Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Guitar, Tiple: Better than Piano Lessons

In a wonderful celebration of new ensemble works for guitar  I heard a new sound: The tiple is a South American instrument with 12 strings, doubling the main strings at octaves.  It is an amazing sound, more like a piano than a guitar.

When I commented as much to William Anderson, the player, he immediately began to hold forth against the kind of generic piano playing that I so dislike.  It was fun to have this exchange with him.  The tiple was played together with fine guitarist Oren Fader--the Anderson/Fader Guitar Duo--in a lyrical work by Alba Potes.

I think pianists could learn a great deal about the sound of the piano from guitars excellently played.  Funny how we are so easily led to believe that the technique is the sound.

Other fine players this afternoon: Pianist Thomas Carlo Bo, who did extraordinary work with an ensemble of three guitars and double bass in Titania's Lullaby by Dan Cooper.   I very much enjoyed the refined articulate lyricism of the Alturas Duo (Scott Hill, guitar and Carlos Boltes, viola, together with Melanie Chirigna, flute in Saudade, part of a longer work written for them by Masatora Goya.

But the greatest compliment of all goes to Andrew McKenna Lee, whose virtuoso solo composition Arabescata reached every emotional, pitch, and dynamic extreme, internal and external all at once.