Debut Album "Portrait" available now! Featuring the (((World Premiere))) recording of "La Danza Grotesque" by Alexander Liss, plus 7 new guitar transcriptions of music by Victor Carbajo
We are thrilled to currently be featured on NPR's "Classical Guitar Alive!" radio broadcast! We give multiple interviews throughout about music from our debut album and host Tony Morris features 4 of our pieces. Click the link to listen.
World Premiere Recording of "La Danza Grotesque" by Alexander Liss
We are honored and excited to announce the release of our very first single and the World Premiere recording of "La Danza Grotesque" by the talented American composer Alexander Liss. This rousing piece features driving asymmetric rhythms and virtuosic displays on the guitar that is showcased on our debut album "Portrait" that launches on May 30, 2018.
Mr. Liss is a guitarist and composer from Portland, Oregon, who studied music composition at Portland State University under Dr. Brad Hansen. Drawing from a wide array of influences, his music uses elements from traditional classical repertoire, jazz, rock, pop, and minimalism. He has composed for large and small chamber ensembles, video games and short films, but his true passion is writing for the guitar.
Alex: La Danza Grotesque is a piece about becoming familiar with the peculiarity of human life. A bold statement is made by the first voice, followed by acknowledgment from the second. A wild idea becomes something else entirely when corroborated, and the two dance together through an exploration of that idea. The word grotesque in this sense comes from the classic American novel Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson. He used the word to describe the way that people can become fixated on an idea or truth which then steers the course of their life. This can transform and twist the person into something very different, even physically. Like gnarled hands, though, there is beauty in the story of hard work and fruition.
~ Alexander Liss
World Premiere Performance of "Destination: Dublin" by Kristina Avila
David and I commissioned a new guitar duo composition by my talented award-winning friend and composer Kristina Avila whom I met through Facebook. (See, Facebook friends can turn into "real" friends!) She's the winner of the 2013 Austin Classical Guitar Society’s Composition Competition for Texas-Based Composers. “Koi Out to Sea” was premiered in Austin, Texas, by a ninety-piece guitar orchestra comprised of students from Oklahoma as well as high schools, community colleges, and universities from all over the state of Texas. To read her full bio, click here.
We are more than excited to premiere her new work titled "Destination: Dublin" at our concert on May 18, 2018 at Weigand Hall as part of the Portland Classic Guitar Concert Series.
I gave Kristina free reign with no suggestions, themes, styles, length, or restrictions of any sort. What ensued was a lot of virtual drinking of Baileys and Guinness (for the sake of the piece), new bonds and friendship, and a heck of a lot of laughs.
Kristina: A current project (just completed!), inspired by one day acquiring an Irish passport stamp, "Destination: Dublin" is a piece written for two guitars, and pays a musical homage to the stunning capital of Ireland. Influenced by Ireland's historical Celtic music, instruments, folk songs, reels, and jigs, "Destination: Dublin" strives to inspire visions of Irish culture, the lush majestic countrysides, and Dublin's city limits, where modern city life merges with ancient culture and tradition.
Commissioned by classical guitar duo, Duo Tenebroso, I was excited to freely create this piece, "Destination: Dublin", as it allowed me to creatively focus on drawing out the musicality and technical capabilities of both, David Franzen and Kristen Waligora, while remaining true to keeping an Irish theme. Duo Tenebroso’s unique interpretations coupled with their compelling synergism, is evident from the very first listen of their recordings, and even their well-suited rapport to each other can be heard beneath all their musical skillfulness. After having written only for guitar ensemble and solo guitar thus far, I jumped at this opportunity to combine my inspirations with the chance to create a unique two-part dialogue between two partners – an “Irish” exchange of ideas – where the two take turns in the spotlight to transport the melody, combine to create harmony, and come together to sound like one: one guitar, one texture, one voice.
As this piece and project nears its end, it has been (and will be) an honor and a privilege to share my ambitions, not only with a prestigious duo, but with an audience who will hear my muses, creativity, and dreams of one day visiting the majestic Emerald Isle. Once heard, I hope this piece allows you to travel without moving from your seat, and may it move your mind's eye on a journey to an enticing destination - destination: Dublin.
~ Kristina Avila