Branimir Krstic | Revel

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Heitor Villa-Lobos Maurice Ravel Ottorino Respighi

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United States - Washington DC

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Classical: Contemporary Easy Listening: Classical Pop Moods: Mood: Fun
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by Branimir Krstic

More fun music from Bran!
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Get Along Home: I. Cindy
2:15 $0.99
2. Get Along Home: II. Oh, My Darling Clementine
3:12 $0.99
3. Get Along Home: III. Mary Had a Baby
1:36 $0.99
4. Get Along Home: IV. Home on the Range
2:25 $0.99
5. Get Along Home: V. Shenandoah
2:09 $0.99
6. Scintillating Aphorisms: I.
2:09 $0.99
7. Scintillating Aphorisms: II.
2:05 $0.99
8. Scintillating Aphorisms: III.
3:47 $0.99
9. Scintillating Aphorisms: IV.
3:50 $0.99
10. Scintillating Aphorisms: V.
3:47 $0.99
11. Scintillating Aphorisms: VI.
3:13 $0.99
12. Ballade
9:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

As a composer and guitarist performing mostly my own works and arrangements, I have always had to deal with a very specific situation. I have often released recordings of works just finished. Oftentimes, there were no opportunities to perform these for a while, and then releasing. Surely, I would have preferred such a routine, but in a less-than-perfect world, I have developed a strategy that involves multiple steps in order to polish and promote these same works.

One of the discoveries every young composer will make is that it will take some time for audiences to get acquainted with new compositions, before the decisions regarding the works’ future are made (publish, popularize, reach smaller niche audiences, forget about it etc.). Hence, in 2008 I decided to digitally release all of my guitar works to date. It was more of a composer’s than performer’s edition. The feedback has enabled me to better understand how these compositions fare within certain segments of music lovers, and further releases were in a certain way my own reaction to the feedback. With all the knowledge and experience gained, there will be re-record and re-issue (in a tangible format) of final versions of some of these works, with some new, matured interpretations. Time usually works for music. As a composer, I followed certain ideas and visions while creating the works, but often some new details became visible after I performed or released them. In some cases, I may have learned some techniques that would enhance the composition and decided to add them later. A work-in-progress style was rarely something I pursued, but I didn’t reject it if it was elevating my music.

“Revel” is an album that took a long time to prepare and release. The news is that I am not only playing premieres of brand new works, bursting with freshness of a new creation. This time around I am doing many things I was not educated to do. No, I am not reciting, juggling, or adding a holder for playing harmonica. I added many elements from flamenco technique, as well as “mehrstimmiges Tremolo” (multi-voiced tremolo), which German guitarist Heinrich Albert perfected some hundred years ago, before it fell to oblivion. Nothing special? Well, juggling might have been easier, to start with.

Aphorisms, as a brief and humorous form, used to be very popular in formerly communist societies. They were often very funny and critical to the powers that be, yet ambiguous enough not to justify persecution. I remember many from my childhood, as there used to be more humor on TV back then. Some time later, during my composition studies, I wrote some works in the spirit of aphoristic thought, and they gained some acceptance. My musical humor was rather Pythonesque back then, and I was inspired by the fact that there was not much humor in modern music. For the third time in a handful of sentences, I shall reiterate my belief that there should be more humor on TV, in music, and life, before I go on to introduce yet another sequel to my own aphorisms. Over the years, however, I have found that my humor has become less Pythonesque, less clownish, and more subtle.

A set of American songs sheds a new light on classics. There is a tradition of using Christmas related melodies in artistic renditions as old as Leoninus and Perotinus. “Villancico de Navidad” by Mangore is an example popular among guitarists. My “Mary Had A Baby”, based on a Christmas gospel song, joins that tradition. “Home On The Range” is a song I learned from my daughter, which she brought home from the first grade. My version is hovering between euphoria and nostalgia - a dream of the clean prairies of the times passed. Another rendition with euphoric build-up, but melancholic repose, is “Oh My Darling Clementine”. Girls in the second grade used to sing it, but I don’t recall what movie it was we saw it in. We used to like to watch a lot of westerns back then. That is where I heard “Cindy”. I remember that the old guy was a comical character. My version of “Cindy” is purposefully more convoluted and dramatic, but I did bear in mind that westerns can have only happy endings. “Shenandoah” stirs speculation that the main character (the one in love with the chieftain’s daughter) may have been Irish, as there is a section exploiting a pipe-like drone, which goes well with the shanty. Under the hood, things are not quite so simple as I shall strive to keep it here, as enjoyment is my main objective!

“Ballade” owes as much to the medieval ballade as to the romantic. It is a work of absolute music, striving to keep the vibrating melodies via the multi-voiced tremolo, reviving the forgotten technique of Heinrich Albert. The influences of medieval music in my work will often be hard to detect, as they don’t come with the tonal materials that medieval music is associated with. Unlike with “Shenandoah”, I will disclose some. The polyphonic songs by Machaut, Solage, Senleches, and other medieval masters occur within a very narrow range, sometimes not even exceeding one and a half octaves! I always marveled at how much music can be packed in so small space, especially considering that guitarists consider their instrument’s range (three and half octaves) narrow. In “Ballade”, much of the music is running under an octave for extended periods, giving a special prominence to later occurrences of large ambituses (and there are some), as the piece exploits the whole range of the guitar. Syncopation, as known in medieval music, is running throughout the piece, ending in cadences. Harmonically and spiritually, the piece does owe its pay to Ravel. Revel with Ravel could have been a good slogan for this album.



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