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There are now 2 of my compositions on YOUTUBE performed by guitarist Jorge Torres. Associate Professor of Music at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. 

As soon as I figure out how to get to add a direct link to the website I will, but until the you can go to YOUTUBE.com and view them by typing the composition's title in Search.  The title's are:

The Wish For Water

The View From Mt Pinos.

I very much enjoy his performance and interpretation of the pieces.

Check them out.

 

This past Saturday morning I performed at the Windsor Farmers Market.  It was great to be playing outdoors in the cool morning air while people shopped for fresh vegies, fruits, breads and other items.  I used a newly acquired battery operated amplifier that was very small and light but delivered a crisp, clean acoustic guitar sound with enough volume for an outdoor show.  Sometimes technology is amazing.  I still prefer the sound of an unamplified guitar, but for some gigs an amplifier is necessary.

Many people stopped and listened, asking for requests and complimenting me on my playing.

I will return to the Windsor Farmers Market, Saturday August 16th starting at 9:00 am.  Come out and get fresh organic food and other items and enjoy some great guitar music.  I hope to see you there.

 

     Life is filled with changes, some good, some bad.  But these new changes are all good.  I have retired from my day job as a head cashier at a major chain bookstore and now I can totally concentrate on my guitar career, performing concerts, giving lessons and finally completing my CD project that has been ever so slowly progressing while I was working fulltime.

     I must admit my attitude has improved immensely.  I wake up in the morning and I can't wait to pick up the guitar and play.  I am working on a Bruce Springsteen song, trying to arrange it for solo guitar but as with many stadium rock anthems it has a chorus and the verses are more shouted than sung to a melody.  I am also working more on my own compositions that usually have a melody :-)

     Concerning CD's and the distribution of recorded music, I am open to any feedback on how to make my recorded guitar music available to everyone.  Does anyone still buy CD's or is it all online song by song sales for I-pod type devices?  I still sell a few CDs at my performances but I notice that big name solo guitar performers are not releasing any new records, CDs or anything like that.  In fact, Leo Kottke and others seem to be using YouTube as their recording platforms.  I would like to hear your opinions about this.

     I will be performing for the public at the Windsor Farmers Market here in Colorado in July and August.  Check my calendar for dates and times.  I hope to see you there.

 

This year I am getting asked to perform at many private events.  You may be wondering what these events are.  I can't tell you the particulars because they are not open to the general public due to the purpose of the event.  However, I can tell you that I am usually supplying background music to a networking event or a private social event.

I don't mind performing as background music because I meet many great people this way and they become fans and give me ideas where to perform in a concert venue I may not have heard about.  They also suggest many fine tunes I should learn or tell me of other guitarists that I have not heard of before.

I perform cover tunes that suit the event as well as many of my original solo guitar pieces and I always have business cards available as well as CD's for purchase. 

These events are fun, even when it's a serious event, and I enjoy them and these events benefit my career as a guitarist.

I thought you might be interested after looking at my concert calendar.

 

 

I'd like to thank the Loveland Chamber of Commerce and the Loveland Embassy Suites for having me perform for their "Chamber After Hours" event.  I had a great time and received numerous compliments on my guitar playing and my guitar compositions.  The event was very well attended and a good time was had by all including the guitarist.  I hope to do it again sometime soon.

It is the wonderful time of the year again.  This old bear has come out of hibernation and I am lining up some great shows for the upcoming months.  This past winter was more difficult than most because I caught the never ending flu or gunk or what ever it was, but now I am healthy and ready to go out and perform.

Watch for upcoming performances in the calendar section!

 

Another New Year has begun and as always I have many resolutions.  Besides the usual lose weight and get in shape so I can run a mile as fast as I did when I was 20 (probably just a dream) I resolve to learn 6 great new solo guitar instrumentals this year.  They are:

The Tempest by Doug Smith

Andecy by Andrew York

Turning Turning Back by Alex Degrassi

Freewayman by Pat Donohue

Cobalt Blue and The White Pass Trail by Laurence Juber

I really love listening to these pieces and I have a great desire to be able to play them.  Some of them are in tunings I haven't used before so this will be an big learning experience.  I will most likely learn all of these pieces before I match my mile time from when I was 20.  But there is always hope.

We had another great evening at the Loveland Aleworks this past Friday night.  It was Night On The Town here in Loveland and the place was jumping.  I saw many old friends and made some new friends as I played my solo guitar music through the night. 

The Ale is so good there, in fact as I type this Sunday afternoon (WHAT? YOU'RE NOT WATCHING THE BRONCOS?) I am enjoying a glass of the fabulous Stout they brew there.  It is a fine ale for a mid-autumn afternoon.

I'll be performing there again soon so check out my calendar for that and future performances.

How to write about music.  Especially instrumental music.  This dilemma has befuddled me for quite sometime. 

I often perform in quiet but background situations and I get to observe peoples reactions to my music as they converse, drink or eat.  One peculiar observation is that if I play only instrumental music, that is music composed without any lyrics, for a time and then switch to an instrumental version of a song, I can almost see people brains twisting in the heads as the brain switches from it's non-verbal side to it's verbal side.  The real problem for me as a performer is that most people are far more comfortable with the verbal side of their brain than the non-verbal side.  Once they get to the verbal side they don't want to leave.  This has led me as a performer to drop all my arrangements of songs and concentrate on strictly instrumental music in my performances.  (Perhaps I am more comfortable in my non-verbal side of my brain.)  People want me to play familiar music when they ask for requests, which usually means a song, not an instrumental tune.  So I guess I am becoming an ambassador for the joys of instrumental music and residing in the non-verbal part of the brain.

Which leads me to the original question.  How to write about instrumental music?  How to express verbally what is non-verbal?

When music reviewer write about CDs they write about the song lyrics, or they compare it to another performance by the same or a different musician.  they rarely mention anything about their emotional response or the musical structure other than the rhythm or speed of the music.  

I could write about the technique used by the musician in the performance or the musical structure of the piece but that does not convey the emotion that is ultimately what the brain reacts to with music.  Does instrumental music elicit a purely emotional response?  It certainly seems that way to me as I listen to music and watch the audience as I perform.

So how do I write about emotional responses?  I'm still working on that part.

In the meantime, I'll be performing instrumental solo guitar music at Loveland Aleworks this Friday night November 8th at 7:30pm and I promise not to twist your brain from one side to the other.  I'll let the Stout do that.

I had a great time playing guitar for the people that stopped in at Loveland Aleworks Tuesday night.  The stools were occupied most of the evening and every one had a good time.  The Ale pourers said at the end of the night, "We were rockin' !!"

Check the calendar for the next time I play there as well as other upcoming performances.

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