Americana is Michael’s latest release featuring works by Agustín Barrios, Jorge Morel, Benjamin Verdery and Andrew York. Below are excerpts from the programme notes for the CD.
I first had the idea for an album of American guitar music in 2004 whilst warming up on the steps of a Zen Buddhist temple on the island of Maui in Hawaii.
I fell in love with South American guitar music in my teens when I played a Choro by Villa-Lobos (which later turned out to be Sons de Carilhões by Pernambuco), but I didn’t really appreciate this wonderful style of guitar music until I was introduced to the panache and verve of Agustín Barrios’ guitar masterpieces. The three Paraguayan songs collected here are not his best known works but they are fine examples of Barrios’ virtuosic flair coupled with his passion for his homeland.
When John Williams recorded Lullaby and Sunburst the guitar world woke up to the music of Andrew York. Here were pieces of modern music that were beautiful, engaging and accessible. Rich interweaving melodic lines, bygone musical forms given a modern interpretation, tone colour opportunities aplenty and some of the most catchy melodies written for the nylon strung guitar.