Continuing with songs that Corina and I ran through on September 26, here we tackle Dust In The Wind by Kansas. This was one that just occurred to us as something we both probably knew so we just jumped into it without any plan.
Someday I may work out a more involved instrumental section to break it up, maybe try to recreate the mood and mystery of the original but for now, this is how it came out that Friday night.
We finished up our 2014 International Guitar Camp on Sunday, September 21. Corina stuck around for another week and we had a little time to play some songs together.
Thursday night she even sang in public for the first time in her life, joining me as background music for a fancy dinner at The Rosewood, a ritzy hotel on Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto.
Friday night, September 26, we ended up hanging with the family at my sister’s house and ran through everything we knew, and some we didn’t for the small group of relatives. Here is our somewhat improvised version of Autumn Leaves.
I recently stumbled across a video of Mason Williams playing a few things with a small orchestra. It was quite a pleasure to be reminded of this cute piece. Mason usually plays the changes on a 12-string while he whistles the melody.
As I couldn’t get the melody out of my head I started on my usual path of working on a chord solo. With a little work it started taking shape so I decided to shoot a rough draft.
On a side note, I sent a link to Mason who was very complimentary and said he wanted to sent it to the Brothers. I hope you enjoy it.
In May of 2014 I was in Hilo for my daughter Rebecca’s college graduation. My habit when I am there is to get up early to watch the sunrise.
On Thursday, May 8th I went across the street to Wai’uli Beach Park with my guitar and the opening melody found its way across the strings. I played around with it as the sun rose and pretty much sketched out an 8-measure theme that became the A Section and another that became the B Section.
Running short on time, I went back to grab the camera to record the ideas in case I forgot them as there was a lot to do for the next few hours.
When I got a chance to get back to the guitar I was glad I had gone back for the camera as the themes were slipping away. I played through the song a few more times and got it a little clearer in my head.
The next day I even attempted playing it on the TG News. A couple months later I got back to polishing it up, arranging the parts and adding a somewhat related coda to wrap it up. You can still hear the TG News version for comparison but here is the way it sounded on August 17th.
The Venezuelan Waltzes by Antonio Lauro really grabbed me when I was playing classical guitar a little more seriously, back in the late 1970′s. I have recently resurrected them and have been playing them on the steel-string guitar. This really gives them a different character and feel that I hope you enjoy.
Waltz #1 (Tatiana) is not as popular or famous as #2 or #3 but includes many of the interesting techniques and harmonies of the others.
Continuing to explore the steel-string approach to romantic classics, we have my interpretation of Lagrima, or at least one interpretation. Francisco Tarrega wrote Lagrima (Teardrop) while in England and feeling homesick, missing his beloved Spain.
The piece is similar to many others of his having two eight-measure sections in contrasting keys, E Major then E Minor, arranged in the AABBA form.
As many of you know, I really enjoy playing classical pieces on the steel-string guitar. I would like to think that Francisco Tarrega may have embraced the instrument as well, had it evolved during his lifetime.
As part of preparing lessons on some of my favorite classical pieces, I need to play and practice them over a long period of time to really get a feel for what I think the piece is trying to say. Here is an interpretation recorded on July 10, 2014.