Anything sounds good when accompanied by soft acoustic guitar music.
As I learned last night at a classical guitar concert, anything sounds good when accompanied by soft acoustic guitar.
Most of the stuff played was Renassaince Faire era, nostalgic in that strange way Main Street, U.S.A. is supposed to be. But among all the ye old Gutenberg Bible stuff, I discovered a new composer– Leo Brouwer (1939 – ).
His works were the highlight of the concert. His Etudes Simples, written around the early seventies, have a strong Nick Drake (think “One of These Things First”) and fusion (think Jaco) influence. Theyhave a haunting, soulful nature that speaks of Bruce Cockburn and Joni Mitchell. No. 1 in paticular stands out, with its throbbing, Weather Report-esque bass line.
William Grant Still and Bernstein are famous for bringing the blues to their classical; Duke Ellington and George Gerswhin are famous for bringing the classical to their blues. Maybe Leo Brouwer has brought the folk/fusion to his classical.
The guitar ensemble also played Brouwer’s Cuban Landscape with Rain. This longer, almost-process-music work imitates the sound of thunderstorms, drizzle, and hail. Like Whitacre’s Cloudburst, it succeeded when it broke into an aleatoric section– as the guiarists imitated hail, they slapped their strings loudly and randomly. It worked.