Acclaimed performer and virtuoso Ben Verdery releases his newest album: The Ben Verdery Guitar Project: On Vineyard Sound. The record features Verdery performing music by his composer colleagues at the Yale University School of Music, where he is currently Professor of Guitar and Artistic Director of the biennial Yale Guitar Extravaganza. These composers include: Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, David Lang, Hannah Lash, Christopher Theofanidis, Jack Vees, and Verdery himself. In addition, the album features guest performers Rie Schmidt (flute) and Jack Vees (pedal steel guitar). As with his widely praised past discography. On Vineyard Sound showcases Verdery performing on a variety of guitars, ranging from Fender Stratocaster and steel string to baritone and classical.
Guitarist/producer Solomon Silber releases his third solo classical guitar record: Mano a Mano together with performance videos of the repertoire. Silber tackles large scale compositions (the virtuosic Mano a Mano by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg and the introspective Nocturnal Op. 70 by Benjamin Britten, while also showcasing his passion for Bach with his interpretation of The Lute Suite in E minor, 996. As in his first two records, Silber performs with an emotional intensity and technical freedom that is exhilarating to watch and hear. Filmmaker Wills Glasspiegel joined Silber in the studio, capturing all of the performances on film. The accompanying videos are a testament to Silber's unique personality on the classical guitar.
Renowned composer and harpist Hannah Lash's latest release, Sonata for Harp, is a stunning representation of Lash's most recent compositional explorations. Forging new ground as a harpist/composer, Lash is widely known as a "striking and resourceful" composer (The New York Times) and has been praised for the “technical wizardry” (The Birmingham News) of her playing. In Sonata for Harp, Lash states that she was striving "for beauty and expressiveness, and yet at the same time for a pushing of boundaries for both the instrument and the player." This expansive work showcases Lash's instrumental virtuosity, her extraordinary depth of musical expression, as well as her innovative and unique compositional voice on the harp.
by Nicole Murphy
Stolen is a documentary film presenting the chamber suite Stolen written by award-winning Australian composer Nicole Murphy and performed by the Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble (NCE). Based on Richard James Allen’s poem "A Scheme for Brightness," the piece is eclectically scored for electric guitar, piano, violin, clarinet, double bass, and percussion.
NCE first met Nicole Murphy in 2014 at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival's New Music program. This program, directed by Martin Bresnick, cultivates interactive and creative synergy between composers and performers. Having performed a germinal version of Stolen, at the Norfolk Festival 2014, guitarist/producer Solomon Silber was struck by Nicole's evocative compositional voice. Ms. Murphy and Mr. Silber worked to create an expanded version of the piece, and Stolen is the resulting fruit of their collaboration.
In order to give the audience full access to the process of recording and producing a work of this scope, a documentary film crew captured the entire recording session - four days of recording at Cedar House Sound in rural New Hampshire. The documentary Stolen presents the work in its entirety, intermingling footage of the ensemble's performance with interviews about the compositional process with the composer, conductor, and ensemble.
Performed by the Yale School of Music Guitar Studio 2016 (Directed by Ben Verdery) Y Bolanzero (2001) is a sprawling thirteen minute work by renowned composer Terry Riley. The piece is scored for seven guitars - two basses, one steel string, and four classical guitars. Riley juxtaposes meditative and lush soundscapes, flamenco fireworks, improvisation and chamber ensemble virtuosity. The composer's minimalist compositional voice is colored with Spanish influences, modal melodic lines, and energetic motifs placed over a vivacious accompaniment.