Tag Archives: classical guitar

Bach & Parachute – Sound & Image for You

Here’s a video just for you. Cinematographer Andy Bowley was seriously captivated by this billowing parachute at Arcosanti.  I love listening to, learning and playing Bach. Two great tastes that taste great together. I hope you like it.

Prelude for Cello Suite No. 1 for Guitar.  Recorded super lo-fi in my living room.

A Present for You

VCCA Corn Crib interior
VCCA Corn Crib interior

Here’s a present from me to you — me playing Heitor Villa-Lobos‘ Prelude No. 2 for Guitar,  recorded in the corn crib at VCCA on a very rainy day.

Please excuse the misplayed notes, the notes that didn’t get played, and squeaky notes escaping my cranky guitar which was not digging the variable weather.

A personal note about this tune: I always feel challenged by it and midway through the final section it always feels like I hit the 20th mile of a marathon. Not that I’ve ever run a marathon…

I hope you like it.

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More Villa-Lobos here.

For more guitar music recorded at VCCA, here’s a Bach prelude (recorded in the silo) and a Purcell minuet (recorded in the field).

Here’s a playlist of me playing  classical guitar music.


A Music Playlist!

Finally, it’s here! WordPress has made playlists possible. So here then, in one place, is all the classical guitar music I’ve recorded and placed on the blog. I like to think of them as humble presents for you, my valued readers.

In case you’re new here, don’t expect Andre Segovia. This is something I do for my soul, not professionally or semi-professionally (whatever that is).

I hope you enjoy the music.

And there’s the video, too.

Photo by Sandra Dal Poggetto
Photo by Sandra Dal Poggetto

A Present for You – Music and Video – Brouwer’s Etude No. 1

For all of you who have donated to A Life’s Work, read the blog, liked the Facebook page, left a comment somewhere, or supported me and my work in some way, here’s a wee present for you — Leo Brouwer’s Etude No. 1. Hope you like it.

Video shot by photographer and friend Peter LaMastro.

Special thanks to the awesome Kate Schutt, who re-introduced me to this piece.

If you’re new here, you should know this blog is about a documentary film, A Life’s Work, currently in post production. The director, David Licata, who also plays classical guitar, invites you to support the film. In addition to monetary help (the portal accepts $5 to $50,000), there are many ways you can support A Life’s Work. Why not consider being a part of  the film’s growing community?

Want more classical guitar music?

Broadacre City: Just My Imagination?

A few years ago I blogged about an imagined quote from  Fredric Chopin.

trevor.pratt, flickr
trevor.pratt, flickr

This happened again recently. I know I’ve seen archival footage of Frank Lloyd Wright standing over the model of Broadacre City (now on view at the Museum of Modern Art through June 1), his vision of urban design. He looks imposing, unshakeable in his conviction that this is how cities should be designed and built. I’ve searched and searched and searched, but haven’t found a thing. Maybe I dreamed it. Or maybe it’s a case of wishful thinking gone haywire. Or maybe I’m going insane. Perhaps a visit to MoMA will clear things up.

In the meantime, here’s me playing a Chopin prelude on the guitar, recorded a few years ago at Blue Mountain Center. Chopin composed it for piano, of course, but this piece was transcribed by Francisco Tarrega.

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More music here.


A Present for You – Still More Classical Guitar Music

Happy holidays from we here at A Life’s Work.

Here’s a recording of me playing Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Prelude No. 3 beside a creek in Wyoming.

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Apologies for the sound quality and the missed notes.

Want more lo-fi classical guitar music? Click here.

Photo by Sandra Dal Poggetto
Photo by Sandra Dal Poggetto

We Should Listen to Nobel Prize Winners Because They’re Usually Smart

Nobel Prize winner Thomas Sudhof

Popping up all over my Facebook feed last week was a three-year old interview with Thomas Sudhof, who won (with Randy Schekman and James Rothman) this year’s Nobel Prize for medicine and physiology. The reason? This question and answer:

Who was your most influential teacher, and why?

Sudhof: My bassoon teacher, Herbert Tauscher, who taught me that the only way to do something right is to practice and listen and practice and listen, hours, and hours, and hours.

My voice doesn’t carry the same weight as Mr. Sudhof’s, but I have this here blog so I’m going to voice my opinion. Surprise! I  agree with him  about the value of art education. I studied classical guitar outside of school when I was a teenager. I’d practice one stanza at a time, over and over until I played it well, then on to the next stanza, and the next. At my most serious, I did this for hours everyday day. This was (and still is) how I learned the music. Memorized it, yes, but more than that, this was how I discovered how a certain phrase, passage and entire piece was to be played.

I didn’t just learn how to do this weird thing known as play an instrument (it is a weird thing to do, when you think about it), but I learned the value of working hard to get the details right, and you know what they say about details. Before taking those guitar lessons I was pretty unmotivated and passive. I really didn’t care about anything enough to spend more than an hour doing it. My school work was a chore and I always did the minimum amount to get by with a B. But when I started taking guitar lessons, I discovered that I did have passions and that I could be inspired, and that discovery was a powerful thing.

I learned that hearing and listening were two very different things. That was kind of a big door to open.

When writing and film caught my attention, I knew I had it in me to spend the time necessary to hone those crafts and get the work out there. Learning music gave me that kind of confidence.

So I’m with you Thomas Sudhof. Doug Brown, classical guitarist, was my most influential teacher.

Who was your most influential teacher, and why?

You can hear me playing some classical guitar music here.

[cross posted on ExtraCriticum.com]