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Monday Memories
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Featured Artist Series

For this week’s Featured Artist selection it is my pleasure to spotlight legends Scott Tennant and Bill Kanengiser, playing my duet Sanzen-in. In addition to being good friends and colleagues, Bill, Scott and I, along with John Dearman, were also members of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet together for sixteen years. Here are Bill and Scott playing Sanzen-in at the Portland Classic Guitar Series in 2014. About the duet, Sanzen-in is the name of a thousand year old temple in Kyoto, Japan. After visiting this temple and gardens that have been lovingly tended for more than a millenium, I was moved to compose this piece.

Archimedes - for this week's Featured Artist series we highlight the wonderful Olson/DeCari Duo singing my composition “Archimedes”. John and Gioia commissioned me to write a piece that was science-based for a project they had been working on for several years, and what better subject for the piece than my hero, the great Greek mathematician Archimedes. Gioia and John came up with the brilliant video concept based on the lyrics I wrote for the piece. This is an instant classic!

In this week's Featured Artist video, we have the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in the premiere of my composition "By Chants", with the incomparable Chuck Hulihan conducting. Commissioned by Grand Canyon Guitar Society, Tucson Guitar Society, Arizona State University and Glendale Community College Guitar Programs, "By Chants" is really a concerto for four guitars, with a guitar orchestra in four parts accompanying the quartet. Since the commission came from a consortium in Arizona, I interwove a Havasupai theme into the composition.

In this week's Featured Artist video, we have the exceptional Cuarteto de México playing my early quartet composition "Quiccan." Their virtuosity, precision and musicality speaks for itself. I'm very excited to share Cuartet de México's brilliant rendition of this difficult piece.

For this week’s Featured Artist video, here is a delightful video of Cecilia Siqueira playing “Sunburst” in 2008 in Minsk, Belarus. This piece has been recorded by many guitarists, but I particularly liked the joy that Cecilia brings to this performance.

This week's featured Artist is Tavi Jinariu, playing my compostion "Lament" on a 1947 Hauser I guitar. I appreciate Tavi's clarity of expression and the way he beautifully captures the emotional spirit of each phrase. Bravo Tavi!

This week's featured Artist is Joe Pecoraro. Joe has been a teacher at University of North Carolina School of the Arts in North Carolina for many years, and his student Billie Feather commissioned me to write a piece for Joe in gratitude for his mentorship during her studies with him at UNCSA. The composition I wrote for them is called “Forgotten Light,” and Joe does a sensitive and masterful rendition of this work.

This week's Featured Artist is Guitar Duo Botti (Han Eun and Heo Yulim), playing my duet “Evening Dance.” I composed this work in 1990 for Christopher Parkening and David Brandon as a continuous set of variations on the opening theme. It is delightful to hear this sensitive rendition performed by the Guitar Duo Botti.

Vera Danilina - This week's Featured Artist is the superb guitarist Vera Danilina playing "Just How Funky Are You." I wrote this piece eleven years ago, and it is very difficult and super funky. In locrian mode, I wrote it not only as a technical challenge to classical guitarists, but even more of a stylistic challenge, as this work requires a certain authenticity and stylistic flexibility to handle the funkiness. Vera Danilina shines on all counts, and plays the hell out of it. Brava!

Premek Hajek playing "Cradle Song" from my collection "Kinderlight" - Premek has exceptionally sensitive phrasing, and I love his subtle interpretation of Cradle Song. His playing with no nails gives his tone a refreshing and warm and earthy quality.