Gilbert Biberian’s “Haiku” played by Alison Bendy

A new video of Gilbert Biberian’s “Haiku” played by its dedicatee, Alison Bendy.

When Alison Bendy asked me to record Gilbert Biberian’s six “Haiku”,
I jumped at the chance – here it is, two days later.

The pieces were dedicated to Alison on her birthday in March 1982 and are based on haiku by Basho, Busan and Moritake, masters of the genre.

These miniatures are similarly, masterpieces of the genre and well worth a look if you are a guitarist.

Happy New Year

This year, I had the good fortune to bump into Christian Fergo, a very talented film maker who is also no mean guitarist.

He wanted to do an interview with me, which ended up a sprawling 30+ minutes long. Thanks for the hard work, Christian!

Here is the video he made-

and here is the complete performance of the Concerto for Four Guitars given by the Sensemaya Quartet at Iserlohn 2019

Born in Copenhagen 1980, he studied guitar with John Jacobsen, Lars Trier and Frank Bungarten and graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Music and the Lucerne Academy of Music, both academies awarding him diplomas with distinction for his recitals and soloist performances. The Lucerne Times called him an “outstanding young soloist” and wrote about him: “Christian Fergo showed a highly sensitive musicality and very detailed technique”.

Join his YouTube channel here and visit his FaceBook page here

Mangoré – Los Ultimos Dias – The last days


The film is now in production!

Here is an interview with lead actor  Damián Alcázar with more clips from the film

And here is there trailer in English

Facebook page

More here

Here is an article in Spanish about the film.

Ana María Hernández Guerra reported this on her blog almost 2 years ago! Hopefully, it will be realised very soon.
“The president of El Salvador Gral. Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez was a great admirer of Barrios, calling him “One of the chosen ones”, whose artistic culture does great good for those who listen”. After a concert attended by dignataries(Including the Paraguayan ambassador), Gral. Martinez appointed him Professor of guitar at the national Conservatory, presenting him with a check, declaring that he must stay in the heart of America, El Salvador”.

In the meantime, you could just enjoy this!

Django Reinhardt demonstrates his guitar genius in rare footage from the 1930s, 40s & 50s

Thanks to Open Culture and Josh Jones for this:

Reinhardt and jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France in 1934, and in the forties, Reinhardt began composing, and toured England, Switzerland, and the U.S. as a soloist with Duke Ellington’s band. He recorded his final album, Djangology in 1949, retired in 51, and died in 53, already a legend, “one of the few European musicians to exert a serious influence on the American art form of jazz,” writes an NPR “Weekend Edition” profile. Django’s playing, “at times joyous, fierce and lyrical,” draws heavily on his Roma roots while mastering the vocabulary of swing—a language, it seems, still new to many audiences in 1938, when the film at the top of the post, Jazz “Hot,” was made.

Related Content:

Jazz ‘Hot’: The Rare 1938 Short Film With Jazz Legend Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt and the Inspiring Story Behind His Guitar Technique

Christopher Lee records heavy metal

Christopher Lee

Saruman rides again! This time, it’s a heavy metal version of “My Way” and selections from “Man of La Mancha” to celebrate his 92nd birthday last May. The new recording is called “Metal Knight”. Go, Sir Christopher!

Sir Christopher, who turned 92 on May 27, said: “The song My Way is a very remarkable song, it is also difficult to sing because you’ve got to convince people that what you’re singing about is the truth. It’s a man who is very proud of having achieved everything that he’s achieved his way.”
The actor, who said his version of the song was sung “more operatically” than Sinatra, also recorded two songs from the Man of La Mancha musical which is based on the character of Don Quixote.

Read more in Yahoo News

Aubade again

Chipping Norton is a small market town on the highest point of the Cotswolds and was host to a very special guitar event last night.
The Chipping Norton Theatre in Oxfordshire celebrated its 40th anniversary by putting on a first showing of Henry Astor’s film, Aubade, followed by a short concert by one of the subjects of the film, XueFei Yang.
The other people involved were the composer, Bill Lovelady, who has written a piece for the film (the eponymous Aubade) and famous luthier and local resident of Chipping Norton, Paul Fisher, who was specially honoured in the film, showing him making his very last guitar – a beautiful and fantastic creation of lacewood with a Nomex double top. In the film, Paul spoke at length about most guitarists’ reticence to embrace new materials and the fresh approach to sound that one could achieve with an open mind, not bound by fashion or tradition.
The theatre was full and a-buzz with anticipation. All the seats had sold out within a day of tickets going on sale. The audience were wonderfully sympathetic during the showing – laughing, gasping and applauding. It was quite an event and a wonderful tribute to the three artists involved. I sat next to Paul throughout this and could tell he was delighted.

After a short interval, Fei came on and played Aubade by Bill Lovelady, Asturias by Albeniz, Spring Breeze in my arrangement, Yi Dance arranged by Fei and Carnival of Venice by Tarrega (to help us get over the rainy weather, she said).
The playing was flawless and Fei’s musicality was a given. The audience had no doubt about the musical intention of each number and we were transported to a world of beautiful sounds and near reckless bravado. A gem of a performance.

Henry Astor will bring out a DVD of the film at some point and also has plans to repeat the film showing and performance – Oxford, Edinburgh and London were mentioned. I think the format worked very well, and the personalities of all involved made this memorable experience with just the right amount of showmanship without a hint of self aggrandisement.
The work of the luthier, composer and performer was what came to the fore.  It was good to see the creative talents of the artists combining to make something which gives such a lot to the world of the guitar.
Wonderful, refreshing and very much in the spirit of Paul Fisher. As Fei remarked, “The guitar is like Paul” – straightforward, slightly restrained, but with a wonderful depth.

In attendance at the reception beforehand were John Mills, Cobie Smit, Amanda Cook, Adrian Azuelo, Oren Myers and many of Paul’s local friends. There was a small exhibition selected from Paul’s 1400 plus guitars which he has produced during his career.
Unfortunately the guitar press was not much in evidence – they missed a unique event in our microcosmic world.
It was a great celebration and good fun too! I was honoured to be part of the celebration.

Here are some photos of the event (after the break…)
Continue reading


Bill and Fei
Put together a world class guitarist, a renowned composer and a famous luthier, mix together with a pinch of local colour and you will probably get something like this short film by Henry Astor.
It pools the talents of Xuefei Yang, Bill Lovelady and Paul Fisher.
Centred on the Cotswolds where both Paul and Bill live and work, the film charts the creation of a guitar (made from rare and beautiful lacewood) and the writing of a solo guitar piece (Aubade).
Fei is the common factor as she discovers Paul’s instrument and explores Bill’s piece as he writes it.
Appropriately the film gets its premiere in Paul Fisher’s home town of Chipping Norton, in the glorious theatre on February 12th, followed by a live recital by Fei. It is all a very local affair, but with international stars.
Here is the blurb:

Aubade is a documentary film following three contemporary talents in the classical guitar world as they unite on a creative journey. From legendary luthier Paul Fischer, who lives in Chipping Norton, to prolific and accomplished composer William Lovelady and guitar virtuoso Xuefei Yang, the film captures the art and dedication required to build a classical guitar and to compose and perform at the highest levels. As part of the evening, Xuefei Yang will perform music from the film as well as from her new album.
The first half of the evening will be the film screening. The second will be Xuefei Yang playing.

Here is the trailer

For those of you who missed this, it will probably be aired on Sky Arts later this year. There will also be a DVD available.
Oh, and the recorded music is by John Taylor, so quite a gifted production then!

Nebula, Spaceship of Dreams

Korpijaakko is clearly at home with the musical possibilities of the guitar with the solo guitar sonata Kimberley (2006), a standout as one of the most remarkable works of recent years for solo guitar composed in Finland.”
So writes a critic in FMQ, Finnish Music Quarterly.
Intriguing, no?
Here is a CD of guitar music by the Finnish guitarist and composer Paavo Korpijaakko performed Petri Kumela by which I think deserves to be better known
Nebula Continue reading