In 2013, recording came to a halt. I was trying to, but the result was minimal and not good enough for presentation. Recording is a step further than playing pieces just for yourself, so it’s more subject to ups and downs.
Ommagio a Caturla
Many years ago, the Estudios Sencillos by Leo Brouwer were my first acquaintance with contemporary music. Well, in the meantime Brouwer has not rested on his laurels and composed lots of music that went beyond my understanding as a player, but not beyond my appreciation as a listener. His Estudios Sencillos Nuevos were a pleasant meeting for the player!
Ommagio a Caturla, the third study from this collection, is the subject of this recording. Purpose of the piece is bringing out complex Afro-Cuban rhythms. I play this piece on my good and not so very old Kwakkel Merula and I added some reverb afterwards via the PC.
Finding the right tempo in this piece has been a puzzle for me, even though Brouwer leaves ample room to decide it yourself. I have tried to find a relaxed swing and no virtuosity, I found the swing most important.
Concerning dynamics, I find out time and time again with these recordings that you have to extend your approach to the borders of exaggeration. I thought I played very softly in some passages, but apparently, I did not. Maybe I should position the mikes at a greater distance to enable the sound to ‘extinguish’.
Valse Op. 10, Nr. 10
Matteo Carcassi (1792 – 1853) is mainly known for his Etudes Op. 60, but he composed far more than that. Op. 10 L’ Amusement is a small collection that will provide some fun to the beginners with the main challenge in the last piece, a Theme and Variations on a Russian Song.
The recording of Nr. 10 from this collection, a Valse, is a spontaneous one. Crude material indeed! Already in the audio editor I could see that my trustful Kwakkel Merula has a lot of power at close distance, I could not avoid a few clips on 0 dB.
In this recording you can hear that spontaneity causes the problem with me that I make some errors with emphasis on upbeats. Just want to jump in, you see! Further in a next version I will play more legato. And add more dynamics.
Les Feuilles Mortes
This time a recording of a French song, Les Feuilles Mortes on music by Joseph Kosma and lyrics by Jacques Prevert. This version is a setting by the Dutch guitarist Cees Hartog from the bundle Chansons Francaises. The song has been an evergreen since 1945, became a hit in the version by Yves Montand and has been a jazz standard ever since. The setting by Hartog is remarkable, it starts with a variation on the chord pattern rather than with an arrangement of the song itself. I found it a pleasant combination with some surprise effect.
The piece fits perfectly to my mood at the moment, I am drifting a bit between at peace and sadness after a demise.
I have been busy with these French songs for a while and played them for audiences at occasions. That had a positive effect on the recording stress.
My first remark with this recording is about the recording volume. I will have to adjust the mikes a bit, because particularly with mp3 there is some audible clipping. I guess I will experiment a bit with the mike setup too, at the moment I am too close of being “inside the guitar”.
It’s also obvious to me that I put too much pressure on some notes. A bit more balanced volume would be nice. What turned out better than expected was the F chord at the fifth fret, it’s not bad!
In the end, I guess this is a nice recording for a first try!
😊 Play one piece at a time!