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Leaves Will Speak

October 1, 2013

imagesI write this blog post thinking about a new CD by my dear friend and colleague Brian Katz. I remember our early meetings and his warm encouraging approach to music that was an antidote to the more judgmental aspects of being a classical musician. His interpersonal and intermusical talents are so finely tuned that he can get you playing stuff you didn’t know you knew how to do: this makes him a fabulous teacher and a great supporting musician.Haliburtob Sculpture Forest (36)

Listening to Na-Roh-Pah [track 11] the opening arpeggios draw the listener in they are almost normal but the twist enchants and from here our journey starts. The harmony weaves into melody, until it escapes these boundaries to soar. Each time a tune comes back it is fresh, now lyrical – then punchy – then with some swing time. When the tunes undulate the guitar sounds huge and lush but a few seconds later a phrase ending is punctuated with the shortened chords smacked. It is a guided tour through the piece with all the wondrous aspects revealed. This kind of interpretation is the result of a rich background, pulling strands from other experiences into a short solo.

Haliburtob Sculpture Forest (30)There is also the wonder of the improvised moment, which is the result of knowing the music so well that it can go in many directions, a set piece can be reinvented as inspiration takes hold of a phrase and articulations, and timbre are adjusted on the fly to respond to the moment. Like Freddy Stone said: “ All great playing contains improvisation.”

There are numerous tracks that are spontaneously composed like October Lilt where the brightness of a guitar tuned higher – [major 2nd] – creates a splendid lift and energy. To create piece so tightly constructed and developed off the cuff requires tremendous skill, one gets the sense that children would dance to this short work.

The classical guitar is an intimate instrument and Brian thrives on that atmosphere. The CD launch is Saturday, October 26th, 2013 at 8 PM at Heliconian Hall in Toronto. The intimacy of this room is perfect for Brian an this will be a great concert.

One day Nasrudin was in a cemetery, he was very dusty so decided to remove his clothes and shake the dirt from them. A gust of wind blew his shirt away and as he was chasing it he came upon some men on horseback. The horses were scared by Nasrudin’s sudden appearance and became difficult to control. The riders yelled, “What are you doing running around like this in the cemetery? Are you a ghost or something?”

Nasrudin answered, “My sons I come from the other world but need to relieve myself. In order to keep the other world from getting dirty I came out of my grave. As soon as I have done what I came here for – I will return.”

From → Reflections

  1. Lovely tribute and review. Will look forward to the CD-release.

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