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MONDAY MEMORIES

Gigue by J.S. Bach - For this week’s Monday Memory we have a new video for you, the Gigue from the 3rd cello suite in C major by J. S. Bach. In playing this final movement on guitar, I tune the guitar like a cello and play strictly from the cello score, adding no notes or harmonies.





Menhir - For this week’s Monday Memory we revisit “Menhir”, the third movement from "Numen Suite”. A menhir is a standing stone, and this piece is ostinato driven, dark, baroque and motoric, giving the sense of the looming presence of one of these giant monolithic stones. From "Numen Suite".





For Mark - For this week’s Monday Memory selection we have a new video for you. "For Mark" is a slow modal waltz written for a friend. Annie and I filmed this video live, and I’m playing a special guitar built by Jose Romanillos.





Poem No. 3 - For this week’s Monday Memory selection we delve back into my collection “Seven Poems” and offer “Poem No. 3”. All of these poems are in a more abstract and free musical language, and I like the sense of a story being told, as if during a compelling dream.





Work Song - Revisiting a piece from my Just Music Collection for Just-intonated guitar, this week we have “Work Song” for our Monday Memory release. Here I created a bluesy and traditional sounding composition that uses the unexpected intervallic relationships in Just Intonation to good effect. These pieces also sound fine on a standard guitar, they just aren’t quite as spicy!





The Dancer - This week's Monday Memory a new video we filmed live, a theme that came to me in a dream. In keeping with the title and the emotional tenor of the piece, I’m joined virtually by some lovely expressions of beauty in motion.





Imaginary March - This week's Monday Memory is a march of the imagination that emerges upon waking out of a dream and into the real world, while keeping its slightly surreal dream-like quality. What I like about this piece are its fresh and modal harmonic elements, and tight thematic structure. I hope you enjoy this playful yet serious composition. From the collection Dreams and Lullabies.





For Anthony - This week we have a new video of an old piece, filmed live. “For Anthony” is a piece I wrote many years ago for an elderly gentleman I met in England. I was performing and teaching at a festival and Anthony was an enthusiastic amateur student despite his years. He very kindly drove me to the airport when the festival was done, and for his charming kindness I dedicated this piece to him many years ago. From the collection Six Easy Pieces.





Spider Dance - Our Monday Memory selection for this week is “Spider Dance”, an easy yet quirky piece in a quick 7/8 time signature. Something out of the ordinary for students looking for some repertoire with a little edge to it! Though spiders make me uncomfortable, it seemed to be the appropriate name for this piece when I wrote it over thirty years ago. From the classic collection “Eight Discernments”.




Garden Steps - For this week’s Monday Memory we offer “Garden Steps”, an easy piece that I wrote twenty years ago for inclusion in a book of student pieces. As I’ve often said, part of my musical mission is to create easy works for guitar that engage the student in a meaningful and stylistically relevant way. Garden Steps is one I have found pleasing over the years, and I hope you will enjoy it too.





Just Sayin' - For this week’s Monday Memory we have a new piece, Just Sayin', that for me invokes the spirit of a time long gone by, when as a little boy I would play music with my father and uncle, and we'd have family sing-alongs. A relaxed and cool groove, this piece blends so much of the music I loved at that time, from early folk music to Smother's Brothers recordings to a generous hint of Antonio Carlos Jobim. With the YouTube video Annie and I tried to also give a feeling of those times, nostalgic echoes of our distant past.





Knowing - For this week’s Monday Memory we have “Knowing”, a poignant and emotional piece for me. When I hear or play this piece, the melody moves through my consciousness shining a light on memories from my past. In an accessible renaissance style, it moves in the middle development section toward shades of Scarlatti, a composer whose inventive playfulness I adore. From the suite "Glimmerings".





Jamelan - Something out of the ordinary for this week's Monday Memory - In "Jamelan" I try to give the impression of Gamelan music from Indonesia. Jamelan is from "Just Music", an unusual collection of pieces I wrote for guitar fretted in Just Intonation. Used in the middle ages, Just Intonation offers mathematically pure major chords in the home key, but doesn't allow for much modulation because chords out of the key can be noticeably out of tune. In Jamelan, I've explored the tension in these unusual intervals in a different way to give the desired Gamelan effect.





Sarabande - For this week’s Monday Memory we offer a live video take of the beautiful Sarabande from the 3rd Cello Suite in C major by Johann Sebastian Bach. I play this suite at pitch with no transposition, necessitating tuning the bottom two strings of the guitar to C and G. I also don’t add any notes and play the music as it is from the original cello score. Playing Bach is always a reminder of how sublime music can be.





California Breeze - For this week’s Monday Memory we have "California Breeze”, a duet I recorded with Dai Kimura for Sony Japan in 2005. The video was filmed in Malibu California by Sony to promote the Japanese-only release of the recording. Originally titled “Genève”, I wrote this in 1986 while visiting Geneva Switzerland. I renamed it "California Breeze" at the request of Sony for the recording with Dai.





By Candlelight - For this week’s Monday Memory, we have a new video, By Candlelight.  Written in 1998, I tried to capture that magic feeling of sacred space that can emerge from a meditative evening with only candles for illumination.  Filmed live, I'm playing on a very special guitar built by master luthier José Romanillos, the last guitar he ever made with cypress back and sides. By Candlelight - come enter the sanctuary for a moment of refuge from the disorder of the mundane. From the collection “Kinderlight".





Little One - To bring in the New Year, we have “Little One” for our first Monday Memory of 2024. This takes me right back to my childhood, playing guitar as a boy in a folkloric style. I hope this gives you all a good feeling for ringing in the New Year with joy, hope and happiness. From the collection “Four Fingerpaintings".





O Christmas Tree - Another holiday classic? Yes! Here is my arrangement of "O Christmas Tree", which we released in 2021. An attempt to convey the sweetness and depth of the season, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday.





Cryptic Triptych - For this week’s Monday Memory selection we have another cool swing jazz piece, very loosely based once again on We Three Kings - once I began arranging that carol, I just kept going and created this more abstract version, which became an independent composition. You only recognize the basis for the composition in the B section, all else is more of an abstraction.





Poem No. 2 - For this week’s Monday Memory selection we re-visit “Poem No. 2”, from my collection “Seven Poems”. I’ll repeat what I said before about this collection - I like music that gives one a sense of dreaming, and evokes spacious and dream-like atmospheres, taking one out of the mundane and into more rarefied realms. To that end, I wrote Seven Poems for guitar, and as the title implies, approaching music poetically allowed me to create forms and structures that I might not have otherwise realized.





We Three Kings - For this week's Monday Memory, and in keeping with the season, here’s a brand new video of a Christmas carol for you, the classic “We Three Kings”, filmed live in the Den. I’ve arranged it in a jazz swing style, very cool, to complement the waltz nature of the piece, while trying to hip it up a bit. Merry merry!





Awake - For this week's Monday Memory we have “Awake", a very easy student piece from the collection "4 in A in 4". All four of the pieces in this collection are in a mode of "A" and in 4/4 time, hence the title. One of my missions as a composer, as I’ve always said, is to create easy pieces for students that have current stylistic and musical relevance. These are some of the simplest pieces I have composed for students, but I gave them pleasing themes and forms that makes them seem like a more involved musical pieces - at least, that was my intent! I hope you enjoy “Awake”, the first little piece in the collection.





Skeleton - For this week's Monday Memory, we have a brand new video for you. "Skeleton" is is a quirky, rhythmic student-level piece which wrote a long time ago (in the late 1980’s), but we just now filmed our first video of it. In keeping with the Halloween season, I am joined by Charles, our resident skeleton, who tickled my back while I was playing. From the collection "Eight Dreamscapes"





Annie's Song - For this week's Monday Memory, I’m proud to revisit "Annie's Song" - a piece for my wonderful wife, who helps me so much in everything I do. I couldn’t make all the music I do without her.  I hope you all enjoy hearing this very personal composition. From the collection “Seven Spirits".





The Equations of Beauty, i - For our Monday Memories offering this week, we have the movement “i” from “The Equations of Beauty”. EOB is a six-movement suite, and each movement is named for a mathematical constant or variable. This movement, “i”, represents an imaginary number, the square root of negative one. This number helps mathematicians move out of our reality into other dimensions, which is a cool concept no matter how you think about it.





Chant - For this week’s Monday Memories, we have a new video of my early simple piece “Chant”, which reminds me of medieval times, monks chanting in shadowed, echoing spaces. And since I discovered the secret of time travel, sometimes I just have to go back many centuries to clear my head and sit by a medieval fire and play some music. From the collection “Eight Discernments".





Letting Go - For our Monday Memories this week, we revisit an older piece called Letting Go. This goes back a few years, as my younger visage testifies. Filming took place during a concert called Primal Twang, which included guitar luminaries Eric Johnson, Doc Watson, Mason Williams, Albert Lee and more. Quite a cast to share a stage with. The concert was scripted and narrated by Dan Crary, and it’s a joy to relive some of those moments through this video.





Shadows Only Come From Light - This weeks' Monday Memory is a new release! "Shadows" is a composition I wrote for a friend’s birthday. This piece is in the poignant, mysterious style that I like so much to explore. Annie and I enjoyed letting the evocative title direct our artistic palette in the making of this video.





Lullaby for Caroline - Our selections for this week evokes a gentle and spacious atmosphere that blends the mystical edge between awake and dreaming. From the collection "Dreams and Lullabies".





Poem No. 1 - I like music that gives one a sense of dreaming, and evokes spacious and dream-like atmospheres, taking one out of the mundane and into more rarefied realms. To that end, I wrote Seven Poems for guitar, and as the title implies, approaching music poetically allowed me to create forms and structures that I might not have otherwise realized. For this weeks Monday Memory, we revisit the first in the series, “Poem No. 1”. From the collection “Seven Poems”.





A Minor Duet - A Minor Duet - A very baroque and canonic duet, an exercise in writing authentically in an earlier style, one of the many arts being lost today at an ever increasing pace of extinction. Maintaining relevance by rigorous development of experiential skills, I gave myself the opportunity to be my own duet partner. From collection Little Book of Duets.





Yamour - This spirited piece emulates the sound of a band on one guitar, with a hint of jazz and a glimmer of Brazil. It’s one of my favorite works, and was a milestone for me compositionally to surmount the formidable challenge of composing with authority in what is now called ‘Yamour’ tuning, DADF#BD. I wrote Yamour for my friend and colleague, the fine Italian guitarist Andrea Vettoretti.





Snowflight - one of my early and most popular student pieces, I'm pleased to see this piece played all around the world by students of all ages. Seeing so many videos of Snowflight on the internet, we decided a while ago to make our own. From my collection "Eight Discernments".





Sweet Life - A very personal and lyrical expression of my long intertwining of music and life.




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