|A Fire Rekindled
Solo guitar ; 2015 ; Duration ca. 6 minutes 50 seconds
I have long been drawn to the warm, subtle and intimate sound qualities and the expressive performance techniques of the classical guitar repertoire. And yet, although I played acoustic and electric guitar myself during my teens and very early twenties, primarily within jazz and rock ensembles, several decades went by when I simply did not have occasion to write for this captivating instrument. Thus when the superative guitar virtuoso Dieter Hennings asked me to write a piece for him to play and record, this was an opportunity not to be missed.
This piece is constructed somewhat like a necklace, cycling through a collection of interlocking, mostly fragmentary and open-ended melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and textural ideas that recur continuously in various orderings, recombinations and contexts. Some of these ideas incorporate performance techniques derived from, or reminiscent of, a variety of guitar traditions that I have enjoyed, including Flamenco, renaissance and baroque lute music, Spanish and South American repertoires, and jazz, folk and electric guitar practices.
I wanted this piece to have a spontaneous, improvisatory, direct, and game-like quality, but at the same time to convey a thoughtfulness, and perhaps also a sibylline, "I don't surrender all my secrets immediately" crosscurrent. Most of all, although the piece is technically demanding, I wanted it to be exhilarating to play and, for listeners, to follow.
A Fire Rekindled is dedicated to my wife, Nancy C. Schindler.
MP3 audio excerpt
QuickTime Movie video/audio performance of the complete work
by Dieter Hennings
This work was premiered on November 6 and 8, 2015 concerts presented by the Broadband Ensemble at the Eastman School and at Ithaca College.
For performance information on this work please send e-mail to the composer at firstname.lastname@example.org
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