The following has been put together for all those interested in or following my music career.
This year I have performed at a variety of venues including Auckland (the home of luthier Rod Capper, historic Alberton, All Saints Church Howick and All Saints Church hall, Ponsonby), New Plymouth (4th Wall Theatre and a local church hall in Oakura), Hamilton (Food Research meeting room) and Blenheim (historic Tua Marina Church). Sincere thanks to all those who have so generously and perfectly organised events on my behalf especially those who have hosted me while away from home.
While in Blenheim in November, I stayed for a week or so to make recordings of my latest compositions at the old Tua Marina church. The aim is to release a new cd in 2018. The sound will differ from previous efforts with a more detailed representation of my playing in the context of the Tua Marina Church environment.
Sincere thanks to Marlborough Museum manager Steve Austin and his colleagues for their wonderful support and for making the church available without interruption for the duration of the project.
I haven't released any CDs of my own this year. However, for the first time there have been releases by other guitarists featuring my compositions. Wellington based guitarist Gunter Herbig's latest NAXOS album 'Dream Weaving' opens with my three solo compositions 'Finchdean', 'Dream Weaving' and 'Circle Dance'. The New Zealand Guitar Quartet's album 'The Passing of a Black Star' (produced by 'Rattle Records') likewise opens with one of my works, the 'Aotearoa Suite'. An excellent review by Elizabeth Kerr of the NZGQ CD appeared in the NZ Listener magazine, the music described as an 'attractive collection' with the 'Aotearoa Suite' displaying the quartet's 'nimble skills and beautiful timing, melodies gleaming through counterpoint in dancing music reminiscent of a Baroque suite.'
In December 2017 my guitar solo ’Alberton Waltz’ reached the final round of the ‘Third Composition Competition for Guitar Fidelio’ of Spain. The waltz was eventually voted in 6th place out of 110 compositions from 28 different countries around the globe. In order to reach the final round, each composition had to survive five voting rounds and the scrutiny of the various composers involved in each round. Apart from the prizes on offer, the aim of the competition was to encourage guitar composers to learn from others and listen to new compositions. I found it a worthwhile experience and of course am delighted that one of my works was viewed so favourably by others.
Premiere Performances of Commissioned Works
In January 2018 there will be premiere performances of two works heard at the Taranaki Classical Guitar Summer School. Canberra based guitarist John Couch will be giving the premiere performance of ‘Tua Marina Sonata’ on Tuesday 16th January, 8pm at the 4th Wall Theatre, New Plymouth. The New Zealand Guitar Quartet will give the world premiere of my suite inspired by the kinetic sculptures of Len Lye on Thursday 18th lunchtime (12:00 to 1pm) at the New Plymouth Girls High School hall. For more information please visit the summer school website.
New Compositions and Arrangements
Apart from commissioned new works completed in 2016/2017, I have arranged one of my guitar solos for Wellington based violin and guitar Duo Tapas. I have recently written a brand new solo guitar composition that will appear on my next CD to be released in 2018. Last but not least I am in the process of a guitar ensemble arranging for ‘Con Tempo’ in New Plymouth NZ.
I am most grateful for commissions received from Creative New Zealand and violinist Rupa Maitra.
This year friends and supporters have mentioned hearing my recordings and compositions via Radio NZ Concert more often than in previous years. No doubt the apparent upsurge is in part due to my output of works for solo guitar. I am extremely grateful and delighted that my work is being so embraced. However, I wasn't expecting to have two compositions, recorded by other guitarists, featured simultaneously on the RNZ Concert top 10 chart as was the case in November. The icing on the cake has been news of the NZ Guitar Quartet's recording of my 'Aotearoa Suite' reaching the Australia airwaves via ABC Classic FM.