Juan's World

Guitarist, Composer, Writer, Publisher

Filtering by Category: Classical Guitar

Interview with Composer/Guitarist Javier Farias: Practical Aspects of Classical-Guitar Composition, Part IV

For my article on practical matters of composition for classical guitar (Classical Guitar, Summer 2017), I interviewed three acclaimed composers and a publisher of classical guitar music. This series of posts publishes the full interviews. The first extended interview is with Stephen Goss, based in the UK, one of the most renowned composers for the contemporary classical guitar. The second interview is with Jürg Kindle, one of the most prominent contemporary pedagogical composers for the classical guitar. This third interview is with Chilean composer and guitarist Javier Farias.

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Interview with Composer/Guitarist Jürg Kindle: Practical Aspects of Classical-Guitar Composition, Part III

For my article on practical matters of composition for classical guitar (Classical Guitar, Summer 2017), I interviewed three acclaimed composers and a publisher of classical guitar music. This series of posts publishes the full interviews. The second is with Jürg Kindle, one of the most prominent contemporary pedagogical composers for the classical guitar.

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Water Wearing Stone: Practical Matters of Classical Guitar Composition

A composer creates, above all. Today’s composers must nevertheless navigate a myriad of factors including commissions, licensing and copyright, distribution and digital streaming, on and on. Perchance in Bach’s day it was easier: toiling in obscurity and poverty, or gaining fame—if not riches—most composers labored under the patronage of a wealthy and influential benefactor. Then again, Bach didn’t have the option of sending a performer MIDI files via Dropbox. Composers in the 21st century possess countless options, although most of us will still be unlikely, except under near-miraculous circumstances, to receive rich recompense for our work. Composing can be rewarding and worthwhile in and of itself, but whether an established or aspiring composer, attention to practical aspects and business details may have a great influence over your ultimate success.

Note: This article first appeared in Classical Guitar magazine's Summer 2017 issue.

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Review of my CD in Classical Guitar magazine

The Winter 2016 issue of Classical Guitar magazine includes a brief review of my CD, Serenata de la Sirena, excerpted below:

"This American guitarist-composer, who traditionally has specialized in playing works by Latin and South American composers, has self-produced a CD of nine homespun pieces mixed with five other works. Warren’s title track is warm and Latin in style, with a nice melody and harmonies. Leo Brouwer’s arrangement of “Drume Negrita” follows, with a new interlude composed by Warren, and a couple of other moments where he deviates, in an improvisatory way, from the printed score… Antonio Lauro’s short “La Catira” is a rarity that Warren plays very well. There are also two pieces by Baden Powell: “Berceuse a Jussara” is a work I had not heard before—Warren dispatches it with an almost jazz-like touch that suits the piece nicely; and “Afro Sambas” is complex and highly rhythmic through-out… The rest of the works are Warren’s. “Nisene” is a complex, patterned, arpeggiated, piece…"

Classical Guitar magazine, Winter 2016

 

Improvisation and Classical Guitar – Part 2

My article on improvisation and classical guitar (Classical Guitar Summer 2016) considers the history and context of classical guitar improvisation (and classical music in general); discusses why and when to improvise; and provides some strategies on how to get started.

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing three imminent classical guitarists—Roland Dyens, Dušan Bogdanović, and Andrew York—asking them many of the same questions. Herein is an edited transcript of these conversations that expands on many of the techniques and topics discussed in part 1.

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Improvisation and Classical Guitar

The first step, and in some ways the most difficult one, is to wrap your head around the idea of improvisation on the classical guitar. What precisely is improvisation, and what is not? A familiar part of the musical toolbox for guitarists specializing in jazz, flamenco, bluegrass, blues, rock and other genres, improvisation has been relatively neglected, if not exactly derided, in modern classical guitar. This extends to classical music in general, of course. Considering the history of classical music and the evolution of the guitar, it’s perhaps surprising that improvisation does not play a larger role.

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