One of the side effects of diabetes is that my fingernails have become brittle and easy to break. For a classically trained guitarist, this is a serious problem. I had to relearn my old skills from a new perspective. I took what I knew about classical music, theory, jazz, blues, improvisation, rhythm and dynamics and developed a new style of flatpicking which incorporated an unusual capo configuration into something which I'd never heard on a solo guitar before.
This CD is my celebration. It's my celebration of finding something new and beautiful out of tragedy. It's my celebration of music as art. It's my celebration of creative exploration into new territory. It's my celebration of survival.
It's my dance of joy.
Synco'pation is a basic 12-bar blues. It's got a strong rhythm to it, which gives me the chance to fly off in a lot of directions while still maintaining a strong sense of structure. Bitter Harvest began as three different pieces which I eventually combined into one. I got the idea for the opening riff the day after having seen Erin McKeown perform "Blackbirds." It's several variations in the key of F, sliding in and out major and minor modes.
Mountain's Call, Lydia and Spring is Here evolved from a free-form improv, built around simple introductory themes. We Shall Overcome is a song from the Civil Rights movement, which was based on a 1901 song by Charles Albert Tindley. This is one of a great many variations on it. Touch of Gold was an experiment of mine in which I wanted to try to create a song using an ancient tonal scale while still sounding modern. I threw Goodbye in as a sort of quiet resolution to the whole album.
And then there's Whispers...
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