Lament III

Last year (and the year before) I composed 12 laments for the classical guitar. The score/tabs for these can be found on my website for FREE.

I am excited about one thing. Ok, maybe a few things. It is super cold in Michigan (where I live) so that is nothing to be excited about. Anyways…I’ve always avoided making arrangements of copyrighted songs because I didn’t want to deal with the licensing issues involved. Long story short (thank you, Rob), I am going to start arranging copyrighted music. I made a list of pieces I would like to arrange. Here they are:

The Godfather (Love Theme), Nothing Else Matters, Hurt (Nine Inch Nails), Pirates of the Caribbean, Imagine, Stairway to Heaven, Hallelujah, Dust in the Wind, The Mission (Oboe Theme), Chariots of Fire, Schindler’s List, and so on and so on. There are like 200 on this list.

Anyways…that’s all I’ve got for now.

-Rob

Funky Soul Butter/Ezel/Willow

I recorded three pieces in one shot with no edits. My original plan was to record six pieces but there was an EPIC FAIL on piece number four so…..you just got three:

Funky Soul Butter (0:00), Ezel (3:02) and Willow (4:45)

Funky Soul Butter is a piece I composed a few years ago and recorded it on my Funky Soul Butter album recorded about a year ago.

Ezel is a Turkish crime drama. A Turkish Instagram friend recommended that I make a guitar arrangement of the main theme. I couldn’t find sheet music for it so I ended up transcribing it. Here is the original if you don’t know it…

Willow comes from my Year of the Guitar Suite. I composed these pieces back in 2013-14 and recorded them in 2015.

The scores/tabs for each one of these is free at my website.

Side note…

Holiday fun is now over. My brother (and family) and sister (and family) were in town for the last week. My brother has 5 kids and my sister has 3. Lots of kids. It was very loud but a lot of fun. Sad to see them go. Here is a pic of my new nephew….

-Rob

P.S. I have listened to 57 of Buckethead’s 300 (and change) Pikes. Hopefully I can finish them this year.

Etude 8 (Improvisation)

I am currently writing a set of 8 etudes for the guitar. Each of them includes some kind of an extended technique. This particular one uses a slide which isn’t used a lot in the classical guitar literature. I have always loved the sound. Check this video out…

And if haven’t already checked out the famous Messiahsez, by all means do…

There were a couple surprises that I found sounded interesting in my improv. The first was that when the slide is used with tremolo it produces a pretty cool sound. Also, artificial harmonics can slide around with a slide. Often before writing a piece I will improvise around on an idea or two. That is what I am doing in this video.

Magnificent Mountain for Mandolin Orchestra

Wow, what an amazing couple of days for me. I went to Normal, Illinois to attend the Classical Mandolin Society of America‘s national conference. I was commissioned to write a piece for this conference and Magnificent Mountain was the piece I composed. It was inspired by a trip I made to the Smoky Mountains back in June (2019). My son and I took a trip up into the mountains one day. As we were going up one of the mountains it was amazing to watch the landscape change. At certain points it looked very mysterious because of the way the clouds surrounded the mountains. At other times the landscape looked very grand and magnificent when the sun came through the clouds. The music was composed to reflect these different moods and changes of character throughout.

This was a wonderful conference. I met a lot of really nice people who were very passionate about music. I ran a couple of workshops (one on composing and the other on recording), went to concerts and socialized. Guest performers included Naeim Rahmami, Sebastiaan de Grebber, and Fabio Giudice. They were all amazing artists and really nice people. The final concert included the En Masse Orchestra directed by Dr. Jim Bates. The En Masse Orchestra was made up of 140 convention attendees!!

A few pictures and videos…

Here I am giving a workshop on composing music.

Friday night concert

It was a wonderful event. I have to make a few adjustments to the score and then I will post it on my website for free. I would love for this to be performed by other orchestras as well. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

-Rob