Michael Hulmes | Americana

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Classical: Twentieth Century Folk: Fingerstyle Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by Michael Hulmes

Classical Guitar Music from 20th Century America
Genre: Classical: Twentieth Century
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Milwaukee
2:38 $0.60
2. Capitola
2:50 $0.60
3. Green Galliard
2:31 $0.60
4. Reflections
3:46 $0.60
5. Introduction & Sunburst
5:44 $0.60
6. Danza Brasilera
2:42 $0.60
7. I Feel Pretty (From "West Side Story")
1:33 $0.60
8. Maria (From "West Side Story")
1:48 $0.60
9. America (From "West Side Story")
2:28 $0.60
10. Danza Paraguaya
2:04 $0.60
11. Jha Che Valle
2:03 $0.60
12. London Carape
1:28 $0.60
13. Lullaby
2:48 $0.60
14. Faire
4:06 $0.60
15. Sunday Morning Overcast
2:45 $0.60
16. Prelude & Wedding Dance
5:29 $0.60
17. Keanae
3:30 $0.60
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Michael started playing the classical guitar aged 11 and gave his first solo recital at three years later. He has since gone on to play all over the UK as well as in France, Germany, America and on British Television and Radio, all to critical acclaim. His repertoire features a mix of the old and the new giving a very balanced programme which seasoned guitar lovers and new comers can both enjoy.

Americana is Michael’s latest release featuring works by Agustín Barrios, Jorge Morel, Benjamin Verdery and Andrew York. Below are excerpts from the programme notes for the CD.

I first had the idea for an album of American guitar music in 2004 whilst warming up on the steps of a Zen Buddhist temple on the island of Maui in Hawaii. I fell in love with South American guitar music in my teens when I played a Choro by Villa-Lobos (which later turned out to be Sons de Carilhões by Pernambuco), but I didn’t really appreciate this wonderful style of guitar music until I was introduced to the panache and verve of Agustín Barrios’ guitar masterpieces. The three Paraguayan songs collected here are not his best known works but they are fine examples of Barrios’ virtuosic flair coupled with his passion for his homeland.

When John Williams recorded Lullaby and Sunburst the guitar world woke up to the music of Andrew York. Here were pieces of modern music that were beautiful, engaging and accessible. Rich interweaving melodic lines, bygone musical forms given a modern interpretation, tone colour opportunities aplenty and some of the most catchy melodies written for the nylon strung guitar.

Jorge Morel’s stellar arrangements of three songs from West Side Story really capture every aspect of the original to the extent that one very kind gentleman on hearing the three performed in concert stated that I sounded like an orchestra. Jorge’s original composition Danza Brasilera is a testament to everything I love about South American guitar music; the passion, the rhythms, the delight in the making of music.

I first met Ben Verdery at a master class in 2000. He invited me to Maui the following year and I had the time of my life. I started work on three pieces from his “Some Towns and Cities” and then subsequently Prelude & Wedding Dance. Ben dedicated the piece to his wife Rie and amongst the juxtaposition rhythms you can hear scenes from their wedding.

Remarkably each piece Ben writes is different from the last. He is always seeking a new and fresh way to look at the guitar and the four pieces collected here are no exception.

Prelude and Wedding Dance is especially extraordinary; the tuning alone means you have to relearn the instruments fingerboard before you can start practising the fiendishly hard scale passages. But this dedication is rewarded as every bar of the piece is overflowing with the exuberance and love Ben has for the guitar and his wife. It is my favourite track on the CD and a real joy to perform.



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