The first years that I was playing the guitar, were typical solo years with little ensemble play. I did not have sufficient skills and playing experience to play together. Playing together seems more easy than playing solo (you share the burden), just play your own part and things will be all right. Well that’s a nice statement, but practice appears very different, because you have to anticipate and to synchronize with your fellow players, an activity that initially seems to totally distract you from playing your own part.
When I started guitar lessons with Rob Wagenvoort, both a guitarist and a clarinet player, he underlined ensemble playing (because he liked it himself as well). Gradually I learnt to integrate my own playing with the play of the other. I started to appreciate the art and the strength of playing together, ensemble play turned out to be a different but very rewarding experience. In this way, we amongst others played the well-known Duo in G by Fernando Carulli and L’ Encouragement by Fernando Sor (both pieces are played by Julian Bream and John Williams on the Together albums).
At a certain moment, I got to know a flautist and we decided to play together. It became a very instructive experience for me (imagine the difference in sound volume between guitar and flute, and the way it is affecting your guitar playing). Gradually we built up a repertoire.
There was a problem however. There was a lot of music for flute/recorder and guitar. Quite a lot, that’s true, but part of it was too easy, a greater part of it was too difficult and an important part lacked balance in difficulty. It is for example very frustrating to plough through a stressing guitar part, while the melody line is a piece of cake for the flautist.
In those days, I made my first arrangements to suit our musical needs, a bit toilsome in the beginning, becoming gradually better in the end. One of the difficult things was the lack of feedback: playing alone you can never listen to the combination of the parts. A lot of paper and eraser turned out to be necessary. I carried on, however, and I wrote down some new arrangements on the occasion of a few birthdays of the flautist.
When I bought my first computer -an Amiga500- it became possible to hear what I wrote down. Deluxe Music was the software, I first used for arranging and it sounded reasonably well on the Amiga’s built-in synth chip. After a few years, I switched systems, the Amiga was replaced by a 486 PC. Musicator for Windows did the arrangement job on the PC, together with the good old Soundblaster 16, later enhanced by a DB50XG daughterboard. Later on I switched hardware and software again to Sibelius: you will find a lot of scores, I made in the DOS Amigos section of this website.
In this way, I wrote a nice collection of arrangements of folk songs, classical music and Latin American music, all tunes we liked and which were tried out on stage. My wife came up with the idea to send the pieces to a music publisher. So I did, and the music publisher Van Teeseling from Nijmegen in The Netherlands showed interest. The result was the publication of three booklets with music for flute and guitar. You will find information about these books ‘under’ the menu options.