• Eric Whitacre

    "Really beautiful transcriptions of my music for guitar " E.W. I first heard the music of Eric Whitacre at my own wedding. It was performed beautifully by members of the amazing choir 'Polyphony' conducted by a dear friend of mine as a wedding gift. My wife and I were so moved by the words of the poet Rumi so beautifully set to music. After getting the score and looking at the composition I soon realised that this music could have been composed on the guitar - the way the chords were voiced is so similar to the way guitarists typically play chords and the chords are quite standard - generally very simple. But what makes this piece so special is the unique and original way in which Eric Whitacre connects them and where we travel from one harmony to another. Quite stunning in its simplicity and emotional impact. My arrangement is due to be published by Chester Music later this year along with 2 other transcriptions Eric has asked me to do.
  • Derek Gripper

    I first met Derek at the West Dean Guitar Festival and we immediately became friends. Despite our geographical differences we found that we shared many views about music and the world. Derek and I often tour together when he is in the UK improvising duos (and sometimes even preparing some!) He has been an incredible innovator by transcribing and translating the music of the Kora onto the guitar and plays some mean Egberto Gismonti pieces too!
  • Mark Anthony Turnage

    The music of the Japanese composer Tory Takemitsu has always intrigued me. No musician has better evoked the other worldly feelings that exist when being in nature during twilight. A strange world where the senses are heightened, almost in fear, but somehow also calm and still. After discovering Turnage's littIe gem of a piece 'Tune for Toru' in a Piano book, I again had that familiar feeling of desperately wanting to play this on the guitar. What followed was a very difficult task of arranging and learning to perform this gentle music. It didn't sit well on the guitar but with the use of some extended techniques (such as the use of the left hand thumb to fret some bass notes) I was satisfied that I could do justice to this music. I sent the manuscript to Schott's Music and the transcription was approved so I recorded it as the closing piece on my 2nd CD - 'A gift' which also featured another homage to Takemitsu by the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer.
  • Hilary Tann

    Whilst researching music by Welsh composers in the Ty Cerdd library in the Millenium Centre, Cardiff, I came across a short guitar piece with an intriguing title - 'A Sad Pavan Fourbidding Mourning'. This was written by the Welsh born composer Hilary Tann who now lives in America. The piece was published by OUP but had somehow slipped under the radar and was yet to be recorded. The composition refers to and quotes from a work by Tomas Tomkins who was born in St Davids in 1572. His great talent for composition and his prowess at the keyboard took him to the very heights of musical life, being appointed one of the Chapel Royal organists and composing music for Charles I's coronation in 1625. Upon hearing news of the execution of the king in 1649 Tompkins wrote one of his finest pieces - "A Sad Pavan for these Distracted Tymes". Hilary Tann has cleverly woven sections of this work into her Pavan: three large quotes marked 'with grief', 'with resignation' and finally 'with hope' show us the journey that this highly charged and original guitar piece takes. After making the first recording of the work, Hilary Tann kindly thanked me "for such a fine, three-dimensional performance of the PAVAN - all the lines and colours and passion. What a welcome opening into its performance history!"
  • Gareth Glyn

    Composer of a large Guitar Sonata which I have yet to perform(!) Welsh composer Gareth Glyn has also written extensively for the Harp and it was with a suite of pieces called 'Child's Play' for this instrument with which I became slightly obsessed. I contacted Gareth to see whether he would mind if I attempted an arrangement of these pieces for solo guitar and he agreed that we should try it. In the end I could only get one to fit (and only just) but it was a great personal challenge for me to attempt to perform such a work with such independence of lines - on the harp, of course, each hand can pluck a melody but I had to try it with just one. "Wonderfully atmospheric and expressive playing - and a superbly idiomatic arrangement." Gareth Glyn (Composer of "Olwyn Ddwr" from the CD Hiraeth)