Monday, May 30, 2011

Passacaglia by Louis Couperin

I've been on haitus these months because I've been looking differently at technique, music, how I play, and how I teach. Part of my search has been to find a more "authentic" sound - one with more complexity and humanity. When I hear the older players that I love, I hear a lot of complexity in the tone - many human "artifacts" if you will. There are numerous elements to this kind of sound, but one of the elements is the use of natural nails.

For 20+ years I have been using fake nails because of a belief that my real nails weren't very good for tone. As it turns out, my natural nails were not as weak as I had assumed, and for the last few weeks I've been developing them for playing. This recording is the first I've done with natural nails and was happy to record on a 1965 Fleta guitar. It is one of my favorite arrangements by the great Andres Segovia.

Monday, January 10, 2011

2 Fantasías by Luis de Narváez (fl. 1526 - 1549) - Kevin Gallagher, guit...

I started getting back into recording to improve my playing. Lately I've been fascinated with the Spanish Renaissance and have been reading the vihuelist's music voraciously. The part writing and imitation in this music is like the European religious vocal music of the time, but it also has some unique and subtle dissonances - an influence from the Moors conquest and subsequent 700 year occupation of Spain starting in the year 711.