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I – along with my family – spent two incredible months in South India this past Spring. I was teaching at the unique Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music were music students who want to learn Western, jazz, and world music get to learn from hand-picked faculty from all over the world. During February-April 2012 I was guitar faculty.
Besides many great new friendships – bordering on brotherhood – between myself and family, and the students and faculty; I increased by a small margin my tolerance for spicy, increased my ability to memorize long and unpronounceable words, got to visit many great cities and smaller towns in South India (Bangalore, Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Tiruvannamalai, Pondycherry), and composed the two pieces of music at the end of this post. Thanks India, thanks to all at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, and thanks to my family for being with me in such an adventure!
Here’s the music!
Guitar Quartet – Four guitars. Composed based on a Japanese pentatonic scale. I composed this piece based on the work done as an ensemble coach with three excellent students: Suhas Vijaykumar, Pradip Ramanathan and Jonathan Devadoss, where we explored many possibilities stemming from the selected Japanese scale.
Piano Trio – Piano, bass and drums. Composed around a ‘custom’ and an ‘exotic scale’ (Indian side-effects!). Featuring my teaching colleagues, and friends, Manu Koch on piano, Panagiotis Andreu on bass, and Harvey Wirht on drums.
Jazz al Parque is a great yearly outdoors jazz fest in Bogotá, Colombia. I have wanted for so long to play there, and this year I am going with an amazing band featuring Stomu Takeishi on bass and Ted Poor on drums. Concert will be September 11 at Parque Country Club.
I am a recipient of the Van Lier Fellowsip for 2010! part of what I’ll do as a ‘fellow’ is compose some special music. I’ll be adding further details later on, but keep alert for news about guitar etudes, haiku music videos, and other industries…