Workshop with Steve
No 2 Lair
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Lair (2nd movement from 'The Gothic Suite' for solo guitar)
Marked "Slow - without energy", this second movement is in direct contrast to the fast and exciting first movement.
Throughout the whole two pages, a sense of listlessness should pervade.
The opening paragraph (to be read aloud before the performance of this movement) goes :-
"...The chamber I had reached was so vast, the far walls were out of range of my eyes. I walked in semi-darkness for an hour or more and still could see no end to it. This was truly an evil place - the beast's presence was all around me".
The sense of enormity and loneliness is portrayed in the opening chords which should be played very quietly. The brief crescendos marked here and there should be strictly adhered to, with each one getting gradually louder climaxing at bar 28, where very violent strumming is quite in order. This bar is echoed twice, each time with a sudden drop in volume down to the "ostinato" bass which should be kept very strictly in time underneath the Perfect Fifth chords (these chords are to be played as one sound, i.e. NOT broken up). Try and separate the bass line from these chords, giving more emphasis to the chords and keeping the bass 'grumbling' away in the background. The final "Tambour" should be played fairly quiet, as in the distance.
In performance, I play the repeated section near the beginning slightly ponticello, and at the bottom of the page at the bar with the molto rall instruction, I take the final three or four quavers (eighth notes) of that bar as slow as crotchets (quarter notes) before a sudden return to the original tempo.
All the first page should be kept within first and second position; this piece needs a "hard" edge to it so taking some of the phrases into higher positions and giving a richer texture to the sound, is not in keeping with the musical idea behind the piece. Even some of the higher chords on the second page need to be played with a harsh, almost ponticello sound. Try strumming the chords on the final line very near the bridge, which will give a percussive sound to the notes.
The score for Diabolo can be purchased via the The Spanish Guitar Centre (Guitarnotes)
See below to print this article in Word and PDF formats
Next workshop: The Gothic Suite - 3rd movement - DAEMON DANCE... online now Click here
Previous workshop: The Gothic Suite - 1st movement - DIABOLO...online now Click here
If anyone would like a Workshop on any particular piece of music from the Published Music list, let me know by e-mail and I will try and work on that one next after The Gothic Suite. I will work through the list in order of enquiries.