Good grief, the last time I wrote a personal update was way back in August. There has been a lot going on since then and I will do my best to be succinct!
In October this year I ran Guitoberfest, which was a month long classical guitar course that I ran here in New York City. It involved Ben Verdery, Gohar Vardanyan, and Colin Davin. It was a very rewarding process for me, and I learned a lot about running an event like this. Most of the students were from the New York city area but one brave guitarist trekked all the way from Seattle to be with us! (Thanks Teresa!) We covered a lot of technique, theory, and musicianship as well as playing through ensemble pieces. I hope to run it again next year.
Following Guitoberfest came two big recording projects which are still in process. I recorded my doctoral recital program up in Connecticut, as after all that work on the repertoire I wanted to get it down, at the very least for posterity. It included the Bach Chaconne, Walton Bagatelles, Brouwer Sonata, Dyens Libra Sonatine, and a few others. All pretty heavy material, but I had worked so hard on it for the past year that it was very much in my fingers. I guess one of the frustrations I sometimes get in music is the fact that memorization and technique seem to disintegrate weeks or even days after performances. It is both a frustration and a beauty, because it keeps music very much in the moment.
The second recording project was with my band Cathedral Parkway. We have written and performed our original songs for over two years now and we have had two recording sessions up in Woodstock New York. It is a very fun process, but much slower than I expected. The classical recording was done within 24 hours, but with the band there are more people, and the creative decisions are still happening. We hope to get the recording out early next year. Fingers crossed! Have a listen to this song recorded in the living room…
I had some nice concerts in the last while. I visited Scranton PA, Hartford CT, Toppsfield MA, and had some concerts here in NYC. I am trying to perform more in the US these days as flying around seems less and less appealing. Talking of unnapealing flights, the next one is to Sydney… via Beijing… 30 odd hours. Let’s hope they have some good movies. I will be teaching and performing in the Sydney Summer School. Very much looking forward to it.
Something else that is exciting in Australia are two guitars by the luthier Lance Litchfield. He has built two beautiful guitars for me to use and I will pick them up on the next trip. Lance is a great luthier and a wonderful person, you should check out his instruments.
As you probably have seen on the site, I finished the level one course. Good grief, that was a marathon. The biggest speed bump with that process was the melting (yes it actually melted) of my external hard drive. Along with it was about 4 hours of video recording. In the end perseverance paid off and the course is up and running.
And, finally, its Christmas. This means lots of house guests into a “house” (1 bedroom apartment) that doesn’t fit guests. Makes it cozy :)
Take care everyone.
Oh yeah, and I went to Ireland to visit Evita on tour: