Earlier this year I hit the studio with function band Switch, and this cover of ‘Mercy’ (made famous by Duffy) was one of the tracks we recorded.
The guitar I used was the same one you can see in the video: Fender Modern Player Stratocaster going through one of the in-house Marshall combos at the Loft Studios.
Thanks to Loft Studios, Newcastle upon Tyne, for the recording session & production. Also many thanks to Nemix studios (also Newcastle), which was our location for the video, and to Artifact Media for the film production!
Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a recital by Guitar/Flute duo Maria Camahort and Lucy Driver at Newcastle upon Tyne’s beautiful Lit. & Phil. Society Library. This was the first time in a long time that I was at a classical recital where I wasn’t performing in some capacity, and though it made me restless to play, it did offer the opportunity to observe Maria’s wonderful classical guitar technique.
As a native of Spanish Catalonia, Camahort’s style is rooted in flamenco, with a right hand technique many guitar players would kill for. Again, anyone wishing to work on their own right hand technique, I strongly recommend Scott Tennant’s excellent book Pumping Nylon, which focuses on strength-building techniques and specialises in flamenco picking styles. A large amount of Camaohort & Driver’s recital repertiore favoured a spanish style which suited Maria’s guitar playing perfectly, though Lucy’s flute playing (in many cases their own arrangements and adaptations) soared to the reading room’s luxurious rafters and blended sumpuously with the guitar.
During their set, there was one composer of whom I had never heard, named Feliu Gasull. Another resident of Barcelona, Gasull started his career as a flamenco guitarist, studying guitar at the Geneva Conservatory of Music and composition at Indiana Univeristy. Many of his compositions (including the one’s I heard) are Gasull’s interpretations of Catalonian pop songs, featuring elements of flamenco, classical convention and even jazz. Camahort & Driver performed three of his peices (‘Dits’, ‘Nana de Sevilla’ & ‘Conta-xions’) and I have included the link to his official website here (www.feliugasull.com). I strongly encourage you to check out this amazing composer/arranger and incorporate some of his peices into your solo and ensemble playing.
In addition, here is the full programme from the recital, for those interested – Sonata in E Major (J.S. Bach) Andante in C (Mozart) Danza Oritental (Granados) Bagatella No. 2 (Walton) Her Anxiety (J. McCredie) Histoire du Tabgo – Cafe 1930 (Piazzolla) There was also three short pieces by M. de Falla, grouped together in one multi-movement sitting called ‘Seis Canciones Populares Espanolas’ – Nana Polo (for me, this is another strongly recommended solo guitar performance piece) Cancion