III. There is Dance All Around (Jouni Stenroos)
IV. Still and Rising Still
Written in 2011 for Mark Clifton-Gaultier, five movements, ca. 12 minutes.
I’ve always been interested in vocal music, and “Songbook” is a song cycle where the guitar plays both the vocal and accompaniment parts. This was a very pleasant piece to write, and it felt natural and easy to come up with lyrical, mood-specific music.
Ten brief movements, ca. 11 minutes, written in 2011.
Featured in the Fall, 2012 issue of GFA’s Soundboard Magazine.
“We have to be grateful for talents like Michael who continue to provide us with great new sounds for the guitar. This is the kind of material our students are waiting for, refreshing, beautiful and inspired!”–Jan Depreter
Members of the Delcamp Guitar Forum banded together and commissioned this piece. I was aiming for a fun and easy score for seasoned players that could also work for some students. It was great fun to write and play, and I felt like I could have kept going on with it forever.
Next Year (Daniel Bolshoy)
Written in 2011 for Daniel Bolshoy, five movements, ca. 9 minutes.
“The piece is rich with tasty contrasts of rhythm and harmony, making for a set that will likely become popular program fare in a short time.”–Classical Guitar Canada
Daniel grew up in Israel, as did I, and I wanted to write music that reflects this connection. So I took the Old City as inspiration and tried to capture its elemental, strange, and unsettled essence. I enjoyed writing this piece, but I remember feeling strangely compelled to really strip things to the bone. Any kind of decorative flourish that didn’t serve a specific purpose ended up on the cutting room floor.
Written in 2010 for the Arpeggione Duo, three movements, ca. 10 minutes.
II. Celesta (Michael Karmon)
Five movements, ca. 6 minutes, written in 2010.
I sometimes miss writing for orchestra and this was a chance to pretend I’m doing it. (The movement titles are violin, celesta, marimba, cello, and flute.) This was a really fun piece to write and one that came easily, and I hope this shows in the music.
I. Summer (Jouni Stenroos)
Written in 2010 for James Day, four movements, ca. 10 minutes.
“Rain” was where I decided to start focusing on music that’s there for me to write, rather than on music that’s slightly out of reach. This small shift in attitude has made composing easier and more enjoyable for me. I tried to write direct and evocative music here, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out. It’s my most often performed solo piece.
Written in 2009 for Michael Partington, three movements, ca. 12 minutes.
Written in 2006 for the Cavatina Duo, single movement, ca. 5 minutes.
Written in 2007 for Duo 46, four movements, ca. 13 minutes.
Mvt. I. Saturday Morning
Mvt. IV. Friday Night
Written in 2006 for Martha Masters, up to twelve movements, up to 35 minutes. (Find revised versions of movements B, 4, and VIII in the suite “Still Life.”)
I started writing “Six of One” shortly after my twin sons were born, a unique and magical time. (The structure of pairs of related movements was inspired by the twins.) I wanted to immerse myself in a specific mood, explore it on a big canvass, and then let the player decide how long to sustain it. (You can play any number of movements in any order.) When asked, I cite this as my most personal piece, a kind of mission statement for what I hope to do as a guitar composer.
“It is beautiful and sensitive music, very well written for the instrument, very communicative and with lots of personality. I specifically enjoyed the harmonic sensitivity and the rich textures that sound so well and natural on the guitar.”–Nadav Lev