“Common Ground: new American music, Kim Perlak – solo guitar”
Released on April 12, 2012 at the Cactus Cafe in Austin, TX
Premiere Performance at the Yale Guitar Extravaganza on March 24, 2012
Recorded March 2011 at the Fred Plaut Studios, Sprague Hall, Yale University
Eugene Kimball, Engineer
Available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby
The music on this recording is one of place. Each of these composers has found his voice in a combination of the grooves, lyricism, sensibilities, and techniques from the American and classical guitar traditions. Their unique and distinctive sounds have the ability to tap into emotional and personal memory, and at the same time, reflect the broader American experience.
New York City-based guitarist/composer Benjamin Verdery is known for his ability to weave in and out of vernacular and classical idioms, evoking his own multi-stylistic musical roots. Bryan Johanson expresses the character of the Pacific Northwest in a voice that is clever, inventive, and honest. New Yorker David Leisner writes art music that expresses the dignity and joy of our country’s most cherished folk themes. The only non-guitarist represented, Robert Honstein explores the sounds of his adopted Austin, TX – “guitar town, USA”. Though based in LA, Andrew York’s music is the essence of the American sound – singable melodies and subtle harmonic shifts supported by a classical form and a rhythmic groove. My arrangement is influenced by collaborations with my favorite blues and folk guitarists.
As an interpreter, I was drawn to each of these pieces both sonically and emotionally. In the time I’ve played them, each work has come to feel like an old or new friend. To varying degrees, I’ve had the privilege to know each composer and am grateful for the personal insight and artistic room they have contributed to my playing. It has been a joy to find within each work a common root, a common feeling – a common ground.
1. Tread lightly, for you tread on my dreams: for Dan – by Benjamin Verdery (b. 1955)
2. Keanae, HI – by Benjamin Verdery
3. Capitola, CA – by Benjamin Verdery
4. Milwaukee, WI – by Benjamin Verdery
5. Still Life in Wood and Wire – by Bryan Johanson
6. Common Ground – by Bryan Johanson
7. O Freedom – traditional/ arr. David Leisner (b. 1953)
8-11. Barton’s Blues: Rhythmic and Bluesy, Moving Forward, – by Robert Honstein (b. 1980) Cadenza, As if from a distance/Return
12. Lullaby – by Andrew York (b. 1958)
13. Sunday Morning Overcast – by Andrew York
14. Sunburst – by Andrew York
15. God Bless America – by Irving Berlin/ arr. Kim Perlak (b. 1975)
“Yong, Kim, & Cathy at Yale”
Released in 2005
Recorded in 2001 at Fred Plaut Studios, Sprague Hall, Yale University
Eugene Kimball, Engineer
Available at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby
The music on “Yong, Kim & Cathy at Yale” is contemporary American classical music in which art music composition meets the down-to-earth sensibility of American guitar playing. The writing and playing incorporates elements of traditional classical composition with the energy and techniques of American rock and fingerstyle guitar playing, Renaissance lute playing, and Medieval physiology. To the three of us who played it, it was American and classical music in its best blend. We recorded for two nights in Yale’s Sprague Hall, the site of several of our performances, and the record retains its “live” magic. Kim Perlak, guitar; Yong Clark, flute; and Cathy Anderson, cello are performers with eclectic musical backgrounds. The three of us met at Yale University’s School of Music and became great friends through our musical collaborations. We chose the music of two guitarist/composers, Andrew York and Bryan Johanson. Both are on the cutting edge of American classical composition because of the unique way in which they blend the vocabulary of our chosen classical style with the vocabulary of the rock, pop, and folk music they loved growing up with the guitar. This record was engineered and mastered by Eugene Kimball in Fred Plaut Studios at Yale. Down to Gene himself, everyone involved in this recording was a friend, and we think that energy and connection shines through in the music. We had a great time together. Thanks for reading & for listening.
1-3. Transillience – by Andrew York (b. 1958)
4-7. Four Humors – by Bryan Johanson
Choleric, Phlegmatic, Sanguine, Melancholic
On the NPR program, “Classical Guitar Alive!”
Kim’s recording of Andrew York’s “Transilience” with Cathy Anderson, cello; and Yong Clark, flute was featured on the radio show “Classical Guitar Alive”. This episode also includes interview and recordings from John Williams, Roland Dyens, and Sergio and Odair Assad. “Classical Guitar Alive!” with Tony Morris is an internationally broadcast weekly program on NPR. To listen, you can check your local listings or visit www.guitaralive.org for participating stations and complete webcast archives.
Intro to this episode: (by Tony Morris)
“This week’s edition of Classical Guitar Alive! is devoted to music by performer/composers, and features interviews with several of today’s leading virtuoso guitarist composers, including Michael Nicolella, John Williams, Sergio Assad, Roland Dyens…Composer and Grammy-winning LA Guitar Quartet member Andrew York discusses the meaning of the title of his piece “Transilience” for flute, guitar, and cello, and how it differs from most of his solo guitar compositions. Guitarist Kim Perlak is joined by flutist Yong Clark, and cellist Cathy Anderson in a recording at Yale University.”