Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
In the past few months I have received many emails inquiring about my guitar. Therefore, I thought I would take the time to introduce you to one of the best American luthiers, Mr. Kenny Hill. I have been playing my stand-up model Kenny Hill for the past two years and have fallen in love with it. It suits me very well because of its beautiful and well-balanced sound. It is very easy to play, has a comfortable neck, and since it is a double-top, it responses quickly making live performance very enjoyable. I like this stand-up model because I had back surgery a few years ago. This makes practicing much easier and relieves tension in my back. It is also aesthetically better for our duo, putting both Jessica and I on the same level.
For more info about Kenny and his fantastic instruments click here. He also has a great blog with a lot of valuable information about guitar-related subjects.
Enjoy the photos of Kenny and I and my guitar!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Enjoy these photos from our latest tour of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We played concerts in Zenica, Tuzla and finished our tour with a great concert in the National Theatre in Sarajevo. Almer was a guest of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences and performed Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez for a national live television broadcast. For an encore, AlmaNova performed 'Jamilla's Dance' and brought the entire audience of 800 to their feet. Special thanks to Eldin and the BHAAAS, the Sarajevo Philharmonic and the city and people of Sarajevo, Zenica and Tuzla for a great reception and wonderful memories that will stay with us always.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
We had the pleasure and honor to meet the reigning Queen of Sevdalinka (Bosnian folk music) Maestra Hanka Paldum in Sarajevo after our concert with Sarajevo Philhamonic. It was quite a surprise to have her in the audience. We were thrilled to know she loved our concert and performance of 'Jamilla's Dance'. In this piece, Almer quotes one of the most beloved sevdalinka called 'Emina'.
More news to follow about our great musical adventures in Bosnia representing the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences (BHAAAS).
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Well, today is the day that finally feels like the summer has come to an end in L.A.. We woke up this morning to a beautifully damp morning....no heat to be found. Although we welcome this change in the weather, we thought today would be the appropriate day to share a photo from one of our favorite summer moments.....HAWAII!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Pure musical pleasure is the result of this masterful combination of Jessica Pierce's flute and Almer Imamovic's guitar. Both performers are passionate players and give breath-taking performances in their original combinations of classical and romantic music and Bosnian love songs and lively dances.
The duo started while they were both students at the famed Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, and has flowered in the course of major world tours and highly praised concerts. In style, they take time to state and develop the many melodies and rhythmic energies with impeccable techniques, and yet retain a relaxed, restrained purity of sound.
On this recording the pair make judicious use of added hand percussion from Jim Coffin, and a little instrumental overdubbing, but maintain an acoustic sensibility throughout. For variety, inspiration, and listener enjoyment this collection of ten arrangements sets high standards for a flute and guitar ensemble program. Unreservedly recommended.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Almer loves radio!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Jessica and I are not native Pasadenians...but it is places like the New Delhi Palace that make us feel at home. This is the best Indian food on the planet and it is run by the most friendly and kind people. Every time we come to this great place we are greeted like family and we just wanted to share this with you all. If you're ever in Pasadena and not joining us at our house for Jessica's culinary adventures in Bosnian cuisine (more to come about this later....), then be sure to treat yourself to New Delhi Palace.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thanks to Summer Arts, I now am in love with the sound of flute and guitar together.
All it took was one concert earlier this week by the AlmaNova duo, whose two players, Almer Imamovic and Jessica Pierce, are instructors in the flute and guitar workshop at the California State University Summer Arts program at Fresno State.
So, what was it about Imamovic and Pierce's performance that opened my ears to this wonderful combination of instruments?
On fresnobeehive.com, I wrote that as I listened to them play I kept thinking of two swallows hurling through the sky -- diving, soaring, swooping, with first one and then the other taking the lead, the two of them sometimes exploding with energy but more often quietly flitting here and there in a graceful, intuitively choreographed display of seamless connection.
The pair is married in real life, and they have a stage relationship that is touching to watch. Imamovic strums his guitar so smoothly at times it's as if he's caressing a stone, and Pierce's flute lyrically fills the hall with a gentle, effortless swell. Watching Imamovic watch his wife as they play is particularly sweet. He stands when he plays, and he periodically turns to gaze at her, his shoulders pulsing with the beat almost as if the two are dancing.
There's a strong Eastern European influence in AlmaNova's songs, which is not surprising considering Imamovic's Bosnian roots. (He writes much of the group's material.) Slightly exotic yet with a velvety finish, the duo's sound never delves into meditative Windham Hill territory, but it also projects a mellow, accomplished mood. Many of the songs have direct ethnic connections: "Sarajevo Nights" seems to twinkle with the vitality of a city, and "Moj Golube," an arrangement of a Macedonian folk song, captures the age-old story of love and loss.I was entranced, and I'm going to track their CDs down for a further listen. I know I'm looking forward to hearing their colleagues play, as well.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
We have been nominated in two categories:
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
We are happy to announce that our new CD, "After Hours" has been released! This latest project pays tribute to some of the most beautiful and haunting melodies from Macedonia. We also have included some exciting new original works that reflect this part of the world. Hope you enjoy!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Almer was very proud of three of his 'star' students...Eric, Sierra and Sofiane were all chosen by audition to perform in the LMU Young Artist's Showcase during their big guitar festival week. They all were professional and played beautifully. There is nothing better for a teacher than to see their students succeed! Bravo to you all and now we will look to the next big challenge together!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
We had a great time with Maestro Scott Tennant in Santa Barbara during the Santa Barbara Symphony 2nd International Guitar Festival. Off course we meet at Peet's coffee for a little break. Aside from playing a great concert as part of the festival, we were so happy to hear a new concerto for the LAGQ by Sergio Assad called Interchange. It was a very exciting piece and well played by the quartet and the orchestra. The LAGQ is always an amazing group to hear. Bravo, guys!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
AlmaNova is a flute and guitar duo comprising Jessica Pierce and Almer Imamovic. It was formed during their studies at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. The folk-influences music on this disc includes Imamovic's arrangements of the traditional Bosnian works and his own compositions. It is not clear from the sleeve-notes which are which, as there is no individual information about each track other than the listing on the back.