John Cage? Anton Webern? Acoustic Archtop Guitar?

Here’s an attempt to play music not usually, or at all, associated with the archtop guitar. The composer is Reginald Smith Brindle (1917-2003), who not only wrote some beautiful, if challenging music, but also wrote some of the finest books on 20th-century classical composition.

Here Brindle borrows a tone row of the serialist composer, Anton Webern (1883-1945), and merely states it with false harmonics – simple, but effective. I use it here as a prelude to the next piece, “To John Cage”, using atonality to create an homage to Cage (1912-92) – lots of silence, contrasts in dynamics and tone.

While recording the first piece, I noticed the window light reflections on the body of the guitar, and developed this in my performance of the second piece. I even improvise some mime, to somewhat humorously comment on how active silence can sometimes be.

I really enjoyed making this video, and I hope you get something from it. I believe the acoustic archtop is very suitable for this music. Comments welcome.


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