This is the CD art for the newly-released Collage album. It is a beautiful collection of original instrumentals. It was written all over the world with inspiration from Paris, San Francisco, Casper Mountain, Sydney and all the places in which our friends dwell.
Here is the cover with all the artists who helped make this album a great experience.
It was engineered, mastered and generally mid-wifed by Bob Matros of Hooker St Studios and I can’t thank him enough for his patience and expertise.
To listen to the pieces click on the name. If there’s video, that will be shown next and then there’s the buy link. That one takes you to the Reverbnation shop – it’s secure and is another site that gives you information on what’s going on.
Please listen ( and of course buy ) to your heart’s content. Comments and feedback are always welcome too.
BUY Collage here – album or individual tracks. (CDBaby site)
Star of the County Down – Traditional Irish tune.
When I recorded my album, “Bula Learns To Dance”, my friend, Bula, was about five years old. She is the daughter of very dear friends of mine, and she gave herself the nick name of Bula when she was first learning to talk. Bula is now a sophomore in college (studying pre-med), and an accomplished cellist. It was my great pleasure to include her on a couple of tracks of the Collage album, including this old, traditional Irish tune.
Etude in D Major, Opus 35, no. 17
Fernando Sor is a central composer in classical guitar repertoire. He wrote a hundred or so etudes, but Andres Segovia chose a couple of dozen of them (give or take) for their tunefulness, as well as their didactic value. This is one from that batch of etudes. I chose this one (along with the etude in B minor) for a grace and a sense of yearning I hear in these pieces.
Le Soleil Se Coucher en Paris – (to see this one played live, go here – it’s a YouTube video so it will take you out of this site)
A few years back, my wife and I had the genuine pleasure of living on a house boat (a converted barge, as it were) on the Seine river, in the middle of Paris. I wrote this song sitting on the back of that boat at the end of a gorgeous, early summer’s day, after taking in the beauty and grace of Paris. At first, I wanted to call this “Crepuscule en Paris”. I know a bit of French, and crepuscule is the French word for “twilight”. But my wife thought that crepuscule, while a perfectly legitimate French word, sounded somewhat like a bad skin condition. Our French friends (in a demonstration of that famous French diplomacy), suggested the title we settled on. In English, it means “The Sun Goes To Bed In Paris”.
My family had dogs while I was growing up. But then I left for college, with the rest of life proceeding along. Part of the problem was living in a series of apartments that did not allow pets (well, except for a pair of box turtles, at most). One of the joys of buying a house a few years back was getting a cat, then another (then another!). Then, a couple of years ago, we walked into a Petsmart, where they had a batch of puppies that had been brought up from a rescue shelter in New Mexico. Rufus is, for all intents and purposes, my first dog. He is my goodwill ambassador, as he joyfully wishes to greet everyone person or creature he meets (well, there may be some question about his intention with squirrels, but…..). With this song, I wanted to capture some of that joy and energy that he brings to life.
Etude in B Minor, Opus 35, no. 22
Another etude by Fernando Sor. It is firmly in the classical tradition in that it can mean whatever you want it to mean. But again, like the D Major etude included elsewhere on the CD, I find this piece to have a certain quality of yearning to it.
My friend, Gordon, is a Quaker. I have been to a Quaker meeting, and have experienced their practice of sitting in silence, engaged in contemplation. This song is dedicated to that Quaker practice in general, and to my friend, Gordon, in particular.
Spinning on a Blue Planet
My friend, Stacia, is a Sufi spinner. Sufis spin as a form of physical meditation. They spin to experience a form of spiritual ecstasy and enlightenment. Stacia suffered a fall at the beginning of 2013, as a result of which her foot received a number of fractures. She was very upset and concerned as to whether she would heal to the point where she could one day spin again. I encouraged her to envision a day when the foot would heal and she would be able to dance and spin again, and to that purpose, I composed this piece for her. While it may not have the Arabic quality most often associated with Sufi music, I hope that it captures the energy and joy of spinning.
Casper Mountain Blue Moon
My friends, Rebecca and Geoffrey, have a cabin on Casper Mountain, in Wyoming. Every Labor Day weekend, they have a gathering of friends and family on the mountain, and my wife and I have been pleased to be included in that gathering over the last few years. In 2012, there was a blue moon at the end of August. I was sitting on the porch of that cabin, gazing up at that full moon, when this guitar piece came to me. Once again, my wife warned me that I had best figure out a way to remember this piece, or she would have to beat me. Inspiration can take many forms. I prefer to think of the serenity of that moonlit night, rather than any possibility of domestic violence.