Tuesday, June 5, 2012

NEW CD: Journey for Flute and Guitar

We are so excited about this new album!  We hope you enjoy the music as much as we enjoyed making it!


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Journey for Flute and Guitar has been a very exciting project for us and we are very happy to share this album with you.  It features some of the greatest works ever written for the flute and guitar duo and some new pieces by Almer! 

Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango is probably the most beloved work for flute and guitar.  As one of the most recognizable composer of the 20th century, he infuses Argentine Tango with his love of jazz.  Piazzolla was a great bandleader and played the bandèon.  His compositions embody the feel, energy and rhythmic intensity of a great band making it so much fun to perform. 

One of our dear friends, the great Maestro Pepe Romero, gave us the piece Suite Andaluza.  He told us it was the last piece his father composed and was never published or recorded.  Celedonio Romero was a guitarist, composer and poet, perhaps best known as the founder of Los Romeros Guitar Quartet.  We are extremely honored to have this work on this album.  It was a truly special gift from a very special friend and mentor.

Manuel de Falla has always been a favorite composer of ours and we fell in love with his Sietes Canciones Espagnoles and La Vida Brevé about two years ago in Chicago when we played arrangements of them with a flamenco group.  We immediately knew we had to include them on this album.  Each short piece sends such a strong emotional message to the listener even without hearing the text. The first two songs, El Pano Moruno and Seguidilla Murciana are from the Murcia region in Southeast Spain. A seguidilla is a moderately fast dance of Southern Spain. The sad and melancholic Asturiana, is from the Asturias region of Northern Spain, while in contrast, the lively fourth song Jota, typifies the music of the Aragon Region of Northeastern Spain. The jota is a rapid dance in triple time performed by one or more couples and accompanied by castanets. Nana, is a traditional lullaby and was sung to de Falla as an infant by his mother. The sixth song, Cancion, is based on a melody known throughout Spain, while the seventh song, Polo, comes from Andalusia and evokes flamenco music of the Andalusian gypsies. 

Almer has fond memories of performing La Vida Brevé with his dear friend and fellow guitarist, Owen, during their time at USC.  He loved the piece so much, that he decided to create this arrangement for flute and guitar.  Adding the flute gives the melody longer lines, emphasizing its song-like character.

Manuel de Falla often spoke about being impressed with French composers of the time who wrote in the Spanish style. Jacques Ibert and Maurice Ravel would surely have been mentioned!  Both of these works capture the allure and beauty of the Spanish folksong, particularly the canto jondo, or deep song, from the flamenco repertoire.

Zapjevala Sojka Ptica is a traditional Bosnian Sevdalinka.  These songs sing mainly of love, but usually there is always an eternal conflict.  The words to this delightful tune are actually a little bit depressing….young Fata is awaken at dawn by a Nightingale only to find out her mother has married her without her knowledge!  Hearing these words, one can appreciate just how old these beautiful songs are, yet they are treasured by the Bosnian population and are a great source of cultural pride.  Almer’s arrangement adds a guitar solo and a B-section, where the flute evokes the morning calls of the Nightingale!

Kay’s Dream is a song for our dear friend, Kay Younger, who courageously fought breast cancer…and won! The running notes in the guitar represent her relentless courage and willful spirit while the long melodic lines in the flute reminds us of her message of love and compassion.

Finally, the title track, Journey, is a song that has a very special place in our hearts.  It was written for my mother, Kristy Pierce, who passed away this year.  She was undoubtedly our biggest fan and supported us in our journey as artists and as husband and wife. Her journey here on earth ended far too soon, but we know that she continues to help us along our path.  We dedicate this album to her, with all our love.

Entr'acte by Jacques Ibert
Piece en forme de Habanera by Maurice Ravel
Histoire du Tango by Astor Piazzolla
Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas by Manuel de Falla
La Vida Breve by Manuel de Falla
Suite Andaluza, no. 2 by Celedonio Romero
 Zapjevala Sojka Ptica by Almer Imamovic
Kay's Dream by Almer Imamovic
Journey by Almer Imamovic

Special thanks:

Jim Linahon/LMP Studios: Recording/Mixing /Mastering
Suki Medencevic: Photography
Allen Battino: Graphic Design