Stephen Tafra learning secret guitar duo business from the Assad Brothers! He’d better share at our next rehearsal…!!!
Yesterday we gave the second concert in our 2015 series (that’s the year, not number of concerts!). Held again in Kez’s studio – guitars sound so great in there.
This was our all-Latin programme. We can’t help including some twists though, so we figured a tango by an Aussie composer and some English music arranged by a Cuban composer would be ok! No-one seemed to mind! Programme below.
Lots of fun had this morning with 100 strings…! (Maths check, please!) We’ve been choosing which pair of guitars we’ll play in our next concert.
Unfortunately the cedar Howell is out of action presently, so which combination do you think we went with? All the combinations we tried are documented in the album. Comment away!
The Wallangra festival was incredible! Massive thanks to the committee for inviting us to play both as EphenStephen and Wirrycow. What a fantastic night of music – so much young local talent & great to meet up with The Mae Trio & Martin & Adam from Wombat Tracks. Get behind this festival – such a GOOD thing they’re doing and we’re absolutely looking forward to next time. Bring it on!
Last night we read through a few kilograms of music and we think we have a nice selection for our next concert on April 12. Oddly for us, it will be a programme of all Latin music!
Thanks to everyone who came to our last concert of Bach, Rameau, Johnson and Bacheler. It was a heavy concert, like a strong single malt, our next concert promises to be a light Sangria.
This year, we’ve decided to do a 6 concert series, featuring not only repertoire that we’ve enjoyed playing over the years, but also as an opportunity to try out some new things.
We gave the first concert of the series yesterday, Feb 1st in Kez’s studio (thanks Kez!), and featured music by Bacheler, Johnson, Bach and Rameau. Had great fun. Programme below!
It’s been a while since our last posting – that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been busy! One of us was overseas for a while, then we started transcribing Rameau’s Suite in A minor (1728) to perform at the upcoming New England Bach Festival. We transcribed the whole thing 3 times – 3rd time lucky! Got to perform it today at NERAM to a packed house and enthusiastic reception. Phew! Mr Tafra (S1) played Mr Thorneycroft’s spruce 2008 Richard Howell guitar and Mr Thorneycroft (S2) played a 1976 8 string Ramirez 1a, kindly on loan from the estate of Dr. Vic Bofinger.
Here are the programme notes:
J.P. Rameau tr. EphenStephen
Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin (1728): Suite in A minor (performed in E minor) Allemande – Courante – Sarabande – Les Trois Mains – Fanfarinette – La Triomphante – Gavotte et 6 doubles
The act of transcribing harpsichord repertoire for the guitar is not an uncommon practice, however the art of transcribing harpsichord repertoire for the guitar, and indeed two guitars, is a somewhat different matter. The translating of notes from plucked strings to plucked strings with the occasional octave transposition is straightforward enough, but to translate resonances, registral alignment, clarity of voice, colouristic potential etc into music that is not so much ‘idiomatic’ but respectful in all perspectives, requires a thoughtful as well as creative hand.
The idea of transcription is not simply to reproduce the original notes through the new instrumentation, nor is it to rewrite them in order to (re)create the music as if originally intended for the new instrumentation, but is rather to strike balance by acting act as a kind of curator, taking into consideration historically informed performance practices, motific ideas and phrase structures embedded in the music, colouristic potential etc, as well as the personalities and backgrouds (or indeed, baggage!) of the transcriber(s), performers and instrumentation. Moreover, the translating of music originally intended to be handled by one player on one instrument into music that is handled by two people on two instruments, but acting as a single ensemble, demands careful consideration.
A curator enables the opportunity of weaving an assemblage of what may be seemingly unrelated artwork around a unique thread generated by a set of values, history and circumstances, treading a path through the wealth of available media and creative possibilities which may simply be found as ‘interesting’.
(c) Steve Thorneycroft
Playing today at ‘Opera in the Vines’, Merilba Estate Winery. (Wining in the vines?) Let’s hope Mr Tafra doesn’t get too distracted…