bass, accompanied by John McDonald, piano. We premiered them in December in New York and will perform them in Boston in 2024. Tony De Ritis is part of this project too, contributing songs he composed for tenor Greg Zavracky. After a few performances we plan to record an album together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What inspired it:

The fine musicians I’ve worked with for years, and the wonderful poetry I set by poets Richard Tillinghast, John Haines, and Robert Francis.

Who’s on it:

Matthew Curran, bass voice, and John McDonald, piano.

How do you discover new music?

I get suggestions from friends and find music on Youtube and Spotify.

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

Johannes Ockeghem (c. 1410-1497) is an extraordinary composer, known mostly to fans of early music and mentioned in music history classes. Fortunately, opportunities to hearing his music in concert are becoming more common.

Andrew Rangell is a wonderful pianist with a broad and varied catalog. His recording of the Bach Partitas on the Steinway label are refreshing, sensitive, and probing, and my favorite recordings of these pieces.

Where can we find you online?

I have a website and a YouTube channel, and Spotify 

Upcoming Event you’d like to share?

In January and February 2024, I’ll be in India collaborating and recording with Hindustani musician friends in New Delhi. Recordings and videos of the sessions will be released in the summer of 2024.

2024 Concert Preview!

Upcoming Concerts!

  • Friday Jan. 19 – cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer guest artist on the recital series Now Musique, Directed by Aaron Larget-Caplan. INFO

Aaron Larget-Caplan Performs:

  • Friday Jan. 26 – Salem State University, Altered Worlds – recital and US premiere of Heretic, a micro-opera by Richard Cameron-Wolfe for solo guitarist. INFO
  • Feb. 29 – Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma, Concert+Class. INFO
  • March 1 – Spanish Gems – New Album on Tiger Turn (Aaron’s 11th album!)
  • March 10 – Astoria, Oregon
  • March 19 – King’s Chapel, Boston
  • March 28 – Tufts University, Mass, Late-Night Concert featuring the New Lullaby Project
  • April 6 – Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, Residency+Concert – Heretic
  • April 7 – Camden, Maine
  • April 20 – Symphony Space, New York INFO – Heretic
  • April 26 – Tufts University Residency+Concert – Heretic
  • May 4-5 – Bowdoin College, Choir+Guitar, Pravasa – Travels of the Guitar by Vineet Shende

Complete Concert Information: ALCGuitar.com/calendar
*more concerts are being added